The Waterworks

The Waterworks

Book - 1994
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One rainy morning in 1871 in lower Manhattan, Martin Pemberton a freelance writer, sees in a passing stagecoach several elderly men, one of whom he recognizes as his supposedly dead and buried father. While trying to unravel the mystery, Pemberton disappears, sending McIlvaine, his employer, the editor of an evening paper, in pursuit of the truth behind his freelancer’s fate. Layer by layer, McIlvaine reveals a modern metropolis surging with primordial urges and sins, where the Tweed Ring operates the city for its own profit and a conspicuously self-satisfied nouveau-riche ignores the poverty and squalor that surrounds them.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [1994]
Copyright Date: ©1994
ISBN: 9780812978193
9780394587547
0394587545
Branch Call Number: FICTION DOCTO...E
Characteristics: 253 pages ; 25 cm

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theorbys Oct 01, 2015

Very skillfully told detective tale of 1870s New York in something of a Holmes (Capt. Donne) - Watson (McIlvaine) format. Doctorow above all brings the New York of its time to vivid life as the team tracks down a new version of Viktor Frankenstein. I say Holmes and Watson, but the original model is Poe's Dupin and his unnamed narrating sidekick. In fact there is a distinct Gothic atmosphere to the Waterworks that owes much to Edgar Allan Poe. If you are a genre buff this could easily be 5 stars.

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