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Book Reviews of Forever

Author: Pete Hamill
ISBN-13: 9780316735698
ISBN-10: 0316735698
Publication Date: 11/2003
Pages: 640
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 111 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

31 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Forever on
Helpful Score: 6
If you liked last Fall's TV Show, Amsterdamn, you'll love this book. It follows a young irishmen, Cormac, from Ireland over to America on a mission of revenge and ends up staying for longer than he expected. You receive two stories for the price of one: his life in ireland and another life in New York. Impressions go along with detailed discriptions of the drastic changes New York has seen over the last two centuries as Cormac tries to fulfill a promise. I loved it and reread it on a regular basis.
lectio avatar reviewed Forever on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
one of those books that's almost impossible to put down.
reviewed Forever on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book was the basis for a summer TV show about a man who lived forever as long as he stayed in Manhattan. As usual, the book is better than the TV show, giving an interesting history of Ireland as well as New York City. This was a perfect vacation book-fantasy, history, love story.
rjeffers83 avatar reviewed Forever on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Forever was a book that I could not put down. The fantasy elements are blended perfectly with the historical facts about New York City. It's a great read.
reviewed Forever on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An incredibly wonderful book! I believe Pete Hamil knows and loves New York City better than Woody Allen or any other writer/artist ever has. "Forever" follows an immortal Irishman from his childhood in Ireland to his everlasting NYC life, starting in 1741 and including the WTC horror. This Midwesterner/Texas has a whole new view of New York City after reading "Forever."
reviewed Forever on + 593 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very interesting concept, and a great read
cjblue avatar reviewed Forever on
Helpful Score: 2
This is the second book I've read by this author and it was even more wonderful than the first (Snow in August). Fantastic, engaging, extremely well-researched. I know a little bit of NYC history, but I learned a little more with this book, which also puts all that history into a very personal context. Cormac O'Connor is a wonderful main character. You feel his pain and joy. Pete Hamill is an author I'll be keeping on my own shelf.
galnsearch avatar reviewed Forever on + 143 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is amongst the best books I've ever read! Extrememly well written and a page turner. A young Irishman saves a slave who turns out to be a babalawo (like a shaman). The babalawo grants him eternal life as long as he doesn't leave Manhattan. You watch the city change from the early 1700's to the present day. Reading it was like living in history.

Donna V.
reviewed Forever on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was pretty disappointed in this book. It was way to "slow." It took about a hundred pages for it to pick up, but only for another 20 pages. Then back to its slow saunter. If you like a leisurely walk in the park with no particular place to be this is your book. It's almost like Hamill is trying to write the great epic but falls short in a nondescript way. Not sure if I'll read more of his stuff.
BigGreenChair avatar reviewed Forever on + 450 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Historical fiction and fantasy mixed together; this book was a lot of fun to read. Kind of reminded me of 'The Gargoyle' simply because it was so highly unusual.
tracey13 avatar reviewed Forever on + 310 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Epic, historical fiction, romance, fantasy all describe this story. Will appeal to anyone fond of Ireland and/or Manhattan. Would you want to live forever - alone with your secret?
reviewed Forever on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It's been a long time since I've read a book I found this affecting.
It's just brilliant...
buzzby avatar reviewed Forever on + 6062 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I got sucked into this book, sort of like the drain behind my house. Some interesting perspectives on New York City, I learned a lot about the history (as well of 18th century Ireland), but the characters weren't very well developed (oh, well, I guess it isn't a chick book).
reviewed Forever on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderfully rich in vivid details of Ireland and New York and over 3 centuries. I was enchanted before it took its fantasy track but continued to find it enthralling. Couldn't put it down.
Luluette avatar reviewed Forever on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this story, but was surprised at how many major historical events were left out of the book. And the end was surprising - the option he chose wasn't one I thought he had. I was a little confused at that.
reviewed Forever on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It is the best book I have read in a long, long time. I could not put it down and wanted it to never end. However, the way it ended left me completely satisfied. Thank you, Pete Hamill.
23dollars avatar reviewed Forever on + 432 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was the September 2011 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove. I found it bone dry. The writing style was so boring, I was FOREVER YAWNING.

The plot lines felt disjointed and nonsensical, and Cormac's evolution was the same. He remained 2-dimensional for me, and I never connected with him emotionally. His sex life was overdone, and his quest to avenge his parents was just plain laughable by the end.

The story makes a huge leap in time toward the end that just sealed the deal for me. The ending was anticlimactic and had me rolling my eyes.

