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Tabloid City

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,098 ratings  ·  242 reviews
In a stately West Village town house, a wealthy socialite and her secretary are murdered. In the 24 hours that follow, a flurry of activity surrounds their shocking deaths:

The head of one of the city's last tabloids stops the presses. A cop investigates the killing. A reporter chases the story. A disgraced hedge fund manager flees the country. An Iraq War vet seeks revenge
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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I really wanted to like this book because of the way it's set up; lots of different peoples' stories converging. I usually love stories like that, a la Traffic or Babel. But this one seemed a bit forced. There were some characters in it whose presence I didn't really understand, like Beverly. There were times when the characters' stream of conscious thinking got tedious and boring. And the sentence structure was the main thing that annoyed me - they were staccato and difficult to read. The fluid ...more
I love Pete Hamill and I felt so comfortable immediately as I got into 'his' New York'...but, it was just too much; too jagged. What I ADORED about 'Forever' was that you were pulled into the voice of the story and were thrilled and heart-broken as it unraveled - and in the midst of all this! NEW YORK reveled. Great. In this book, neither happens - yes New York is happening but it seems so contrived w/ the modern-day take: newspapers vs web, in depth vs ... I was bored w/ that and, in fact, 'rea ...more
I thought this would be a mystery but even with several murders, I was wrong. It is an epitaph for newspapers, newsrooms and reporters as they used to be. I found it poignant, eloquent and, most of all, heartbreaking. I have no idea how other readers will see this book but if you've ever spent time in a newsroom -- back before computers and the internet -- this book is a fitting farewell. -30-
Denise Dougherty
If I've read Pete Hamill before it was years ago and don't recall. Tabloid City was a farewell to newspapers, editors, and reporters as well as the NYC that used to be. The story (IMHO) is a good-bye offered up by all the characters to the life they knew - some inevitable others with a sudden, surprising drama. While some reviewers of this book didn't like the many characters woven into the story, it worked for me as a large city dweller where, ultimately, many paths cross. No happy ending here ...more
I love Pete Hamill's writing and if I were a New Yorker I may have given this one 4 stars. As a mid-westerner who has only been to NYC a few times I'm sure I missed a lot of the references to landmarks and restaurants and people. This story takes place in a 24 hour period in winter in NYC. The main character is Sam Briscoe, a 71 year old veteran newspaper man. The story is part murder mystery/thriller and part elegy for the death of print journalism. It is a story of loss and loneliness and "mov ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Set in New York City, Tabloid City by Pete Hamill follows a myriad of characters, at least 16, for one 24 hour period. Each new section in the novel lists the time, character, and location. Sam Briscoe, the 71-year-old editor in chief of the New York World is the central voice of the novel. The voices of each character are followed as the action all culminates in one location.

Characters include: Sam Briscoe, editor of the New York World; Josh Thompson, a disgruntled, disabled war veteran; Helen
A lot can happen in 24 hours anywhere. Certainly it can in the city of New York where strangers and friends can intersect in many different ways. Life can begin and end, both metaphorically and literally, in this complex interlocking tale created by Pete Hamill.

There are several major players in this 278 page novel. One is Sam Briscoe, age 71, editor in chief of the tabloid newspaper New York World. It is midnight as the book opens and Briscoe’s focus is on the still to be finished edition. News
Pete Hamill's Tabloid City is like book turned into a poetic mural about New York City. I loved the way that he weaved together so many different stories into such a great treasure.

He starts off with the city room of the New York World and the Editor in Chief, 71 year old Editor in chief, Sam Briscoe looking for the "wood" (the big story of the issue). I loved the references to the newsrooms of the past and the feeling of nostalgia. There was sort of a gritty romance with the city. With the Inte
Tabloid City is a day-in-the-life kind of novel that only Pete Hamill could write. Set in New York City, it follows a handful of characters in alternating "datelines" over the course of roughly 24 hours.

The main character, Sam Briscoe, an aging editor of a struggling afternoon tabloid, appears to be modeled on Hamill himself. Briscoe obviously loves the newspaper business, but has serious concerns for its future. He is also an advocate of libraries and reading. Through his childhood memories and
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I wanted to read this because I so enjoyed his North River. His characterizations are quite good, including his characterizaton of New York City. I had to change planes once at La Guardia, but, other than that, I'll likely never visit New York City, so he is one of the ways to get to know it.

