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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

The long-awaited audiobook from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression.

Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.

Years later her father has disappeared, and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister.

At a nightclub she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.

Mesmerising, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organised crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan's first historical audiobook is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent audiobook by one of the greatest writers of our time.

©2017 Jennifer Egan (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Read it before they ruin it with a film version

Great listen. Interesting story set against the background of what life was like for women working for the war effort on the docks of New York, about gangsters, about the unions, about the warships. A thriller, a love story, a weepie.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie
  • 04-08-18

A clever and intriguing novel

Set in wartime USA, the book is a tale of relationship and interwoven lives.
It is also a tale of the struggle to survive. The characters are well crafted, subtle, and well rounded.
Anna, her father and her father's employer are the central characters, their relationships complicated and interwoven.
I was captivated by the wonderful story and the performances.
I will seek out more books by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Natasha L
  • 02-26-18

I just didn’t get it!

Meandering and long. I very much missed the point of it. Was something supposed to have happened?!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • bookylady
  • 04-22-18

It could have been great but somehow it wasn't.

This was an exasperating book. I had high expectations of it since the author had previously won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. But somehow this was a story that did not really catch fire and capture the imagination or the heart. I was left feeling 'what was the point of all that?'

The performances were really good, each narrator adding depth and nuance to the story. The overall premise of the plot was good and provided interesting insights into the world of organised crime in New York City and the work of civilian divers and munitions workers in World War II. But there were whole sections that flagged and dragged and I felt that the overall story could have been improved by more editing.

The characters were well thought out and believable until the very end. But the cliched ending of a strong, feisty, independent women ending up in unwanted, unplanned pregnancy and a good-time-girl turning into an earth mother was not only disappointing but absolutely infuriating. It felt like the author had run out of ideas on what to do with these women.

If I had to sum up this book in one word it would have to be 'disappointing.'

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rona Hunnisett
  • 02-16-18

Book of the year

Loved it! Great performances, great pace, amazing use of language and a compelling story. 10/10

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • sara
  • 02-15-18

MANHATTAN BEACH

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES SUCH A MATURE IN DEPTH LAYERED STORY

Who was your favorite character and why?

MAIN CHARACTER

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

DIDNT DETRACT FROM THE CHARACTERS

Any additional comments?

SUCH A BRILLIANT STORY FULL OF LAYERS AND WISTS AND TURNS

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 01-23-18

The New York Novel

Great work, joins the pantheon of classic New York novels. Anna is a searing character, nuanced and interesting. Plot throws in some light twists but I read it more as literature of the period and the city than a conventional mystery. Recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 01-09-18

Mixed and varied - but interesting

Quite an unusual subject and one which has been well captured by the author. It was well narrated and a pleasure to listen to.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • holly bird
  • 12-14-17

Entertaining, but doesn't hit the mark.

Found the narrative rolled along well and kept me listening, but the sum of the whole story was fairly weak. Enjoyed the diving detail.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Compass
  • 11-28-17

Stunning.

After a slightly slow start, this book had me on the edge of my seat. The story and characters were original and fully rounded. I emphasised with them all so cared what happened next. Often I thought I knew what was about to happen. Sometimes I was right. But always there were twists and shocks that stunned and surprised me.
The narration was excellent with different actors taking over as the narration moved between the key characters. I always knew who was who.
Highly recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • clive
  • 11-05-17

Gripping and beautifully written

Another great novel from Jennifer Egan. Gripping and beautifully written - with a strong evocation of wartime New York and some fantastic set piece scenes. It's more linear and careful than 'A Visit From The Goon Squad' - if that novel was 'Pulp Fiction' this one is 'Jackie Brown' but highly recommended.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Avril
  • 01-05-18

It's an easy listen

I love the social history and would have loved some more to help pad out the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • 11-22-17

Wonderful story and narration.

really enjoyed this story. great characters and story line. loved the water element throughout and the diving descriptions.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Holding
  • 05-17-18

great book

made my daily commute very enjoyable. the story was very expansive and the description of the scenes incredible. Good job.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 05-11-18

The audio narrators were brilliant !

This was so enjoyable - I marvel at the 1930’s-NY & Brooklyn language, which was brought to life by the narrators (2) true storytelling.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-27-18

stick with it

The story is great but the naration ordinary. Starts very mechanical but does get better or I got used to it.