""Literary reputations may not always rise and fall as predictably as elevators, but if there's any justice in the world, Colson Whitehead's should be heading toward the upper floors."
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"Talking about New York is a way of talking about the world." I've been reading this book with my mother, who is 350 miles away, as a way to keep engaged with each other when we have to be apart. For her, it reminds her of the bus and train trips she used to take to New York every summer in the 60s. For me, it's fragments of thousands of thoughts I've had living and working in New York these past twenty years. We were both saying how timeless and universal the writing is; for a place that changes so quickly, this book could be any era, and resonate with anyone who has a special place in their heart for New York City. The writing is like poetry, so many great lines - "At the corner he wrestles with a ghost for the soul of his umbrella.". So clever and visceral. I really enjoyed this book, I can see myself re-reading it a few times.
I wish I knew Colson. He seems to have grown up a stone's throw from me because I heard all of those things he observed and experienced too. This narrative is so nuanced, so precise, I can smell the subway and the Sabrett man too.
Some incredible writing and grab-you identifiable insights into NYC. And some alternative perspectives. The problem for me is that the book gradually turns into a seriously depressed person’s several hour monologue disguised as various characters’ voices. Sort of someone with multiple personalities all in urgent need of help.