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book cover of This Side of Brightness

This Side of Brightness

(1998)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel (nominee)
This Side of Brightness weaves historical fact with fictional truth, creating a remarkable tale of death, racism, homelessness--and yes, love--spanning four generations. Two characters dominate Colum McCann's narrative: Treefrog, a homeless man with a dark and shameful secret, and Nathan Walker, a black man who came north in the early years of the century to work as a "sandhog," digging the subway tunnels beneath Manhattan. Tunneling is perhaps the most dangerous occupation a man could have; in the close, dark, and dangerous pits far beneath the city streets, differences such as color or ethnic background cease to matter, and Walker soon becomes friends with his crewmates: two Irishmen and an Italian. Then an explosion in one of the tunnels literally blows Walker and three other men up through the earth and into the East River. Walker survives, but his best friend Con O'Leary is never found. Leary leaves behind a wife and young daughter whom Walker marries many years later.

Walker's tale is told in alternating chapters with Treefrog's, who, before his slide into homelessness, chose a hazardous profession--this one high up in the bright sunlight--as a construction worker building skyscrapers. But madness has brought Treefrog out of the light and back to the tunnels that Walker helped dig as he scrapes out a meager existence among the drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, and petty criminals that make up the homeless community. But the grimness of McCann's tale is leavened by the beauty of his prose and the intimations all through the book that, even on this side of darkness, redemption is possible.

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Used availability for Colum McCann's This Side of Brightness

Hardback Editions

December 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: This Side of Brightness (Compass Large Print Book Series)
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-56895-587-1 / 978-1-56895-587-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: This Side of Brightness: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-8050-5452-9 / 978-0-8050-5452-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1998 : UK Hardback
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Title: This Side Of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-897580-19-3 / 978-1-897580-19-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

2000 : UK Paperback
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-4088-0591-X / 978-1-4088-0591-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1998 : UK Paperback
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Title: This Side Of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-7538-0476-X / 978-0-7538-0476-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Phoenix
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1600 : USA Paperback
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Title: This Side of Brightness: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-312-42197-4 / 978-0-312-42197-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1999 : USA Paperback
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Title: This Side of Brightness: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-8050-5453-7 / 978-0-8050-5453-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


1998 : USA Paperback
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-9655917-0-0 / 978-0-9655917-0-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Metropolitan
Availability: Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

July 2011 : UK Audio edition
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


February 2011 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


2001 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 0-7887-5459-9 / 978-0-7887-5459-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books LLC
Availability: Amazon   


2001 : USA Audio CD

Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
ISBN: 1-4407-6753-X / 978-1-4407-6753-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

August 2013 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: This Side of Brightness
Author(s): Colum McCann
Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2013 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: This Side of Brightness: A Novel
Author(s): Colum McCann
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Availability: Amazon