Adventure in Five Points

Metropolis, by Elizabeth Gaffney (Random House, 2005)

The hero of this novel is a young German man who arrives in New York and gets into trouble fast. Under the adopted name Frank Harris, he juggles the dictates of his conscience with the demands of a Five Points gang, particularly its alluring representative Beatrice. Although the aggressive omniscience of the narrator is a little too much for me, it’s certainly a rollicking story. It begins in the 1860s and covers lower Manhattan, Fort Greene, and the nascent Brooklyn Bridge. Lots of interesting historical color, particularly concerning Irish and German immigrants of the day.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Gaffney on her winning proposal for the Brooklyn Historical Society’s “Interpreting Brooklyn” project. I’m sure the results will be compelling.

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