garth risk hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg Brings His City to Ours

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One would be forgiven for feeling a bit wary of the bigness of City on Fire, the much-heralded debut from novelist Garth Risk Hallberg. Clocking in at over 900 pages, this substantial novel has reviewers using terms like “epic,” “sweeping,” “ambitious,” and even, as the The New York Times called it, “Dickension.” Then there are the stories about how it came to be published — how it sold in a hot bidding war two years ago for nearly $2 million to Knopf, with film rights purchased by producer Scott Rudin. When a novel and its writer burst onto the scene under the weight of all those great expectations (sorry, we had to), it might seem more than any book could carry. Gracefully and impressively, Hallberg proves that City on Fire can do it. Read the rest of this entry »