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Westside: A Novel av W. M. Akers
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Westside: A Novel (urspr publ 2019; utgåvan 2019)

av W. M. Akers (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
1447143,881 (3.31)Ingen/inga
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year! "The Alienist meets The City & The City in this brilliant debut that mixes fantasy and mystery. Gilda Carr's 'tiny mysteries' pack a giant punch." --David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art A young detective who specializes in "tiny mysteries" finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan's Westside--a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents--that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman. It's 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside--an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave. It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home. Slightly built, but with a will of iron, Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can't answer: "How did my father die?" Yet on Gilda's Westside, tiny mysteries end in blood--even the case of a missing white leather glove. Mrs. Copeland, a well-to-do Eastside housewife, hires Gilda to find it before her irascible merchant husband learns it is gone. When Gilda witnesses Mr. Copeland's murder at a Westside pier, she finds herself sinking into a mire of bootlegging, smuggling, corruption--and an evil too dark to face. All she wants is to find one dainty ladies' glove. She doesn't want to know why this merchant was on the wrong side of town--or why he was murdered in cold blood. But as she begins to see the connection between his murder, her father's death, and the darkness plaguing the Westside, she faces the hard truth: she must save her city or die with it. Introducing a truly remarkable female detective, Westside is a mystery steeped in the supernatural and shot through with gunfights, rotgut whiskey, and sizzling Dixieland jazz. Full of dazzling color, delightful twists, and truly thrilling action, it announces the arrival of a wonderful new talent.… (mer)
Medlem:juliangraham
Titel:Westside: A Novel
Författare:W. M. Akers (Författare)
Info:Harper Voyager (2019), 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Westside: A Novel av W. M. Akers (2019)

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Visa 1-5 av 7 (nästa | visa alla)
I give Westside points for imagination and atmosphere, but the book is overlong and its heroine's hairsbreadth escapes and continued survival against all odds test even my suspension of disbelief. The setting is New York City of 1921, a city now separated by a wall running down Broadway for the length of Manhattan. In the Westside, people disappear in alarming numbers and 24th Street is the dividing line between the parts of the city run by two chieftains--one male, one female, who as we'll discover, have a long history. By the end of the book, the author has succeeded in tying pretty much every character to one another, but it just becomes more and more implausible. The heroine, a detective who only works on "tiny mysteries", in this case a missing glove, is likable and her first person narration is engaging, though perhaps a bit overwrought, especially in the audio version I listened to. The story is sensational enough; the narrator would have done better to read it a little less expressively. As I said at the beginning, there is a lot of imagination here, and the depictions of both sides of the city, the prospering, "normal" East Side and the mysterious West Side, are very well done. There are lots of memorable characters along the way, and some of them we wish we could get to know a bit better. (But there's a sequel, so I guess readers who can put up with more of this will get to do so.) Toward the end, the author introduces the biggest twist of all, which I won't spoil for you, but I just don't think it works. It all becomes just too ridiculous by the time of the last gunfire and explosions. I can't really recommend it. ( )
  datrappert | Aug 1, 2020 |
Gilda Carr is a fantastic detective protagonist and the strange and terrifying world Akers builds is endlessly fascinating. His twisted version of 1921 New York feels natural and organic while simultaneously being precisely *correct*: nothing ever feels out of place, or makes you stop to question the internal logic. I might have done with approximately 1.75 fewer characters to keep track of, considering that "Westside" isn't a tome by any stretch, but that's a quibble. ( )
  wearyhobo | Jun 22, 2020 |
Gllda's New York of 1920 is a divided city, with the west side derelict and the east side more affluent and recognizable. People have been mysteriously disappearing, including her police officer father two years earlier, and she is determined to save her west side and herself from being swallowed up by shadows. With various forces competing for dominance, bootlegged booze and guns, gangs, and conflicting loyalties, Gilda faces powerful odds for herself and her city. ( )
  sleahey | Mar 15, 2020 |
Fascinating worldbuilding and rich historical detail enrich this adventure story. There is, however, a paucity of connective character development that makes the resulting story feel more like a sequence of vignettes than a novel.

For example, the main character, Gilda, has (had?) an intimate relationship with a character nicknamed Cupid, with whom she has a hilarious inside joke about roast beef that is also a critical character development point for Gilda, but their scenes lack the detail and dialogue that would give necessary clues to the read about their emotional connection and history. Gilda's closest female friend has several distinctive quirks but little back-story to connect the quirks, several behaviors unique to her but few details that clarify what place her friendship with Gilda occupies in either character's life. A caretaker/housekeeper figure has wonderfully colorful reactions to the troubles that invade Gilda's home life, but neither dialogue nor specific moments give the reader a fully dimensional feel for the relationship or for the character's motivations.

