City on Fire (Hardcover)
City on Fire is a debut tour-de-force. Brilliant and huge in page count and ambition, it opens at the close of 1976 with a shooting in Central Park and culminates in July of 1977 with the historic city-wide blackout and all the chaos and mayhem that it wrought. Garth Risk Hallberg brings to the page all the grit and promise of New York in the '70's with an ensemble cast of punk musicians, anarchists, artists, writers, magnates and lost teenagers. The characters' fates converge by way of a most remarkable trajectory leaving the reader thrilled, shaken and utterly satisfied.— Cathy Langer, Lead buyer for Tattered Cover
October 2015 Indie Next List
“Big, juicy, and full-throated, City on Fire absorbs readers into an expertly crafted 1970s New York City and introduces them to character after lushly drawn character: the charismatic young woman with a hidden life, her asthmatic punk groupie friend, the wizened reporter, the obscenely rich and rebellious, the not-so-rebellious, and those who love them. Their lives create a rich tapestry, beginning with a murder on the brink of the New Year in 1977 and culminating later that year during the infamous blackout. With unequivocal skill, Hallberg makes readers feel like they are holding the whole city in their hands. Breathe deep and enjoy the experience!”
— Melinda Powers (E), Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
National Best Seller - Named a Best Book of the Year by: New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Vogue, The Atlantic, Newsday "A novel of head-snapping ambition and heart-stopping power--a novel that attests to its young author's boundless and unflagging talents." --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times New York City, 1976. Meet Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city's great fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown's punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor--and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year's Eve. The mystery, as it reverberates through families, friendships, and the corridors of power, will open up even the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. City on Fire is an unforgettable novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock 'n' roll: about what people need from each other in order to live . . . and about what makes the living worth doing in the first place.
About the Author
GARTH RISK HALLBERG lives in New York with his wife and children. This is his first novel.