Pete Hamill’s “Tabloid City,” is a breathtaking and suspenseful eulogy to New York City and to a time when if you wanted to read a book you went to a bookstore to buy it, when you browsed a news stand for magazines and printed newspapers like the New York Times, The Post, The Daily News, and in this this novel “The World.” When libraries were free of computers, and you went there to read and check out books.
The book takes place about ten years after the ‘The World Trade Centers,’ were destroyed and people were suspicious of radical Muslims. Iraqi war veterans, crippled and disabled, look for shelter against the cold weather in the corner of buildings or in churches.
The heart and soul of the novel is Cynthia Harding, a middle age, philanthropist whose main love in life is books and libraries, and it is through her and her connections that we witness the demise of a printed newspaper that has become a website, the tearing down of beautiful old buildings and replaced by glass towers, the lost comradship of the news room and reporters, and the ability to use a computer as a major requirement if one wants a good job.
Like I have said in other reviews of Mr. Hamill’s works, no novelist I have read knows NYC like Mr. Hamill… not just the people that live in Manhattan but the people and cultures of the four other Boroughs that make up the city.
“Tabloid City,” is a real marvel and I highly, highly recommend it.