By EW Staff
December 06, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

FOREVER Pete Hamill (Little, Brown, $25.95, on sale Dec. 30) Following a Manhattanite who literally sees it all, the new novel by the New York City journo is about immortality, which may explain why it’s over 600 pages long.

SAMARITAN Richard Price (Knopf, $25, on sale Jan. 13) A typically scabrous plot from the author of Clockers: Ray leaves L.A. glitz for a Jersey housing project, seeking to do good and make a difference, and instead he gets beaten within an inch of his life and has to pull himself back into shape.

SCANTY PARTICULARS Rachel Holmes (Random House, $25.95, on sale Jan. 7) Was (s)he a man, a woman, or a hermaphrodite? Brit biographer Holmes considers Dr. James Barry, ”Queen Victoria’s Most Eminent Military Doctor.”