Eastman Was Here
An ambitious new novel set in the literary world of 1970s New York, following a washed-up writer in an errant quest to pick up the pieces of his life.The year is 1973, and Alan Eastman, a public intellectual, accidental cultural critic, washed-up war journalist, husband, and philanderer; finds himself alone on the floor of his study in an existential crisis. His wife has taken their kids and left him to live with her mother in New Jersey, and his best work feels as though it is years behind him. In the depths of despair, he receives an unexpected and unwelcome phone call from his old rival dating back to his days on the Harvard college newspaper, offering him the chance to go to Vietnam to write the definitive account of the end of America's longest war. Seeing his opportunity to regain his wife s love and admiration while reclaiming his former literary glory, he sets out for Vietnam. But instead of the return to form as a pioneering war correspondent that he had hoped for, he finds himself grappling with the same problems he thought he'd left back in New York.Following his widely acclaimed debut, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Alex Gilvarry employs the same thoughtful, yet dark sense of humor in Eastman Was Here to capture one irredeemable man's search for meaning in the face of advancing age, fading love, and a rapidly-changing world.

Eastman Was Here Details

TitleEastman Was Here
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 15th, 2017
PublisherViking
ISBN-139781101981504
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, New York, War

Eastman Was Here Review

  • Timothy Lane
    January 1, 1970
    A brisk, nuanced look at a few tumultuous months in a man's life. Told with humor and heart in simple, effective prose.
  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest, in the beginning, I was not such a fan of this book. The main character, Eastman was crass towards women. I could see why this may have been part of this reason his wife left him. He was not in love anymore. So, I almost put the book down. Yet, this was all before Eastman left. Which I wanted to see him in Saigon and in his element again as a writer. I do have to say that Eastman grew on me. I won't say that we have become best friends. While, Eastman may not have had the highest r To be honest, in the beginning, I was not such a fan of this book. The main character, Eastman was crass towards women. I could see why this may have been part of this reason his wife left him. He was not in love anymore. So, I almost put the book down. Yet, this was all before Eastman left. Which I wanted to see him in Saigon and in his element again as a writer. I do have to say that Eastman grew on me. I won't say that we have become best friends. While, Eastman may not have had the highest respect for women, he won me over with his love for his children. Everytime I would start to hate on him, he would do something to make one of his children happy and to show his love for them that I would forgive him. Than there is Anne Channing, reporter. She was a bit of a bulldog. Yet, I liked this about her. She made sure she could stand on her own two feet. The sparring that she and Eastman had was great. Eastman is Here is like a diamond..rough around the edges but worth it.
    more
  • Charles
    January 1, 1970
    My wife told me that Susan Sontag proposed that "prick lit" should be recognized as a male counterpoint to chick lit, which amused me because at the time I was reading "Eastman Was Here," very much a prick lit pastiche, and a really funny and compelling novel, to boot, about a Norman Mailer figure who makes an ill-considered stab at salvaging his failing marriage by going to Vietnam and reporting on the end of the war.
    more
  • Roxanne Meek
    January 1, 1970
    I can't remember a character I disliked as much as Alan Eastman. This one was a tough one to finish. 2.5 stars
  • Nell
    January 1, 1970
    If you can let yourself enjoy how ridiculous & awful Eastman is, then this can be a good time.
  • Anthony Crupi
    January 1, 1970
    Three-and-a-half stars. Gilvarry pulls off an audacious show of literary ventriloquism—Eastman *is* Norman, in all his sins and graces—but the uncanny resurrection of Brooklyn's ballsy, blustery bullshit artist is a reminder of how terribly dated much of Mailer's work was even while the bookbinder's glue was still drying. (FFS: Enough already with anthologizing dopey trash like "The White Negro.") Gilvarry is a fine writer, and the themes he unpacks in this eminently readable novel are timeless Three-and-a-half stars. Gilvarry pulls off an audacious show of literary ventriloquism—Eastman *is* Norman, in all his sins and graces—but the uncanny resurrection of Brooklyn's ballsy, blustery bullshit artist is a reminder of how terribly dated much of Mailer's work was even while the bookbinder's glue was still drying. (FFS: Enough already with anthologizing dopey trash like "The White Negro.") Gilvarry is a fine writer, and the themes he unpacks in this eminently readable novel are timeless in their own right, but the trouble is, Eastman wears out his welcome as quickly as Mailer did when he was languishing in his "public intellectual"/wife-stabbing lunatic/leering male chauvinist slob period.
    more
Write a review