Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pete Hamill: Forever

My husband received this book as a gift a few years ago but hasn't gotten around to reading it yet. When I was putting up our bookshelf I read the synopsis and thought it might be interesting. I've always enjoyed reading books with the element of time travel, so this one appealed to me. It took me almost two weeks to finish, which is long for me, but it was worth the time.

Most of the book is set in New York and follows the story of a man who is given the gift of eternal life from an African shaman. Hamill shows how New York is built, rebuilt, and then expanded and changed over time through the eyes of his main character. I was a little worried that there would be too much history and not enough fiction to keep me interested, but my fears were set to rest as the story unfolded. New York's history is definitely a prominent theme, but Hamill did a wonderful job of embedding the history in his fiction. Romance and revenge also play major roles to complete a really beautiful read. Not only is Forever a great story, it also raises a deep and interesting discussion about life and time. The main character's long life encourages the reader to ponder their own experiences and relationships with a new perspective.

I really liked this book. The only thing that bothered me was the frequent use of swear words. For me, they were unnecessary and very distracting. If this sort of thing bothers you, beware. It is a shame that many will miss out on this lovely book for something so small.

Conclusion: Lovely and beautiful - I'm glad this one is part of my collection.

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