An immersive, exuberant, boundary-vaulting debut novel.


Set in 1970s New York City, CITY ON FIRE is an unforgettable novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ’n’ roll: about what people need from each other in order to live and about what makes the living worth doing in the first place. For fans of Bonfire of the Vanities and The Emperor’s Children.

“Epic, well-written, and highly entertaining . . . Throughout, Hallberg expertly handles the multiple shifts in perspective, vibrantly portraying a specific time and place and creating memorable characters.” —Library Journal, starred review

“A remarkably assured, multivalent tale . . . an epic panorama of musicians, writers, and power brokers and the surprising ways they connect . . . The story never feels overwritten, and the plotlines interlace without feeling pat . . . At times the novel feels like a metafictional tribute to America’s finest doorstop manufacturers, circa 1970 to the present: Price (street-wise cops), Wolfe (top-tier wealth), Franzen (busted families), Wallace (the seductions of drugs and pop culture), and DeLillo (the unseen forces behind everything). That’s not to say Hallberg has written a pastiche . . . As his various plotlines braid tighter during the July 1977 blackout, his novel becomes an ambitious showpiece for just how much the novel can contain without busting apart. The very-damn-good American novel.” —Kirkus, starred review

Please consider nominating this incredible debut for the October LibraryReads list before the deadline on August 20th.

Click to Request an eGalley on Edelweiss.

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#FridayReads: City on Fire

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