This was a good story, good characterizations. The format was difficult however. The story takes place on a single winter day. We are given a time, person, place, followed by a few paragraphs. Then a new tim

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “tabloid” as

A newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form, usually with illustrated, often sensational material.


1. In summary form; condensed.
2. Lurid or sensational.

TABLOID CITY has an unusual and addictive format. The reader is lured into going just one more entry, just one more entry………. until, too soon, the book is finished. That the story isn’t finished explains why the book should not be.
TABLOID CITY is divided int
As a tabloid survivor, I probably come at "Tabloid City" with a more critical eye than most. If the newsroom atmosphere felt artificial, I wouldn't be able to stomach the book. But I felt Hamill really conveyed what it feels like when the city is gripped by a huge story -- a double murder at a good address, in this case. He also gets what it feels like to be new to the game, how new reporters feel when they get their NYPD press pass or score the Wood. (Though I don't know many folks who have scr ...more
Pete Hamill is one of my favorite authors and he has yet to disappoint me. The author used a very clever format. The story follows a motley cast of New York inhabitants over a twenty-four period. The central character, Sam Briscoe, is the editor of The New York World. During the course of the day, his beloved newspaper turns into a website and the love of his life has met a horrible tragedy. Add an imminent terrorist attack and a vindictive blogger to the mix and you have 278 sensational pages! ...more
Very exciting story told in several voices, sort of like Crash or Babble. The main voices work at a NYC tabloid. A crime occurs and the story begins . . .
Kim McGee
I love Pete Hamill's other books. "Forever" is one of my go to recommend books! Tabloid City is still filled with wonderful sections of writing that is pure Hamill but the style is so disjointed that I had a hard time keeping up with the main plot. It jumps from character to character and what they are doing at a particular time so you find yourself going back a few pages to try and remember what that person was last doing. Maybe New Yorkers can function like that but for me, I found it to be a ...more
I'm not sure how I felt about this book. I love Pete Hamill, this was very different from his usual style of telling a complex story of 2 or 3 main characters, front to back. This was a story told front to back, just with many different characters and how in a city as large and diverse as New York City people's actions impact others. The characters were interesting and there could have been more of a story told with each. I wonder if there was a pile of character sketches Hamill couldn't fit int ...more
“Tabloid City” overlaps the lives of several New Yorkers into one night and day. One crime, multiple stories of the lives of those involved in some way in the murders of two New York women. The pace is fast and takes the reader on a journey through present day and past New York. I have always wanted to go to New York City, and even more so now that I’ve read this book.
Not the same form as others by Pete Hamill, but so very NYC that I can't help liking it. His main character's last name is Briscoe. I have a couple of thoughts on that. Is it a homage to the character played by Jerry Orhbach on Law and Order for so many years? And it's Hamill, himself.
A.a. Patawaran
Tabloid City is a celebration of the short sentence, a few hundred words written to tell a story that happens over the course of 24 hours to a handful of characters in New York City. Its violence is reflected in the staccato sentences, snappy like bullets, but between the lines, in the brief silences within the thunder of violence, the seething of rage, the busyness that masks solitude and loneliness, is a lot of introspection no different from the thoughts you cannot keep from invading your min ...more
Pete Hamill makes the streets of New York City speak, the newsroom breathe and my heart ache for losses I have only experienced through his pages.
An extraordinary storyteller.
I began this novel with hesitation and was initially depressed by its dark themes. I persevered and soon became captivated,my negative feelings lifted and I soaked up this story.
Pete Hamill writes true love letters to New York City and to newsroom journalism. True love encompasses the good and the bad. He embraces the gri
Classic Pete Hamill. While it is not in the same league as North River or Forever, Hamill has the same wonderful descriptive prose, clearly defined characters and marvelously evocative scenes of New York. The book takes place in 2011, post 9/11, post recession New York. All the pertinent players are present: the fleeing hedge fund manager, the illegal, hardworking immigrant, the benevolent society woman, and most of all, Sam Briscoe, editor of the soon to be closed daily paper, The World. Throw ...more
Kathryn Bashaar
This book made me think of a quote that I think is from Hemingway: "Life has a way of breaking everyone. And afterwards some are strong at the broken places." This is certainly a book about loss. Almost every character in the book loses something significant in the 24 hours covered by the story. And the only exception had already experienced a profound loss. Not all of them will be strong at the broken places. Many of the characters are in late mid-life and nostalgic for the world of their past ...more
Kim Berkshire
A 4.5 star rating, really. Enjoyed it immensely, but wasn't the page turner I thought it would be. Being a former reporter, the details of the newsroom and the characters inside it made me sad for what has been lost. (Plus I had just watched the final episode of Friday Night Lights, so I was feeling a bit melancholy anyway.)
I agree with some of the reviews in that I thought several extraneous characters didn't seem to move the plot along. However, I LOVED Beverly Starr and her comic book creatio
AdultFiction Teton County Library
TCL Call#: Fiction HAMILL

