This is an adventure worthy of the captain ... Between his version of the story—with examples inserted here and there—and his own opinions and wry and dry verbal ripostes, the reader will be highly entertained ... This story also gives a good look at New York of the mid-19th century, and the devastation and danger lurking in the streets of Manhattan ... It’s also a social commentary on the plight of the immigrants as well as those of any lower social status ... This fast-paced, occasionally acerbic, often bloody, but always entertaining story is an homage to Moby-Dick and a fitting continuation/conclusion of Ahab’s story. If, however, author Ford decides to pen another tale telling where the captain ends up this time, it will be gladly accepted.
Ford, who has won both World Fantasy Awards and the mystery writers’ Edgar Award, displays both sides of his talent ... The problems of racism, homelessness, addiction and 'Me First; politics cut close to home, but Ford also offers a hopeful interlude ... Ford’s elegant style helps make this thriller far more timely than it first appears to be.
Jeffrey Ford is a bit hard to categorize as a writer, and might I heretically suggest it’s unnecessary? ... Ford knows how to tell a story, whatever the genre, and how to get out of its way and when to stop, and here that makes for a great few hours between the covers ... Along the way, we learn a good deal about the New York of 1853, not by shoehorned-in facts and footnotes but by gritty description of the alleyways and denizens ... Sign on for this one; it’s well worth the trip.