City on Fire City on Fire question


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Looking for discussions on symbolism and depth of book
Erin Glover Erin Jun 12, 2016 07:39AM
I'm trying to find discussions about City on Fire which I just finished. I'm not sure where to look. I noticed lots of symbolism. For example, the pigeons that gathered first in the East Village and then moved to the Hamilton Sweeney Building. Little Will sees many birds gathered in the Park the night his parents cannot find him. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the meaning of this symbolism, for starters. This was a deep and complicated book and Id love to hear others' thoughts.



Hey there!
I read City on Fire in May 2016. This long-form novel (900+)
never flagged or felt as if the author was dragging the story out when he should have ended sooner. A great read, engrossing. I too think of the story line often.
As to a site to help with symbolism try: Bookish; Open Library, Litlovers...
Looking forward to his next work.


Hi Erin, Just seeing your post today. I can't answer your question about the pigeons (I read the book too long ago) but I can relate to your love of the book. I still think about it even though I read it after it first came out. It is my favorite book. Nothing compares. I lived in Manhattan during the time period. Hallberg describes the energy, smell, tension, glory of the time. I did not want the book to end. I read slower and slower as I went along to make it last forever. Now every couple of months I research whether someone is making a film based on it.


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