Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach is a long, dense novel. Fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad, like me, will miss the humor, acerbic tone, and post-modern experimental nature of her writing there. This book is much more sober and direct in its approach to historical fiction. It is much more plotted, focused on three main characters, and heavily, heavily researched.

I enjoyed, in particular, Anna’s experience learning how to be a member of the Naval industry, the descriptions of Brooklyn in 40s and 50s and the allegorical themes about water, memory, time and feeling lost. Egan’s writing style and ability to describe feelings and set scenes is wonderful, as well.

I didn’t, however, care very much about the characters. Especially Dexter Styles and Eddie Kerrigan.

I’ll show up again for Jennifer Egan’s next book, for her brilliant writing. And because this profile of her in The New Yorker endeared me to her very much.