The Great Mistake (Hardback)
  • The Great Mistake (Hardback)
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The Great Mistake (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 304 Pages
Published: 17/06/2021
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Waterstones Says

Seamlessly blending fact and fiction into a enthralling historical panorama, Lee recounts the real-life assassination of Andrew Haswell Green, the man who reshaped Manhattan, and the ghosts and echoes of his past as his murder is doggedly investigated.

The 'Father of Greater New York' is dead. Shot outside his Park Avenue mansion in the year of our Lord, 1903. In the hour of his death, will the truth of his life finally break free?

Born to a struggling farming family in 1820, Andrew Haswell Green was a self-made man who reshaped Manhattan, built Central Park and turned New York into a modern metropolis. Now, at eighty-three, when he thought the world could hold no more surprises, he is murdered. As the detective assigned to the case traces his ghost across the city, other spectres appear: a wealthy courtesan; a broken-hearted man in a bowler hat; and an ambitious politician, Samuel, whose lifelong friendship was a source of joy and frustration. In a life of industry and restraint, where is the space for love?

As restlessly inventive and absorbing as its protagonist, The Great Mistake is the story of a city, and a singular man, transformed by longing.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781783786244
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 435 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Wily, virtuosic, very beautiful - an intimate portrait of a public man that also serves as an X-ray of America. The Great Mistake is a great novel of New York, in which the shaping of public space becomes inextricable from the loneliness, longing, and ferocious ambition of a single, damaged man - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

A great novel of 19th-century New York. A meditation on the meaning of success, and a magical escape from the 21st century that sent me back feeling wiser and more hopeful - Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens

A wonderful, compelling, finely-tuned and deeply loveable novel, with a central character who is all of those things too. Jonathan Lee has taken the bare facts of a nearly forgotten life and turned them into a rich and unforgettable story - Jon McGregor, author of Reservoir 13

Few writers working today have Jonathan Lee's range or eye for detail. Fewer still are capable of roaming minds and histories with such bittersweet, richly detailed ease. A wonder and a delight. - Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife

A highly satisfying mix of mystery and character portrait, revealing the constrained heart beneath the public carapace. - Kirkus

Elegiac and elegant, inviting and refined. The reader is immersed in [a] world that grows more dense with longing, regret and foreclosed possibilities... Lee's prose is thick with an emotional awareness that recalls the writing of Henry James - The Times

Not a novel of grand deeds, but of grand imagination... quietly but intently ambitious - Guardian

Seriously entertaining - Sunday Times

[A] stylish, finely wrought mashup of mystery and history, which paints a dynamic portrait of both man and metropolis - Mail on Sunday

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“good subject”

Sorry to say that I just couldn't engaged in it even though I had such high hopes. The style seemed so pedantic yet convoluted. The man had a poor self image and felt isolated for most of his life yet provided us... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 7

“The Great Mistake By Jonathan Lee”

Even if it only served to introduce us to Andrew Haswell Green and his seminal but overlooked work in the creation of New York and its most significant landmarks, Jonathan Lee's novel would be worth a read. But... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

“A carefully constructed historical novel about the Father of Greater New York”

This book is a historical novel about the life and death of the real-life 19th century lawyer, civic leader and city-planner Andrew Haswell Green the so-called “Father of Greater New York” who developed (among other... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

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