Then, in a nineteenth-century New York of thrusting commercial enterprise, a ruthless merchant's sensitive son is denied the love of his life through his father's prejudice against the immigrants then flooding into the city - and madness and violence ensue.
Finally, a Manhattan psychiatrist tries to treat a favoured patient reeling from the destruction of the World Trade Centre. But she fails to detect the damage she herself has sustained, and suffers the consequences of her blindness. You might also like. Red Birds. Sold Out Red Birds Rs. My Brilliant Friend Book 1. My Brilliant Friend Book 1 Rs. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Search Please Note: We do not offer refunds or exchanges for online sales.
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- Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now (Writer and the City Series).
Sort order. Drei Geschichten, die zu unterschiedlichen Zeit in New York spielen. Die zweite Geschichte spielt Mitte des Die dritte Geschichte spielt in der Zeit um den September Klassische Gespenstergeschichten darf man nicht erwarten, auch wenn in jeder Geschichte Geister gesehen werden. View 2 comments. For English, please visit CommunityBookStop.
Sep 03, Clint rated it liked it Shelves: Patrick McGrath is usually one of my very favorite writers, but this fell a little flat I think. I know that he likes America, and New York in particular, but for some reason I think he's better when he's writing about the dreary awfulness of England. The weird, very subtle but very powerful air of the gothic he usually has behind all his stories is almost completely lacking here. This book is made of three novellas, each taking place in New York in different centuries. There is still the standa Patrick McGrath is usually one of my very favorite writers, but this fell a little flat I think.
There is still the standard McGrath unreliable narrators, but this time it's only because everything is told at a few removes from the original narrator and none of the kind of clever devices he usually comes up with, like, the final first person narrator is fucking insane. I'm going to read some more of his later stuff here really soon, so I'm hoping that this was just a bad step and that he's still fully gothic and badass.
May 04, Steph rated it it was amazing.
Bookslut | Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now by Patrick McGrath
Patrick McGrath is simply one of my favourite modern authors — I save his books for a moment when I know I have time to really sit and relish them and savour his poetic language and the dark worlds he unfailingly creates. It is actually three separate stories connected by location. First there is the story of a man haunted by the memory of his mother and her involvement in the revolutionary activities against the British during the American Civil War of Independence Patrick McGrath is simply one of my favourite modern authors — I save his books for a moment when I know I have time to really sit and relish them and savour his poetic language and the dark worlds he unfailingly creates.
First there is the story of a man haunted by the memory of his mother and her involvement in the revolutionary activities against the British during the American Civil War of Independence. Even though he recalls the events some 50 years on, they continue to challenge and haunt him. Then there is the story of Julius — the son of a wealthy nineteenth century New York businessman. However, his father is brutal and is unable to overcome the death of his beloved wife or the fact that his son does not appear to have the drive or thrust that is required of a man to take over the Van Horn empire.
Despite the protection of his three elder sisters, Julius still fails to live up to these expectations and when he falls in love with Annie Kelly, his life is doomed to disaster. The narrative of his love and terrible demise, which even years on continue to haunt those members of the family who have survived , is shocking, emotive and incredibly dark. The third story propels us forward to New York of where a psychologist narrates the tale of her involvement with a client who is already scarred by an overbearing and possibly abusive mother in his youth.
Thus when the terror attacks strike and he is propelled into the arms of the alluring and seemingly deadly Kim Lee, it is clear the consequences of this union could be equally disastrous as the central figures of the story reel in the aftermath of this horrific disaster. I think one of the things I loved the most was the depiction of the changing world and history of New York.
Living on the outskirts of London all my life, I think we British tend to think we have the monopoly on history. In comparison to the grand history of London that spans back years and which many claim to have been a second Troy, I think we tend to view even great cities such as New York as mere babies, barely formed fetuses that cannot fully comprehend the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the creation of St Pauls, the struggles of the Great Fire or the horrors of the plague ridden stinking streets.
However, what these series of stories subtle reveal is the nascent history of New York, which itself has a past dating back to the early s. Moreover, what McGrath also highlights is that New Yorkers too have suffered. Just as London, they have a history of pain that remains like a bleak cloud across the city, but also as a symbol of strength, endurance and an ability to overcome.
There is one wonderful moment, for instance, when the central character returns to the city and walks around, but is left in a state of breathless wonderment when he reaches the familiar dock area to discover the behemoth Brooklyn Bridge that was not there twenty years before. McGrath also captures the lives of these characters in subtle ways — their class, way of life and emotional landscapes absolutely brilliantly.
As always, he seems able to enter their minds and way of thinking so we enter completely into their mindset, share their deepening angst and believe even in their own fictitious inventions. However, what haunts his characters are their own dark histories and disturbed psychosis. Without recourse to grotesque depiction or sensationalism, McGrath creates tales that haunt the reader. These are the kind of stories you return to again and again and lodge themselves in the deep recesses of your brain.
