City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
This is a book that should be savored in small bites instead of plunging into its hefty 900 plus pages. While the story centers on a shooting of a young girl in Central Park and events before the big blackout of the summer of 1977, it is really the characters that carry the storyline. Each, like the city itself, is flawed. The wealthy family with the screwed up kids, a love affair between a gentle soul and a rich reckless heroin addict, two young people who start out following a punk rock band which goes to a dark side they didn't expect - these are the stories that make up the city on fire. It is a love affair with the underbelly of New York City and the distaste for people who have power and money and still waste their lives. "City on Fire" is a beautiful portrayal of a flawed system with flawed people- like finding a flower growing between the cracks of the sidewalk next to a crack house.
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