Wednesday April 13, 2005

On The Town filed in Gravitas

At the weekend, we watched On The Town, and while taking notes about things to see in New York, I remembered that a little while ago, Stuart asked for pre-New York book recommendations; like him, I like to do my literary homework before travelling. The thing is, an awful lot of novels are very-New-York, and even more are very-USA, which I think makes it difficult to single out a few for recommendation.

Of course I've read The Catcher In The Rye and we taped The Bonfire of the Vanities when it was on last week.

I mean to go down to the library and see if they have Breakfast At Tiffany's later in the week; what else should I be looking for?


I found "On Green Dolphin Street" by Sebastian Faulks to be very good and excellently New York.

I'd recommend the New York Trilogy, but I know you've already read it, because it was you being given it as a gift that alerted me to its existence!

pixeldiva - Wednesday April 13, 2005 12:54

On green dolphin street was a great book, once I got into it.

clair - Wednesday April 13, 2005 13:14

Hmm I tried to get into that once but failed after about a third... didn't really seem to be going anywhere.. nicely written though.

How about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Gordon - Wednesday April 13, 2005 13:22

I recently bought a copy of On Green Dolphin Street, only to get home and find that I already owned it. Clearly it made a big impression on me. Sadly, for me, nothing by Sebastian Faulks has ever lived up to Birdsong.

Karen - Wednesday April 13, 2005 13:27

For a more off-beat view you could try some Kinky Friedman

JT - Wednesday April 13, 2005 15:24

Aw nuts I think I just bodged that link...

JT - Wednesday April 13, 2005 15:27

Looks like it. What were you trying to link to?

Pete - Thursday April 14, 2005 06:34

Any of the Burke novels by Andrew Vachss would do well as a guide to what bits of New York to avoid...

For a slightly more romanticised view, "Brightness Falls" or "Bright Lights Big City" by Jay McInnerney would come recommended by me. Not that that's worth a fart in a hurricane, but hey, who's checking?

Lyle - Thursday April 14, 2005 09:37


Just finished re-reading it after too long a time and probably enjoyed it more second time around.

"He's got flies in his eyes, but he can't see them because he's got flies in his eyes."


Mr.D. - Thursday April 14, 2005 12:39

Catch 22 is hardly New York!

Have you read 'Kavalier & Clay' by Michael Chabon, Karen? I forget if we've talked about it - it's an amazing book, and very New York, dahlink.

Stuart - Friday April 15, 2005 00:31

I agree that Catch 22 is a fantastic book, but also that it's not really a New York book.

Kavalier & Clay I shall definitely have a look for, since Stuart always makes good recommendations.

Karen - Friday April 15, 2005 13:24

I wasn't disagreeing that Catch 22 is a piece of genius, by the way...oh, and don't be put off by the UK cover of 'Kavalier...'. It's better than it suggests.

Stuart - Monday April 18, 2005 02:03



Walt Whitman: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Hart Crane: TO Brooklyn Bridge


Don DeLillo: Cosmopolis
Jonathan Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn
Hubert Selby Junior: Last Exit Broklyn
John Dos Passos: Manhatten Transfer
Bret Easton Ellis: Glamorama


Rem Koolhaas: Delirious New York

Paul Auster: Smoke
Woody Allen: Manhatten
Martin Scorcese: Taxi Driver
Andy Warhol: Empire
Spike Lee: 25th hour;



Stevie Wonder: Living for the City

Hope, that helps.

Wish you a nice trip.


Sven - Tuesday April 19, 2005 14:11
The Clock's Loneliness - Contact -
© 2005