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Cityside Hardcover – July, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

More media fallout; here a reporter struggles with his conscience. Should he write the story that could win him a Pulitzer or risk his career by denouncing his newspaper's greedy ways? From an Edgar Award winner.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The 1970s are a big pop culture phenomenon these days: the clothes, the hair, the music, even the television shows being made into movies. This novel takes a look at journalistic practices of a fictional New York paper, the Globe, in the post-Watergate era. Billy Burke, the quintessential battered newspaperman whose integrity outweighs everything else, including the shady maneuverings of his opportunistic editor, is assigned to a tearjerker/hospital-exposestory. A big private hospital won't operate on a young Latino boy with a hole in his heart, yet surgeons are falsifying records left and right. The dashing Burke, dating a gorgeous reporter, falls for the young boy's mother--until his own ex-wife comes back into the picture. He still has feelings for the ex, and they have an autistic child. Heffernan obviously means well here, and despite the white hats worn by Burke and the women in his life, all the bad guys aren't necessarily all bad. Joe Collins
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688164064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688164065
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,911,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rick from Sydney on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read and enjoyed all of William Heffernan's previous books, thus looked forward eagerly to the release of Cityside. I was not disappointed. Obviously writing from the experience base of his past career as a journalist, Cityside is a passionate expose of the period in big-city journalism when newspapers changed their emphasis (as we say in Australia) from playing the ball to playing the man. The triumph of the novel is that he treats his subject with humour and intelligence, rather than descending into cliche. When I finished the last page, I thought to myself that it was the best book I had read in many years.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
His personal and professional lives are all but dead, leaving New York Globe reporter Billy Burke very depressed. However, suddenly things look much brighter when Billy finds a story that, if handled correctly, could provide him with a Pulitzer. A hospital refused to provide life saving open-heart surgery to an impoverished child because the mother has no means (either out of pocket or insurance) to pay the cost.
Billy begins to investigate and soon realizes that hospital administrators are protecting their butts by altering or destroying records. However, his superiors at the Globe want Billy to hang somebody because someone needs to take the public hit as the malevolent person refusing proper health care to a poor child. Billy remains the consummate professional, not concerned with a prize, but with an honest story that will help the victim. Still, the clock is ticking on the life of a little boy and the pressure mounting on Billy to find a public goat.
CITYSIDE is a fabulous look at the journalist profession to hit a home run at every bat since the Watergate exposure. The story line is entertaining and intriguing as readers hope the lad gets his needed operation. However, William Heffernam falters a bit by painting Billy and his seemingly horde of women as totally perfect beings. The so-called villains are portrayed in a more even manner as hospital administrators struggle between costs and proper health care. Mr. Heffernam provides readers with a deep, well-written thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed most all of his books. This is one of the best. The reader can enjoy the behind the scene workings and characters of a major N.Y. tabloid paper, and find hypocrisy behind the headlines. Also exposed are some of the greed and dealings between a prominent surgeon, a major teaching hospital and it's municipal hospital affiliate. How can a surgeon be paid to be at two places at the same time? The fast moving plot centers around an investigative reporter and a five year old boy, with a heart defect, as he fights for survival.
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Format: Paperback
Exciting and well written. The main characters are likable and believable. Those with a medical background will be distracted by some annoying glitches that could have been ironed out if any physician had read the book prior to publication. (Medical students are paid and get to pick their classes, for example.)
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