The metaphysics of Gilda's world become startlingly clear for one moment late in the book, but this, like the identity of Gilda's father's killer, lacks anchoring in the story. Portions of Gilda's house vanish throughout the book, but other than references to those specific absences and some broad scenery points like the presence of a lighthouse and brightly kept bonfires in an adjacent neighborhood, the story lacks reminders that characters navigate these absences. Were this a film rather than a book, the camera could provide such information wherever the story does not signify it, but the result in text is more the idea of impressionism or magical realism than a story created with such techniques.

Does the story merit telling? I kept reading long after I became deeply confused about which characters might do what next, and thus unable to feel any of Gilda's convictions with regard to the facts of her father's death, because the mystery itself and the history and alternate history were fascinating. The conceptual work of creating plausible gangs in a fantastical Manhattan made me want to experience their interactions. Do the metaphysics support a story? They clearly can. The infrequency of transitions and of dialogue clues or metonymic signifiers that work in place of exposition in cinematically written stories, however, drains this realization of this story of the compelling quality it could have had with a few more beta readings or better editorship.

PS: Will bookmark the author, because I'm hoping this was just a premature release of a wonderful debut. The alternate history built into the fantastic element really is that good, and the switchbacks on Gilda's path to answers really are that tantalizing. ( )
  Nialle | Feb 29, 2020 |
The first few chapters of this book were really promising: the main character is a detective who only solves tiny mysteries. As the book opens, she's trying to track down a lost glove. The book is set in New York City in the early 20th century, but it's an alternate history where the west side of New York has been altered by some strange phenomenon that makes people disappear and nature fight back. Only a few brave people live on the west side, which is mostly overrun by forest.

The premise was all laid out clearly, but after that, I just kept getting really confused. This might be because I listened to the audiobook. There are a lot of characters, and some of them will be out of the narrative for a few chapters and then show up again, and I was really confused about who the characters were. There were several times where there was a big reveal of who did something, and every time I was just completely lost about who that person was. It might have been easier to keep them straight if I had been able to flip back through the book and remind myself who they were. However, I think that if Akers had done a better job of bringing the characters to life or giving the reader some more reminders of who everyone was, I would have been able to follow the story better. ( )
  Gwendydd | Dec 21, 2019 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
W. M. Akersprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Corrigan, OwenOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I stole a glove.
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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year! "The Alienist meets The City & The City in this brilliant debut that mixes fantasy and mystery. Gilda Carr's 'tiny mysteries' pack a giant punch." --David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder As a Fine Art A young detective who specializes in "tiny mysteries" finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan's Westside--a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents--that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman. It's 1921, and a thirteen-mile fence running the length of Broadway splits the island of Manhattan, separating the prosperous Eastside from the Westside--an overgrown wasteland whose hostility to modern technology gives it the flavor of old New York. Thousands have disappeared here, and the respectable have fled, leaving behind the killers, thieves, poets, painters, drunks, and those too poor or desperate to leave. It is a hellish landscape, and Gilda Carr proudly calls it home. Slightly built, but with a will of iron, Gilda follows in the footsteps of her late father, a police detective turned private eye. Unlike that larger-than-life man, Gilda solves tiny mysteries: the impossible puzzles that keep us awake at night; the small riddles that destroy us; the questions that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. Those tiny cases distract her from her grief, and the one impossible question she knows she can't answer: "How did my father die?" Yet on Gilda's Westside, tiny mysteries end in blood--even the case of a missing white leather glove. Mrs. Copeland, a well-to-do Eastside housewife, hires Gilda to find it before her irascible merchant husband learns it is gone. When Gilda witnesses Mr. Copeland's murder at a Westside pier, she finds herself sinking into a mire of bootlegging, smuggling, corruption--and an evil too dark to face. All she wants is to find one dainty ladies' glove. She doesn't want to know why this merchant was on the wrong side of town--or why he was murdered in cold blood. But as she begins to see the connection between his murder, her father's death, and the darkness plaguing the Westside, she faces the hard truth: she must save her city or die with it. Introducing a truly remarkable female detective, Westside is a mystery steeped in the supernatural and shot through with gunfights, rotgut whiskey, and sizzling Dixieland jazz. Full of dazzling color, delightful twists, and truly thrilling action, it announces the arrival of a wonderful new talent.

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