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Extended Audio Sample Forever Audiobook, by Pete Hamill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,464 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pete Hamill Narrator: Stevie Ray Dallimore Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2003 ISBN: 9780743561303
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From the bestselling author of Snow in August and A Drinking Life comes this magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York City in 1740 and remains forever.

From the shores of Ireland, Cormac O’Connor sets out on a fateful journey to avenge the deaths of his parents and honor the code of his ancestors. His quest brings him to the settlement of New York, seething with tensions between English and Irish, whites and blacks, British and “Americans,” where he is swept up in a tide of conspiracy and violence. In return for aiding an African shaman who was brought to America in chains, Cormac is given an otherworldly gift: he will live forever as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan.

Cormac comes to know all the buried secrets of Manhattan, the way it has been shaped by greed, race, and waves of immigration, by the unleashing of enormous human energies, and above all, by hope.

Through it all, Cormac must fight a force of evil that returns relentlessly in the scions of a single family whose path first crossed his in Ireland. As he searches out these blood enemies, he must watch everyone he touches slip away. And so he seeks the one who can change his fate, the mysterious dark lady who alone can free him from the blessing and the curse of his long life.

Drawing on Pete Hamill’s bone-deep knowledge of New York City, Forever is his long-awaited masterpiece, a Shakespearean evocation of the mysteries of time and death, sex and love, character and place. It is both an unforgettable drama and a timeless triumph of storytelling.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If September 11th was a terrible warning of New York’s mortality, Hamill’s entertaining panhistorical fantasy is a paean to its immortality.” 

    New Yorker

  • “A tabloid epic in a folkloric American style…Forever is fueled by the cruel dictates of history—corruption, exploitation, murder—but it wholeheartedly celebrates human goodness at every turn.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Hugely readable…Forever is old-fashioned storytelling at a gallop.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “After September 11th, it is reassuring to read this novel as veteran New Yorker Hamill's lovestruck tribute to our most cosmopolitan city.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “This rousing, ambitious work is beautifully woven around events and characters, but it is Hamill’s passionate pursuit of justice and compassion—Celtic in foundation—that distinguishes this tale of New York City and its myriad peoples.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 2/5/2014

    " I thought this book was awesome, although the ending was a bit hooky. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/3/2014

    " I really like the premise for this book. A man from Ireland comes to New York in the 18th century to avenge his father's death and is given the "gift" of living for many generations as long as he stays on the island of Manhatten. He witnesses many events in NYC history. But to me, history only comes alive when it is attached to a personal story, and the main character does not attach himself to many friends or lovers during his long life. So we end up standing on the sidewalk and watching the great fire, the drought, the cholera outbreak, etc. Kind of reads like a fast-paced history book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Upstatemamma | 2/3/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. It was given to me by a friend. It was really compelling right from the start. It takes place over a few centuries. In the end it becomes so captivating that it was really hard to put down. The ending itself was amazing and made me so happy. I really really liked this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Edelheit | 1/12/2014

    " A man lands in America in the 1600s - gets the chance to live forever if he never leaves what becomes Manhattan, NY. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dori James | 1/10/2014

    " An interesting story of immorality and the history of NYC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Scott | 12/31/2013

    " If you're a New York-er or an ex-NY-er, you'll love this one. NYC history from a very different point of view, from the beginning to 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaimie Mcgovern | 12/31/2013

    " I really enjoyed the book, Cormac's Irish ancestry combined with the history of New York made for a fantastic read. I just wish that this wasn't the second NY novel I've read that ends with 9/11. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter Elliott | 12/30/2013

    " Great New York story. Lent to me by my friend Jaynab. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aileen | 12/28/2013

    " This was a good read and a really interesting look at the history of NYC. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abbey | 12/16/2013

    " You'll either love or hate this book. I was somewhere in between. The story is great at times, drawn out & boring in others. Overall I'm glad I read this book, just wish it weren't 600 pages! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyn Mcguire | 12/13/2013

    " This is a fantasy, but also an interesting story based on history. This book was a pleasure to read and I still think about it fondly months later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 12/11/2013

    " I like it a lot, especially the first part. But for a book that's 600+ pages, I kept reading it pretty much at every opportunity. I enjoyed the view and details about New York throughout the years and life in general. It was enjoyable the whole way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Barry | 9/25/2013

    " Very interesting read and a history of New York since its beginning stages to now. You definitely have to suspend your disbelief, but it is worth it for this novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberley | 8/28/2013

    " This was my second book by Pete Hamill. He is an amazing writer. If you close your eyes you can see, smell and hear the City growing, changing evolving into the massive metropolis it is today. Pete Hamill is the Quintessential New Yorker. What a great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 8/7/2013

    " I love this story about the origins of NY. A little slow in the beginning but it picks up!! A love story thrown in the mix as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce Buchholtz | 8/4/2013

    " I actually loved this book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamela Grosse | 12/18/2012

    " went on waaay to long, like-forever "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Peru | 9/29/2012

    " i always dig pete hamill's books. they're not "great", but they're "really good." this one's about a dude who will live forever if'n he never leaves the confines o' manhattan. lot's o' good NYC history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Rose | 9/9/2012

    " a bit of a "stretch" but I enjoyed it nonetheless ! i LOVE new york city so this was fun ! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carrie Cloud | 7/23/2012

    " My disapointment was great in this book since it started out with a lot of promise in the beginning chapters! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karol | 3/28/2012

    " thoroughly enjoyed this inventive book. Sorry to have it end...will look for more by Pete Hamill "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindy | 1/1/2012

    " This was a long book- felt long to me anyway- but I learned a lot about New York City. It would probably be an even better read for someone familiar with Manhattan! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julianne | 8/24/2011

    " There is another reason this is titled "forever"...that is how long it takes to read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelseyjjohnson | 8/13/2011

    " I really enjoyed the first 2/3rds, but the "modern times" during the last third dragged. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tanya | 5/23/2011

    " The beginning is really slow, but once you get into it's pretty kick ass "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louie | 5/9/2011

    " This is book is a great page turner, highly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 5/7/2011

    " Until I read books by Pete Hamill and Caleb Carr, my historical novels were for the most part from
    the middle ages and the renaissance period. This book, FOREVER, was one of my all time favorites.
    Check it out! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Georgeann | 4/25/2011

    " Andrea loved this one. . . interesting but drags a lot by the end "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoff | 4/8/2011

    " Great story, interesting story-line/premise. The character development was amazing and I love how New York City was one of the "characters" in the story that "developed." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lyn | 4/5/2011

    " Even though I read this all the way through, and thought it was well written in the literary sense, it really rambled on at the three-quarter point and the ending was very disappointing..... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mark | 3/31/2011

    " It was cheesier then an extra large pizza with extra cheese. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thetacdriftr | 3/17/2011

    " Surprised I finished it. I think I found the wrong parts interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 3/13/2011

    " I loved this book, Irish history and New York history mixed. The Irish romantic spirit, the belief in the impossible and the grit of the city made this a page turner for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 3/9/2011

    " Starts off a little slow but after page 30 or so, it's non-stop awesomeness. I read it a second time a year or so later for a book club and was even better on round two. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 3/8/2011

    " I really enjoyed most of this book, but the ending seemed very abrupt. It was almost like the author was late for a deadline and just finished it with no regard for how the rest of the story flowed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake | 3/6/2011

    " Stunning, epic, a triumph. Hamill writes in his terse, masculine prose an ode to the Manhattan he adores. "

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About the Author
Author Pete HamillPete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. He is the author of twenty previous books, including the bestselling novels Snow in August, Forever, North River, and Tabloid City and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. He lives in New York City.