Cooperative Lives

Cooperative Lives

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Co-operative Lives

A landmarked midtown Manhattan address. Carnegie Hall and Central Park at your feet. Three hundred units. Thirty-two full-time employees. Five hundred neighbors. You've hit the big time. Joined the elite. But what do you know about them, the neighbors? Have you ever met them? Really engaged with them? Or do you gaze down in the elevator, the same way you do on the subway and the street?

Oh sure, you've heard a famous writer lives on the fourteenth floor, a retired US senator on the eighteenth. You've witnessed so many Broadway impresarios glide through the lobby you've lost count. But what about your real neighbors - the couple in 7H, for instance, or the family in 8B? Did you know they once harbored the most wanted fugitive in America?

No? It was in the papers for weeks; nearly tore the co-op apart. Even that famous writer on fourteen got involved. And all because an M7 bus side-swiped a resident-shareholder while turning down Seventh Avenue.

You're busy? Oh, I'm sorry. Just thought you should know something about the co-op's history. And buy more insurance, lots more; I've got a friend named Stanley.

From the Preface

It is perhaps unorthodox to declare a story which transpired 6-8 years ago in the country's largest metropolis historical fiction but labelling it otherwise would be a deception. The election of a bilious talk show host to the world's highest office, the NSA-sponsored surveillance, cataloging and storage of millions of Americans' phone logs and recordings, the petulant, self-imposed withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, the global contagion of anti-immigrant nationalism - no pundit could have predicted these developments in 2013. And no one would have believed him.

I intended this book as a work of contemporary fiction. It described, I think accurately, the city and world I lived in. Just six years have elapsed since its completion, but I might as well have described ancient China. The world and New York City of 2013 no longer exist. I hereby present, for better or worse, the world's most contemporary historical novel.

About the Author

Patrick Finegan is a native New Yorker who worked more than thirty years in law, corporate finance, management consulting and risk management. For the great majority of those years, he lived in the same residential co-op. This is his first work of fiction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 20mm | 381g
  • English
  • 1733902503
  • 9781733902502

Review quote

"Patrick Finegan's luscious novel Cooperative Lives follows characters whose lives change when they are brought into close proximity with each other through a series of coincidences, accidents, and international espionage... The story moves forward and backward in time with ease, teasing forth details and offering clues about a deeper underlying story and tangled interconnections. The addition of an international conspiracy makes it tempting to turn pages at a rapid speed, but masterful prose, marked by evocative phrasing and apt metaphors, encourages savoring each exquisite sentence and its imagery... There's much to relish and ponder in this tragicomedy. Ambitious and sophisticated, Cooperative Lives is a diverse and gorgeous tapestry of character studies and is a pure delight to read." - Foreword Clarion Reviews (5 stars)

"Whereas most books begin in a status quo and introduce their conflict to the initial detriment of their characters, this book holds all of its cards from the very first page and forces the reader to pay rapt attention as it lays each one of them down in turn. What seem like challenging but mundane moments in life soon become so much more, whether in linear progression or as the story makes time hops months or years into the past. The story itself unfolds in a similar fashion, beginning with a pair of couples who used to socialize before death, divorce, and unemployment separated them. It then grows to include suspense, intrigue, danger, and espionage without deviating from its core cast of characters... Written with all the passion and flourish of a love letter yet with all the calculation and clockwork of a crime novel, Fineganâ (TM)s novel is a fascinating slice-of-life that rings true even as it attempts the fantastic." - US Review of Books (Recommended)

"Incredibly evocative... [I]t is in his characterisations where Finegan really excels... [E]ach person is given a distinct voice and identity, making it not only easy to work out who is speaking, but also makes the reader genuinely care about these characters. The reader is able to see both sides of a situation and can empathise with the people in it, becoming impartial observers in a way... Cooperative Lives begins quite slowly but gradually builds momentum to a shocking climax... Maybe not one for those who like their novels fast-paced, but Cooperative Lives is a well-written, character-driven thriller which will keep readers hooked." - Reedsy Discovery (Loved it! )

"An intricate and intriguing tale with a lot of plot twists and details hidden in plain sight... The people in this story are well-drawn, each with their own fully-developed personality - and their individual personality quirks together drive the plot, demonstrating the author's gift for truly elegant plot design. This is the sort of book that rewards, indeed perhaps requires, reading more than once in order to catch all the little details and plot points one may miss on a casual reading... Cooperative Lives is a complicated but beautifully engineered book, with its intertwined secrets, interacting lives, and the carefully-woven story that emerges from them." - Indie Reader

"An intricately plotted, well-written tale. Finegan's style is clean and straightforward. His characters are imperfect and easily relatable people who experience the peaks and valleys that inform all lives... Strong on both character and plot, it's most likely to be enjoyed by readers drawn to intelligent writing." - Blue Ink Review
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