Jack Perdu, a shy, ninth-grade Classics prodigy, lives with his father on the Yale University campus. Smart and introverted, Jack spends most of his time alone, his nose buried in a book. But when Jack suffers a near fatal accident, his life is forever changed.
His father sends him to a mysterious doctor in New York City -- a place Jack hasnt been since his mother died there eight years ago. While in the city, Jack meets Euri, a young girl who offers to show him the secrets of Grand Central Station, the secrets only true urban explorers know about. Fifteen flights below the train station, however, Jack discovers more than just hidden tracks and mysterious staircases. He has stumbled upon New Yorks ghostly underworld, which may provide Jack with a chance to see his mother again. But as secrets about Euris past are revealed, so are the true reasons for Jacks visit to the underworld.
Masterfully told, The Night Tourist weaves together New York Citys secret history and its modern-day landscape to create a highly vivid ghost world, full of magical adventure and page-turning action.
The Night Tourist
I The Accident
It was just after dusk when the accident happened. As
usual, Jack Perdu was walking through theYale University
campus with his nose buried in Ovids Metamorphoses.
Although he was only in the ninth grade, he had an afterschool
job helping the head of the universitys Classics
department on her new English translation. It was the day
after Christmas so there were no professors around, which
meant that there was no reason for Jack to look up out of
his book. But suddenly he heard a shout.
Jack stopped walking and looked up. A girl in a puffy blue parka was running toward him across the brick walkway between the Yale library and Elm Street. Her hair was in braids, and she was frantically waving at him.
Its Tanya, she panted when she reached him.Im in your English class.
Oh, said Jack. He knew who she was, but, like most of the kids at Hyde Leadership High ...
If you're familiar with the Orpheus myth, you'll have a good gist of how the story will progress, but not without some unexpected twists and turns, and an ending that, despite the odds, manages to surprise. A couple of times, convenience for the sake of the storyline takes the place of credibility (would Jack's father really have let him travel to New York by himself, especially knowing what he did about Jack?); but such contrivances are few, and overall Marsh stays true to the essence of the original story while putting a modern and very witty spin on the timeless themes of love, loss and longing.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (832 words).
Katherine Marsh, who grew
up in New York but now lives in
Washington where she is the
managing editor of The New
Republic magazine, takes readers
on a gorgeous tour of New York
City with a particular emphasis
on Grand Central Station
- from its well known
ceiling to lesser known
features such as the
whispering gallery and the
secret passages below the
Key to the story is a copy of Viele's map of Manhattan. Col. Egbert L. Viele (1825-1902) ...
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