Pete Hamill

Synopsis of Forever

This is the magical, epic tale of Cormac O'Connor, who arrives in New York City from Ireland in 1741 and remains, well, forever. For Cormac has been given the gift of immortality, but only on the condition that he never leave the island of Manhattan. Through Cormac's eyes, we watch the city transform from a burgeoning settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the romantic, gaslit world of Edith Wharton's time, and finally to the pulsing, thriving metropolis of the present day. But this is also Cormac's story, as he explores the mysteries of time and immortality, death and loss, sex and love. Though his life is proof of enduring magic, the living of it takes place in a world that can be gloriously, or terribly, real.

Reviews of Forever


Those who want fiction to shed much light on complexity of character or moral ambiguity, will want to look elsewhere. But if you have recently stood in line for "Harry Potter" or "Lord of the Rings," read this tale. -- Kai Maristed, LA Times

"Forever" is at once a swashbuckling, ribald tale told with flair and, sometimes, unbridled emotion. At the same time it is a serious look at what makes a city more than just bricks and mortar. -- Tom Walker, Denver Post

One of the chief flaws of novels this thick is that they usually suffer from what I call "The Forrest Gump Syndrome," meaning Authors feel their characters need to experience every social trend and political event. Hamill wisely avoids this disease, although I did feel it bogged down, especially toward the end. -- Shannon Bloomstran,

How such an ingenious conceit spawned this unwieldy mess of a novel remains a mystery. -- John Freeman, Clevland Plain Dealer

At 608 pages, it has the heft of an epic, but not the texture. -- Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today

I enjoyed the novel (though I would have enjoyed a shorter version even more) as a celebration of African / Irish New York and a commentary on injustice and vengeance. -- Hilary Williamson, Bookloons

It takes forever to finish this Book. -- W. R. Greer, Review of Books

Its scope is too grand, its structure too arbitrary, its tone too didactic, and many of its incidents are too ridiculous - we'll buy the eternal life premise, but even Buffy doesn't have a magical horse. -- Jenny Shank, Rocky Mountain News is a ponderous novel that does not play well to Hamill's strengths as a straightforward tale-spinner. -- The New York Times

Forever is ambitious -- and frequently unsuccessful -- as it tries to chart a huge chunk of Gotham history in 600 tedious pages. -- David Abrams, January Magazine