They are intriguing, unique, enlightening, but most of all, incredibly and brilliantly sinister. Jun 24, Lizzie rated it really liked it Shelves: , fang-s-book-club , nyc , short-stories , nine-eleven , own. This is a small one, not sure why it took so long to read.
Think I dragged my feet a little. Thing one: these aren't ghost stories. I thought they were kinda gonna be, but it's ok. Ghostly, though. They're foremost historical fiction a pretty superb ingredient for ghost stories, but oh well , and very enthusiastic ones. Lots of street names, neighborhood.
One I used to live in, so well-appreciated. From the earliest story: "Like my mother I am loath to flee the town at the first sign of trouble. It will kill me, of course, New York will kill me I will go down, as they say in the grog shops hereabouts, with my vessel! With my ship! Should probably be 3, but this gets the sentimental round-up. The details are swift and really great. A whole lot is packed in there and I like it a lot. The eventual story of his mother's secret work and martyrdom is ok if simplistic, and might even be appropriate for young readers, since the child's narration is really innocent.
Though it isn't exactly gripping. Still, my favorite creepy detail: the question remaining, how is it exactly that he has his mother's skull in his hands, all these years later? There is clearly something we don't know. Which is really good actually. Second story: 4. I am not quite sure what I enjoyed so much but I did. The story is again simple but so vivid.
It's like a fable you don't know the ending to. It's set around This is the longest story, and still feels compact, well-built. I really enjoyed this a lot. A weird one. The only contemporary piece. I was on board. This narrative perspective gets thrown off, though, because she starts to drift. There is an early clue, the story's first line stating that her patient is "like a son", but following with no behavior from her surpassing the professional. Which is weird. And then her behavior does surpass the professional, and I thought, ah, well, no, that's not good. The character seems to change after her visit to the site -- "Until I went to Ground Zero, I had rejected the concept of evil" -- and she quickly turns her judgements on her patient.
He's pathologically obsessed, his girlfriend is a sociopath. A Chinese one no less. She fixates on the woman's Americanness. Which is all an interesting kink in the story, but I felt a bit dislodged. I no longer agreed with the narrator, so perhaps I was meant to agree with the prostitute.
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But these same events make her begin to drift into badness, too, and I wasn't sure what feeling the author was bringing across any more. I think the ending could have been more unsettling, more something, so I knew what to see.
Shelves: short-stories-novellas. First off, I want to say that these stories only feature NYC as a backdrop, so there's no real sense that you're even in Manhattan for the first two; the stories could literally be anywhere if you c Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now is a collection of three short stories written about different times in New York City's history.
First off, I want to say that these stories only feature NYC as a backdrop, so there's no real sense that you're even in Manhattan for the first two; the stories could literally be anywhere if you changed some of the place names and tweaked some events here and there.
Ghost Town (Writer and the City Series)
So, all in all, the stories were disappointing on that front. Second, the characters were all boring and had boring stories to tell. Maybe it's McGrath's prose, maybe it's the content of the stories, but I just didn't care about any consequences to actions or about any character's life. The protagonists were all generally terrible at being narrators, especially the second story's narrator who seemed to jump all over the place and couldn't keep to a cohesive narrative. Third, the stories particularly the second one are overly long and with no discernible message or theme. If there are messages, they aren't to be found without much digging.
What's the point of a short story if there isn't a concrete message or theme? Finally, the third and last story -- "Ground Zero" -- is probably supposed to have a terrible person as the narrator, I get that, but I don't want to read in first-person POV this protagonist's thoughts. I found "Ground Zero" to be offensive to women, East Asians and sex workers. No, thank you. Cannot recommend. Oct 20, Erin rated it really liked it. May 11, Nadine rated it it was amazing. What a magnificent book. Three stories that all take you back to the same corners of New York throughout the centuries.
It's been too long since I've come across writing that both mesmerized and scared me. McGrath uses a language other writers seem to have long forgotten, or they've never known it—of telling a story with words that have gone out of use in everyday conversation, but that fit so beautifully into these pages.
Reading Ghost Town impr What a magnificent book. Reading Ghost Town improved my vocabulary profoundly, and the sadness lies in knowing that it will take an eternity to come across anything like it in another. His skilled use of the em dash fascinates me, his diligent use of the Oxford comma gives his writing sex appeal, and the art of his story telling is magical.
Absolute and definite recommendation on all levels. Dec 13, Lark Benobi rated it really liked it Shelves: ruthless-books , uk , male-identified-authors. The third of the three novellas in this book, "Ground Zero," is a shattering gem. A Manhattan psychiatrist giving an obsessively narrow account of her treatment of one of her patients; the way she continues to focus on helping him with the same trivial problems in his life, both before and after the day the world trade center falls, is mysteriously riveting.