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This Side of Brightness cover art

This Side of Brightness

Written by: Colum McCann
Narrated by: Dion Graham
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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents This Side of Brightness by Colum McCann, read by Dion Graham.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Nathan Walker comes to New York City to take the most dangerous job in the country: digging the tunnel far beneath the Hudson that will carry trains from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

In the bowels of the riverbed, the workers—black, white, Irish and Italian—dig together, the darkness erasing all differences. But above ground, the men keep their distance until a dramatic accident on a bitter winter's day welds a bond between Walker and his fellow workers that will both bless and curse three generations.

Almost ninety years later, a homeless man nicknamed Treefrog stumbles on the same tunnels and sets about creating a home amongst the drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes and petty criminals that comprise the forgotten homeless community.

©1998 Colum McCann (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"It is, perhaps, the first authentic novel about homeless, about living below and beyond this rich city. He evokes so powerfully the stink of the present, the poignancy of the past." (Frank McCourt)

"A tour de-force social history of modern New York, exploring the labyrinthine netherworld of disused subway tunnels, from their creation by Irish migrant workers to their occupation by down-and-outs." (Dermot Bolger, Irish Independent)

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