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Forever | [Pete Hamill]

Forever

From the shores of Ireland, Cormac O'Connor sets out on a fateful journey to avenge the deaths of his parents and honor the code of his ancestors. In return for aiding an African shaman who was brought to America in chains, Cormac is given an otherworldly gift: He will live forever - as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan.
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Publisher's Summary

From the shores of Ireland, Cormac O'Connor sets out on a fateful journey to avenge the deaths of his parents and honor the code of his ancestors. His quest brings him to the settlement of New York, seething with tensions between English and Irish, whites and blacks, British and "Americans," where he is swept up in a tide of conspiracy and violence. In return for aiding an African shaman who was brought to America in chains, Cormac is given an otherworldly gift: He will live forever - as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan.

Cormac comes to know all the buried secrets of Manhattan - the way it has been shaped by greed, race and waves of immigration, by the unleashing of enormous human energies, and above all, by hope.

Through it all, Cormac must fight a force of evil that returns relentlessly in the scions of a single family whose path first crossed his in Ireland. As he searches out these blood enemies, he must watch everyone he touches slip away. And so he seeks the one who can change his fate, the mysterious dark lady who alone can free him from the blessing and the curse of his long life.

Drawing on Pete Hamill's bone-deep knowledge of New York City, Forever is his long-awaited masterpiece, a Shakespearean evocation of the mysteries of time and death, sex and love, character and place. It is both an unforgettable drama and a timeless triumph of storytelling.

©2003 Deidre Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All Rights Reserved

What the Critics Say

"As always, [Hamill] is perfectly enjoyable to read for his great felicity of style (obviously derived from his years as a journalist) as well as his originality of plot. This absolutely embracing novel is certain to hit the best seller lists." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (69 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
2.9 (14 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Story
3.1 (14 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth R. Malcomson Eureka, CA USA 01-24-05
    Kenneth R. Malcomson Eureka, CA USA 01-24-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    212
    3
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    Overall
    "Great, but even better Unabridged"

    Overall, a fun story, well read. Some of the plot criticisms already reviewed here are valid, I believe, but they certainly don't get in the way of either the story or the setting. This is a much better reading experience in print, I have to say, because the abridgment leaves out so much compelling and interesting detail about New York City, which seems to be Hamill's main reason for writing the book. It's not Audible's fault, of course; the publishers seem to think we all just want a quick read, a la fast food. I liked it when I listened to it, but felt too much was missing. When I read it in print,it just came alive and I luxuriated in the details.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrice Miller 08-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Too chopped"

    The abridging of this book chops the story so severly that it does not flow well. I understand the complete story is excellent but with this abridged version, it constantly feels like you are missing something. Only the beginning of the book, and the narrator are first rate. The rest can be skipped.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Huntsville, TX, United States 02-09-03
    Cathy Huntsville, TX, United States 02-09-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    140
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    19
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    2
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    Overall
    "Forever"

    This was a very well written book, full of history and well defined characters. I was really impressed by how the author tied in history and recent events. I think it took a lot of courage to take an extra year to finish the book to tie it all together. It is kind of creepy to think about how it all happened. The afterward by the author was very good too.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AuntGert Naples, Fl 07-24-03
    AuntGert Naples, Fl 07-24-03 Member Since 2002

    Recorded books have changed my life as now I can experience hundreds of works I’d never have time to read traditionally.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    6
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    1
    Overall
    "Needed a strong editor"

    This abridgement suffers from obvious continuity issues and glarlingly unanswered questions. Eg., the slaves' names being discussed as if the listener already met the characters. Other odd, awkward blurps pop-up throughout. Initially, I was captivated by the vivid descriptions of 18thC life in rustic Ireland and miasmic New York. This fascination was inspired by the author's rich detailing of history through the development of strong, engaging characters. However, the fire of the novel fizzles out with the fire in New York, when the narrative leaps from the 1830's to the year 2000 with some rather contrived explanations for how Cormac has lived his life in between. I wanted to know how he managed to avoid the drafts for the Civil, First, Second, Korean, and Vietnam Wars. I want to know how it is that he paid no taxes when in fact he is employed by several newspapers, and the employed have Social Security Numbers and W-2's. I wanted to know Cormac's reaction to modern technology. Although he learned the art of theater make-up to disguise his age, would that really fool people today? And, if he couldn't go to Irish/Jewish heaven without having eradicated the entire Warren line, then what was the point of his "Irish reason for living?" He knew he couldn't kill them all because he couldn't leave Manhattan. Since he hadn't fulfilled his duty by dispatching many other Warrens, why would Cormac bother with the last Warren available? There's no point to this entire storyline as Cormac doesn't seem to learn, even with the 9/11 tragedy, that bloodthristy lust in the name of familial, religious vengence results in the slaughter of innocents. What could have been an epic novel fails partly, I believe, because Hamill has one two many colliding myths and contrived exceptions to those myths moving along the story. If I had been his editor I would have tried to gently coach him into producing the epic the beginning promises.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Suwanee, GA, USA 04-02-03
    Kimberly Suwanee, GA, USA 04-02-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    134
    1
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    Overall
    "Feh."

    Neat premise, good storytelling, but the end seemed truly tacked on and ruined the experience.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Bronx, NY, United States 10-30-08
    Jennifer Bronx, NY, United States 10-30-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
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    296
    68
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    2
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    Overall
    "Eh - just OK"

    This book was just OK for me. It was entertaining and all but it wasn't one of those that you rush to get back to so you can see what happens next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew phoenix, AZ, USA 05-28-07
    Andrew phoenix, AZ, USA 05-28-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    1
    Overall
    "great book if u like new york and fables."

    I really like this book because it speaks of a life thet i feel would be so great to have lived. I bought this book while i was in new york and now decided to hear how it sounds on audio book. I think who people who have actually lived in new york will feel a greater connection to with this story but all can appreciate the great story of love, time, and destiny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 12-07-06
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 12-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
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    31
    30
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    0
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    Overall
    "Enjoyable Listen"

    This was a well written story and an easy listen. The story was interesting and I enjoyed it. The narrator was good as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 11-04-05
    fred greensboro nc 11-04-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
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    130
    80
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    3
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    Overall
    "Poor Ending"

    Great start. The historical points at the beginning and in NYC were very interesting. The author was not able to find an ending. Too quick, too easy. Entertaining all the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darrell Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA 06-25-03
    Darrell Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA 06-25-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    Overall
    "Good Book"

    I had not read anything about the book before listening to it, so I was a bit surprised when the story skipped through time with the same character. Then I realized this book was also a bit of a history lesson of NYC. I thought of my own experiences (limited) in NYC and the places the Cormac lives, works, and visits.

    I am usually a Tom Clancy/John Grisham listener...I got this book for my wife, but I ended getting into the book just as much as she did.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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