Book Review: Forever by Pete Hamill

What this book is about: 

This rich fantasy follows Cormac O’Connor as his life takes him from Ireland to New York City in 1740… and right through until today. He is granted immortality, but only under the condition that he never leaves the island of Manhattan.

What I liked: 

I loved the slow build up from the beginning. At first, it appears that nothing is happening, but SO MUCH is actually happening and setting up for the rest of the book. I loved Cormac and his family immediately and was drawn in from the first few pages.

What I didn’t like: 

The muddy middle struck here, I thought. When Cormac reaches the “Gangs of New York” section of the book (as I call it), it really fell for me. I don’t know if this was an intentional thing, where Cormac lost his direction a bit and therefore the book reflected that or if the book really just lost a bit of direction. In any case, that entire section of the story didn’t really work all that well for me. I loved the movie Gangs of New York, and maybe that colored it? I’m not really sure.

Overall thoughts and opinions: 

I bought this book as research for my own long-time-period fantasy novel. I have been trying to search out stories that span hundreds or thousands of years, and unfortunately, haven’t been all that successful in finding stories. It’s been a frustrating search. In any case, I came across this story, which spans just over 350 years. I wanted to see how others have tackled long time spans in their books, so that I can make mine the best it can be.

I enjoyed this story from the very beginning, and other than a slump in the middle, I enjoyed it up to the very end. I found myself torn at the ending – which path should he choose? I think that I might have been satisfied with either direction, but who knows? I found the end very believable and satisfying. This is a book I’ll probably read again.

I give Forever 5 stars.

5 star rating

Learn more about the book and the author.