The premise itself had lots of potential, but the execution was very disappointing. I can't recommend it.
denneane avatar reviewed Forever on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A beautiful fairy tale spanning the ages and depicting the history of New York City. I loved this book! I kept wondering if the time span would make it to the tragedy of September 11 and was so thrilled with the outcome. Well done, Mr. Hamill.
reviewed Forever on
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent beginning, excellent middle. Rough reading between the two and I just couldn't finish it after it denigrated into a living forever, live well novel. What I did read though was very good.
reviewed Forever on + 2 more book reviews
LA Times says: "Straight from the fountain of epic adventure....If you have recently stood in line for Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, read Forever". I say: What was THAT critic thinking??!! While the author displays a detailed knowledge of New York City history, the story is dreary and way too long. Predominantly anti-Christian (with gentle swipes at other faiths), it is a far, far cry from Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, for that matter.
reviewed Forever on + 28 more book reviews
Very good historical fiction. At the end of the book, the author gives his background and thoughts behind the writing of this book.
reviewed Forever on + 47 more book reviews
Great book for traveling - wonderful story
reviewed Forever on + 14 more book reviews
This book was a national best seller. It is very well written. I would caution readers that it contains adult situations
vmachapy avatar reviewed Forever on + 215 more book reviews
his novel demands that the reader immediately suspend disbelief, but if this summons is heeded the reward will be a superior tale told by Hamill (Snow in August; A Drinking Life) in the cadence of the master storyteller. The year is 1741 and this is the story of Cormac O'Connor-"Irish, and a Jew"-who grows up in Ireland under English Protestant rule and is secretly schooled in Gaelic religion, myth and language. Seeking to avenge the murder of his father by the Earl of Warren, he follows the trail of the earl to New York City. On board ship, Cormac befriends African slave Kongo, and once in New York, the two join a rebellion against the British. After the rising is quelled, mobs take to the streets and Kongo is seized. Cormac saves Kongo from death, but is shot in the process. His recovery takes a miraculous turn when Kongo's dead priestess, Tomora, appears and grants Cormac eternal life and youth-so long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan, thus the "Forever" of the title. What follows is a portrait of the "city of memory of which Cormac was the only citizen." Cormac fights in the American Revolution, sups with Boss Tweed (in a very sympathetic portrait) and lives into the New York of 2001. In that year he warily falls in love with Delfina, a streetwise Dominican ("That was the curse attached to the gift: You buried everyone you loved"), and comes into contact with a descendant of the Earl of Warren, the newspaper publisher Willie Warren. His love, his drive for revenge and his very desire to exist are fatefully challenged on the eve and the day of September 11. This rousing, ambitious work is beautifully woven around historical events and characters, but it is Hamill's passionate pursuit of justice and compassion-Celtic in foundation-that distinguishes this tale of New York City and its myriad peoples.
confuzzledbooks avatar reviewed Forever on + 482 more book reviews
Cormac, a young irish boy, grows up in the 1800's in Ireland. He must cope with living in two different world one as a Christian hiding his other world, or true self which is true pagan Irishman. This book follow Cormac's epic life first in Ireland and later to America following a duke because of a pact he made to his family. Cormac makes a life in New York as he plans his revenge on the duke. His life is almost taken as he enacts part of his revenge. He instead is infused with immortality that only stays with him as he is within the area of Manhattan. As Cormac lives his life through history we see and learn about facts we may have never thought of happening in the U.S.

This book was pleasantly not what I expected. To me there was a lot of heart in the description in the regions that Cormac lived in and in the way he viewed thing. Many of the things that happen over years, such as slavery, wars, and rise of New York City as we know it, were explained in a way I never really thought of.

In many other reviews people did not like how long the intro to Cormac life growing up in Ireland was or how quickly time past in New York, especially once you were starting to like a character and then they would be gone. To me these were the things I liked. I loved the way Cormac's life started in Ireland. It reminded me of my visit to Ireland although Cormac was there much earlier in time. When he was in New York as time past and he met friends, lovers and learned different trades he lived life. Sometimes life was boring, sometimes it was more interesting and sometimes he stayed distant to people because well he was immortal. They were going to eventually pass and he was not.

Some of the blurbs say this book is as good as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. That is high praise. I understand the comparison and it is a good book, very good book but maybe not as good as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I would recommend this book as one your going to want to reread and hope for sequels.
csa avatar reviewed Forever on + 45 more book reviews
One of Hamill's best.
buzzby avatar reviewed Forever on + 6062 more book reviews
I enjoyed the first 100 pages, it gave a good feel for an exotic place.
reviewed Forever on + 55 more book reviews
The best thing I've read all year. Fantastic fiction.
reviewed Forever on
Super book. I live in New York and take the subway to work every day, which is my main reading time. This book is so engrossing that I almost missed my stop numerous times! That is my indication that a book is hard to put down. A must read for New Yorkers due to it's brilliant review of the City's diverse history, combined with a great story.
reviewed Forever on + 60 more book reviews
This story of a man who lives for more than 200 years grabs you from the very first chapter. It's intriguing in that usually stories that span centuries feature generations of characters while this novel has one character who endures the many years. Feel free to email with any questions. ~LeAnn
reviewed Forever on + 13 more book reviews
According to the review Forever is a magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains...forever. Through the eyes of young Cormac O'Connor--granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan--we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today.