The Gargoyle Hunters is a father-son story set in the 1970s about New York City’s movement between past and future. Part caper, part tragedy, it’s a coming-of-age book that leaves me wondering if we ever really come of age—our city certainly doesn’t. The novel is richly observed, I think, because there is no fixed judgment or overruling nostalgia. John’s characters, especially his winning young protagonist, Griffin, and his beloved urban landscape are always evolving, but they are not taking for granted the things they leave behind. There is a sense of mourning all bound up with a sense of celebration. Discovery and rediscovery.