New fiction: City on Fire

Does this epic novel from Garth Risk Hallberg live up to the hype?


New fiction: City on Fire

Garth Risk Hallberg’s huge, tumultuous debut rampages thought the streets and alleyways of 1970s New York on the track of a murderer.

A young girl is found shot in Central Park – it’s a seemingly senseless crime, but one which encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the Big Apple.  

The novel is brimful of voices – from riotous punk teens high on drugs and outrage to the well-heeled disenchanted denizens of upper class Manhattan, or from the essays of a faltering journalist to the scattergun pages of a fanzine. It all builds up an to an exhilarating overview of a city on the verge of disintegration.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg is published by Jonathan Cape, £20