Ghosts of Manhattan

Ghosts of Manhattan

A Tale of the Ghost

Book - 2010
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In an alternate 1927, a gangster known as the Roman is terrorizing Manhattan, and the vigilante hero known as the Ghost aims to stop him. The Roman is responsible for a series of gruesome murders, in which ancient but unbelievably fresh and unmarred Roman coins are left with the victims. The police are understandably stymied. The Roman is more than he seems at first glance. He has moss golems working in his gang, and he's unusually interested in some pieces of ancient art in the Metropolitan Museum. There are far more sinister things afoot than a mere gangster. Fortunately, the Ghost is up for the challenge, with some well-timed assistance by detective Donovan.
Publisher: Amherst, NY : Pyr, 2010
ISBN: 9781616141943
1616141948
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mann 2010
Characteristics: 237 p. ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Ghost of Manhattan

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c
continuum01
Sep 08, 2013

A steam punk novel, said I. Might be interesting. Turns out, the only interesting thing about this book is the title. The story is boring, the writing is mediocre.

t
TuesdayMoon
Apr 12, 2011

Not remotely steampunk, but I wasn't expecting it to be. Plot fairly transparent, but lots of graphic violence. It's a nice book to zone out with.

(For some reason most of the men in this book wear "immaculate black suits." I suspect it's because George Mann doesn't know much about style :D )

c
cartoon_goblin
Aug 17, 2010

George Mann’s Ghosts of Manhattan is, like the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, not a brilliant piece of work, but it’s so enthusiastically done, I couldn’t helped by be charmed and entertained by it.

Ghosts of Manhattan is set in an alternate 1920s where the U.S. is engaged in a cold war with Great Britain, people drive steam-powered cars, and holographic telephones are commonplace. In a New York City plagued by a mysterious crime lord known as “the Roman,”a group of characters come into contact and conflict: wealthy dandy Gabriel Cross; Felix Donovan, tough-as-nails police detective; Celeste, a jaded jazz singer; sinister criminal Gideon Reece; and a driven, masked vigilante called the Ghost.

The book jacket describes the Ghost as “the World’s First Steampunk Superhero.” I’m not sure how accurate that is: there may be a steampunk superhero that predates the Ghost, and despite the steam-driven cars, the technology in Ghosts of Manhattan isn’t strictly “steampunk.” In fact, the technology and alternate history don’t really add anything to the story. Mann could have written this as a straight pseudo-historical adventure and it would have worked the same.

And it does work. Mann pours on the purple prose and embraces loads of superhero and adventure clichés, but uses it in an exciting, fast-paced adventure story written with an obvious love for the hero pulps (like the Shadow, the Spider, Doc Savage and more). Mann has a way of making his purple prose and clichés seem…well, not fresh, but full of energy and fun. It helps that Mann’s characters are all engaging (even the minor characters), with charming personalities and wounded hearts. The sex and violence is a bit more graphic than in the original hero pulp storie, which threw me a bit at first, but I quickly got used to it.

Ghosts of Manhattan is a terrific take on pulp stories of masked crimefighters. I hope Mann writes more Ghost adventures.

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_WALLY_
Nov 12, 2012

Violence: Very graphic portrayal of violence.

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_WALLY_
Nov 12, 2012

Coarse Language: Not overbearing quantities of vulgar language, but just enough to warrant notice. Totally unnecessary.

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_WALLY_
Nov 12, 2012

_WALLY_ thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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