Staff Name = 5 stars
This book was an engaging, quick read. After reading an interview in Writer Magazine with Pete Hamill, I picked up his latest book of fiction, Tabloid City. It's organized in short sections with headers determining the perspective (a character), the location in NYC, and the time of day, since the book occurs over the course of 24 hours. I love books that bring seemingly unconnected characters together over the course of unraveling events. Hamill is kn
Tom Gase
A pretty good read by Pete Hamill, one of my favorite authors/reporters of all time. Not as good as his classic "Snow in August" or his memoir, "A Drinking Life" but a little better than the other two I've read by him, "North River" and "Forever".
What this book has going for it--description. I have only been to NY for a combined four days in my life, but it feels like I am there when reading Hamill in "Tabloid City." Also, this book deals with one day and how the press handles a certain murder.
It's Pete Hamill at his one captures the sights and sounds of New York,'the city that never sleeps' as well as Hamill. It will take a little patience to tie together all the threads of this story. He introduces you to so many characters that it will take you a little time to start to see how the characters will all play a role in this evolving tale. But in a short time , I promise you, it will all come together. Basically it is a murder mystery with a large cast of personalities tha ...more
Two years ago I read Hamill's epic love story to New York City, Forever. It was sweeping in scope, covering three hundred years of history with a raucous, bewildering narrative that included a lovely supernatural touch.

Tabloid City is yet another Hamill ode to Gotham, but as hardboiled and literal as Forever is epic and ethereal. It covers a twenty-four hour period in the life of a cruel and unforgiving city, the final twenty-four hours in print of one its iconic newspapers: New York World.

A violent crime draws together a cast of characters that find themselves interconnected in other ways. The crime, the intertwined social network, and these unusual characters give us an unsentimental picture of New York during the recession. We meet:

* Lew Forrest of the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, an aging and successful painter who has lost his sight. His closest companion is Camus, a black labrador;
* Cynthia Harding of Greenwich Village, a socialite particularly committed to the New York Ci
Suzanne Moore
Sam Briscoe is a New York journalist. Cynthia Harding, the love of his life, is murdered. He would have been around to prevent this maybe, but he was covering a story. Throughout Hamill's book an eclectic cast of characters are introduced, at first with no obvious or recent connection. In fact there are short descriptive scenarios that either elude to current news while reflecting on the past, or overlap with what is actually happening in the city. The mix of characters are like six degrees of s ...more
I have read and loved several other Pete Hamill novels and short stories and have always enjoyed the way he brings his characters to life and particularly the way he makes New York practically a character as well. His love and knowledge of the city is apparent in all of the books I have read. In reading the summary and reviews of "Tabloid City" it seemed like it would be a sure thing that I would love this to, however this book was unlike his others. For starters, given the focus of life in the ...more
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Pete Hamill is a novelist, essayist and journalist whose career has endured for more than forty years. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1935, the oldest of seven children of immigrants from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Catholic schools as a child. He left school at 16 to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheetmetal worker, and then went on to the United States Navy. While serving in t ...more
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Forever Snow in August North River A Drinking Life: A Memoir Downtown: My Manhattan

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“Just like that. Gone forever. They will not grow old together. They will never live on a beach by the sea, their hair turned white, dancing in a living room to Billie Holiday or Nat Cole. They will not enter a New York club at midnight and show the poor hip-hop fools how to dance. They will not chuckle together over the endless folly of the world, its vanities and stupid ambitions. They will not hug each other in any chilly New York dawn.
Oh, Mary Lou.
My baby.
My love.”
“The only way to fight nostalgia is to listen to somebody else's nostalgia” 5 likes
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