To finish Garth Risk Hallberg’s 900+page “City On Fire” before the end of the year required me to go on a bit of a reading bender these last two days. I will cop to a bit of speed reading toward the end—as I mentioned to a friend also in the throes of this novel, “It’s like The Goldfinch all over again.”
And it was—like Donna Tartt’s bestseller, “City On Fire” is, to me, more like an artwork and less simply a story. The centerpiece—the tangled web that connects a group of NYC denizens over the stretch of several months in 1977—is a great piece of storytelling that is blanketed by pages and pages of grandiose verbosity. If I had bothered with a dictionary while reading, I probably wouldn’t have finished this book before 2017. (Note to self: This is where e-reading could be really amazing.)
You can read the entire review here.
Filed under: Book Review