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The Gift: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 7, 2005

28 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 7, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pete Hamill is a novelist, essayist and journalist whose career has endured for more than forty years. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1935, the oldest of seven children of immigrants from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Catholic schools as a child. He left school at 16 to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheetmetal worker, and then went on to the United States Navy. While serving in the Navy, he completed his high school education. Then, using the educational benefits of the G.I. Bill of Rights, he attended Mexico City College in 1956-1957, studying painting and writing, and later went to Pratt Institute. For several years, he worked as a graphic designer. Then in 1960, he went to work as a reporter for the New York Post. A long career in journalism followed. He has been a columnist for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and New York Newsday, the Village Voice, New York magazine and Esquire. He has served as editor-in-chief of both the Post and the Daily News.. As a journalist, he has covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland, and has lived for extended periods in Mexico City, Dublin, Barcelona, San Juan and Rome. From his base in New York he has also covered murders, fires, World Series, championship fights and the great domestic disturbances of the 1960s, and has written extensively on art, jazz, immigration and politics. He witnessed the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath and wrote about them for the Daily News. At the same time, Hamill has written much fiction, including movie and TV scripts. He has published nine novels and two collections of short stories. His 1997 novel, Snow in August, was on the New York Times bestseller list for four months. His memoir, A Drinking Life, was on the same New York Times list for 13 weeks. He has published two collections of his journalism (Irrational Ravings and Piecework), an extended essay on journalism called News Is A Verb, a book about the relationship of tools to art, a biographical essay called Why Sinatra Matters, dealing with the music of the late singer and the social forces that made his work unique. In 1999, Harry N. Abrams published his acclaimed book on the Mexican painter Diego Rivera. His latest novel, Forever, was published by Little, Brown in January 2003 and became a New York Times bestseller. In 2004, he published “Downtown: My Manhattan”, a non-fiction account of his love affair with New York and received much critical acclaim. Hamill is the father of two daughters, and has a seven-year-old grandson. He is married to the Japanese journalist, Fukiko Aoki, and they divide their time between New York City and Cuernavaca, Mexico. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University and is writing a new novel.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316011894
  • ASIN: B000Y8Y1M6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #983,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. He is the author of 15 previous books including the bestselling novels Snow in August and Forever and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. He writes a column for the New York Daily News and lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Big D VINE VOICE on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A Good Read for anytime of the year, but an especially good read at Christmas...A coming-of-age story that leaves you wanting more...More about the soldier telling the story, more about his family, more about the other people in the story, all of whom are interesting and well-crafted...Set in 1952 during the Korean War, this book is proof once again that good stories are ageless and timeless...A story that stays with you and gets finer with time...
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For over four decades, Pete Hamill has been one of America's greatest writers. He started out as a newspaperman covering the turmoil of the 1960s. But like many great newspapermen who came before him, he proved capable of crossing genres and writing bestselling novels, memoirs and screenplays.

Despite covering too many wars and the great issues of our time, Hamill's ultimate beat has been New York City. He will always be associated with New York. He has written for just about every paper in the city and is the only person who worked as editor of both the New York Post and the New York Daily News.

Last year he released a memoir entitled DOWNTOWN: MY MANHATTAN. Now, coinciding with the release of that book in paperback, Hamill has re-released his second novel, THE GIFT, first published in 1973. Long out of print, THE GIFT is a real treat for readers, especially those who are longtime Hamill fans. Both books, read together, serve as an essential guide to understanding the greatest city in the world.

THE GIFT is a short autobiographical novella about a 17 1/2 year-old sailor named Pete coming home to Brooklyn in 1952 for Christmas leave after boot camp. In his wallet, as the Greyhound bus speeds north towards home through a cold rain in the middle of the night, is a picture of his first love, a girl named Kathleen. Three weeks before, he had received from Kathleen a dreaded "Dear John" letter. He needs to talk to her.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on November 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Without question, the dean of living New York City Irish-American writers, Pete Hamill has enjoyed ample success as a superb journalist - the only one who ever became editor-in-chief of the city's current tabloid newspapers, The Daily News and The New York Post - and as a splendid writer of fiction and nonfiction, ranging from his celebrated memoir "A Drinking Life" and his critically acclaimed biography of Mexican painter Diego Rivera to his novels "Snow in August" and "Forever". Now, in recognition of his literary excellence and to coincide with the paperback release of his memoir "Downtown", Little, Brown has reissued "The Gift", a splendid little gem of a novel - or rather, fictionalized autobiographical memoir - which was first published back in the early 1970s. "The Gift" demonstrates all of Hamill's ample gifts for dialogue and prose, told in much of the same plain, yet lyrical, prose which characterizes his memoir "A Drinking Life". It's Christmas time 1952, and young Pete returns home on leave after attending a Navy boot camp, unsure as to whether he will be stationed in Korea during the final months of the war. He returns home in search of his girlfriend Kathleen Crowley, hoping to gain again her affection, but perhaps more importantly, to seek finally the love that is absent in his relationship with his father Billy. Fans of Pete Hamill's - and I predict, Frank McCourt's too - will treasure Hamill's eloquent prose and this timeless story of seeking love from an absent father at the most appropriate time of the year.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Margaret O'Brien on July 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pete Hamill's little book was indeed a gift for this grown daughter of an alcoholic in that it allowed a peek into the world, and more importantly the whys, of barrooms. Somebody finally captured the allure of time spent with drinking buddies instead of family on Christmas Eve. Some "Dads" are indeed proud of their families, but their condition allows them to share that only with other people who don't care. Pitiable, but true. Very short story which left a strong impression.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I told my wife, after I completed reading The Gift, that I loved the book but I thought it was a man's book and not for her. But she loved it as well, reminding her as it did of people she knew back then...friends of relatives.

I, on the other hand, see a little too much of people who sacrifice current relationships because of past bad luck. Get over it and get on with it. So having Hamill do his take on these people was good for me.

I always say that an eyeroll is sometimes involuntary. When I start to hear a story of self-pity I can feel one coming so I quickly turn my head. A friend of mine says that doing an owl-like turn of the head is every bit as bad.

But Hamill's treatment of the one who has suffered is well done. Other people, and Hamill himself, speak of his glory days and his subsequent misery, leaving the man to almost ruin in silence any relationship he might have had with his grown son.
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