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Manhattan Love Song

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Nothing beats a tale of fatalistic dread by the supreme master of suspense, Cornell Woolrich. His novels and hundreds of short stories define the essence of noir nihilism.-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review The father of modern noir first wanted to be the second F. Scott Fitzgerald. This 1932 novel brilliantly showcases Cornell Woolrich's transition from modern ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Pegasus Books (first published 1980)
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Antonius Block
In his early days, Woolrich sought to become the second Fitzgerald and penned a half dozen jazz age novels before turning to the pulps and forming his distinctive noir style. Manhattan Love Song is a transitional novel, the last of his jazz age novels that at the same time introduces some of the darker themes he would begin to employ regularly in what was to come.

Woolrich is probably the best example of a noir writer who was decidedly NOT a hard-boiled writer. Those two terms tend to get confla
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
MANHATTAN LOVE SONG. (1932). Cornell Woolrich. ***1/2.
Woolrich spins a tale of a man’s love for a woman that goes beyond all bounds of reason. Through an accidental encounter on the street, Wade meets Bernice, and falls instantly in love with her. Although he is already married to Maxine, that no longer matters, and he is eager to throw over his eight year union in order to spend more time with Bernice. His love is like no other love you have encountered in fiction before. It is unbelievable. He
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Li by: Ben Smythe
Shelves: read-fiction
When you read noir, you just can't help but to fall on the side of the hapless hero--wait, anti-hero? Vacillating around with your conscious just hoping the hero-anti-hero would calm down and just not go fourth with whatever incriminating idea that is on the verge of creation. But then you stop and think, "Poor guy, he doesn't know any better", or you just simply finally result to labeling the hero-anti-hero a fool. There were many time's I laughed reading this--it's damn good. I read it over an ...more
Gerald Kinro
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Wade a young married man falls in love with a girlfriend of the mob. His obsession is so strong that he cannot back off even when all sense tells him to. So he must face the consquences.

This is an early work. The barometer I use are Woolrich’s later great works of noir. The beginning was a little too flowery. I suspect he was trying very hard to be another Fitzgerald. Still he was, as a writer, a work in progress when this was written. A definite must read for a Woolrich fan to see where he came
Fraser Sherman
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Frustrating to give this one such a poor rating. Woolrich writes superbly in his first published book, but the protagonist of this noirish romance is an abusive spouse who mentions in passing that he steps on his wife's feet and throws scalding hot coffee on her to remind her who's boss. At the time, I guess this would have qualified him as a flawed protagonist, but I have absolutely zero sympathy, which is a dealbreaker in a romance.
Lukas Persson
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
The lead in this book is insufferable. He's such an idiotic, self-centered character, I'm surprised I like this book at all, but it was well written, and with an engaging story, be it pretty simple.
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: noir-and-pulp
The protagonist is an unsympathetic idiot at best and a contemptible cad at worst, but the story is engrossing and the draw of an impending train-wreck kept me reading to the very end. The book is well written, if obviously a product of its time both in style and substance.
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first noir from a notable pulp author. After attempting Jazz Age prose a la F. Scott Fitzgerald, Woolrich turned to dark mysteries. This is a tale of doomed lovers in Manhattan in the 1930s. Rather grim ending but a good period piece.
Matt Phillips
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A tremendous noir––Woolrich crafts a first person descent into forbidden love and murder (kind of).
May 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
I have to admit, I didn't even get into this book. From the first chapter I thought it was crude and disgusting. I had no desire to continue reading.
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Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. The author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many of which were turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Waltz Into Darkness, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began his career in the 1920s writing mainstream novels that won ...more
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