Books set in New York, Alan Glynn on a Limitless trail
Did you see the film Limitless? Did you read the book? Remember the story about the man who took a pill and he could then learn a language in a day? There’s two books set in New York, by Alan Glynn which takes readers on a Limitless trail
A man’s whose brain functions with perfect efficiency
A drug that can help you process information so fast you can see patterns in the stock market….
What is special about the locations you feature in your books?
Under the Night is set in the Manhattan, but it’s both the Manhattan of today and the Manhattan of 1953. It’s interesting to see the many changes in the city, mainly through old photographs and film footage.
What can you tell us about it?
Under the Night,is, in part, a prequel to my first novel, Limitless. It’s also something of a sequel. Both Novels are largely set in Manhattan. The city that never sleeps seemed to be an appropriate setting for a story about a smart drug that keeps its users awake and alert for inordinately long periods of time.
How did you research setting
For the Manhattan of today, I relied on knowledge gleaned from my many visits to the city. For the 1953 sections, I used old photographs by such greats as Vivian Meier and Saul Leiter. I also read a lot from the period, both fiction and non-fiction.
Did you visit the places and what did you see?
I haven’t visited Manhattan since 2014, but my memories are fresh and vivid. Unfortunately, I was unable to visit 1953, though I did fantasise about it quite a bit.
An stories about the writing of this story
One scene in the novel is set in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which I have never been to, so I had to rely on research for the details – but the research became something of a rabbit-hole that I struggled to emerge from. I order a book online called Confessions of a Grand Hotel by Horace Sutton which is full of amazing stories about the hotel and its history. Now I want to either go and live there, or write a whole novel set there.
Travel tips for visiting the setting in your work
As far as tourism is concerned, Manhattan is pretty much covered. But my main advice would be to walk everywhere and keep looking up – it’s amazing what you can miss if you’re not paying attention.
Thank you so much Alan for taking us around Manhattan. No pills were taken during the duration of this tour around New York.