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Cold Type

Kirkus Reviews

A story about a newspaper, a family, a strike, and social and economic change—sketched against the backdrop of New York in the 1990s.

New York Times writer and columnist Araton knows newspapers and knows New York, and in his seventh book (and first novel), he explores clashes more personal, more searing, more universal than any of the sports stories he's told before. Cold Type is a tale about collisions: between generations, between classes, between different crafts in a rapidly changing economy, between the past and the future, between father and son. These are collisions that no one wanted and that no one could avoid. They break the rules, they break apart families, they create heartbreak. They are as ancient as the hills and as current as today’s news—and the existential crisis that surrounds today’s newspapers. By crossing a picket line that includes his father, a hard-boiled shop steward, the reporter Jamie Kramer crosses a moral line, as well—and the book’s action and its interest revolve around what happens on both sides of those two lines. Tensions rise with the unions out on strike, but management and union defectors ensure that copies of the paper are out on the street. Before long, union workers drift back to their jobs—setting up one of the freshest surprise endings of the stale genre of the newspaper novel.

A novel with a strong whiff of the New York Daily News strike of 1990-1991—and with ominous foreshadowings of what the protagonist describes as “this internet thing everybody’s talking about.’’

- June 1, 2014 

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