City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg - review by Oscar Rickett

Oscar Rickett

Manhattan Murder Mystery

City on Fire


Jonathan Cape 912pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

The literary epic remains the talk of the literary town. If the popularity of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Elena Ferrante has somehow passed you by, then here comes the American Garth Risk Hallberg, with his 900-plus-page City on Fire, which brings together an assortment of disparate but interconnected characters set against the burning, decaying, enlivening backdrop of 1970s New York. 

The arrival of this book has been trumpeted for a while. The fact that it was going to be very, very long and very, very epic has formed the backbone of a years-long marketing campaign that has, at every point, highlighted the sheer scale of what Hallberg is trying to

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