Oh how i love New York and this book is just like a love letter to the city. A series of interwoven stories which will transport the reader to the heart of Manhattan. New York itself is the main character and the vivid descriptions of the city will make you feel like you are in the streets with these people. I loved the mix of characters and settings, all connected in some way to the art scene of the city, music, films , photography. It's a book that i will easily re read several times and for someone who loves New York it made it all the more enjoyable . Highly recommend .
Jim Lewis might have been born in Cleveland and he may live in Austin, but this book affirms the fact that he is, indeed, a NYer. Everything about this rings true.
Absolutely fantastic! Could not put the book down. Going to recommend to everyone to check out this book!
I love everything that has New York in it. These stories took me to unseen corners of the city and revealed lives of communities I did not know of. The book is rich, engaging and each narrative is gripping from start to finish. While I did find some stories hard to relate to or identify with, the reading experience was great. Looking forward to more from this writer!
First of all I want to thank NetGalley for th ARC and the opportunity to review this great book.
Ghosts of New York is a wonderful collection of stories about the wonderous adventures one can live in the city of New York. I enjoyed it a lot reading this book and it made me remember my time and all the exciting experiences I lived in this city. It was a great read and a door to another world in this current times when it is very difficult to travel around the world.
Ghosts of New York has made it into my list of favourtie anthologies of all times.
I just couldn't get into this book. I tried many times to pick it up but always ended up reaching for something else. The language and form of writing was just not for me. I found it lacked dialogue and was over narrated in most stories - don't get me wrong, I know some people love that, but it was just not for me. DNF around 30%.
Is it a wondrous book? Absolutely!
Was I deepy sucked in from the very first line? Yes.
Does the author know how to put words next to each other, so that you can almost hear the words singing in your mind? Oh, he knows.
Why I am still giving this book three stars? Because I absolutely loathe books who do not use quotation marks. I hate it. They were invented for a reason, for crying out loud, what is so difficult about using them to distinguish between spoken word and not spoken word? It's probably not fair to the book, but I really can't stand it anymore. It's annoying as heck and I refuse to read books like this any longer.
I received a free copy by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a collection of short stories that come together at its conclusion showcasing the city of New York. A character driven novel, where at times the city itself was the main character, more specifically Manhattan. I felt it hurt a little for lack of dialogue. It felt as though it is over-narrated, as if the narrator is beside you constantly yap, yap, yapping in your ear until it is hard to concentrate or think of what is happening, this definitely detracted somewhat from the reading experience for me. Also some of the stories (chapters), I felt were too brief, not allowing enough time for the true character/plot development to shine through. The writing itself is beautiful, Mr. Lewis most definitely has a way with words and a grasp of language which he uses brilliantly, given the reader some very beautiful excerpts.
Overall, this is a good read, it just didn't live up to all the hype and fanfare I had been hearing about, but still worth reading. As always these are my own thoughts and opinions and no one else. Someone else may feel totally different.
I give 4 stars, would still recommend, just don't raise expectations super high, medium high will suffice.
Thank you to the publishers at West Virginia University Press and to NetGalley for the free ARC e-book version of this novel, I am leaving my honest review in return.
Thank you to the author, West Virginia University Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is a beautifully written collection of short stories about various characters - but the main character is the city of New York and what life there means, holds and promises for those that are living the day-to-day and in many cases struggling to find their path in life. Most of the stories are related in some way, with some smaller or larger time jumps included. I found the flow rather disjointed, and some of the stories were almost too short to really stand up on their own. It's a good read, although perhaps a bit top-heavy on the narration and light on dialogue and plot.
An interesting read with complex characters throughout. As a resident of New York, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see the city through this lens and always appreciate a book where the character of New York City nearly stands on its own.
Overall, I thought this was okay. I was definitely intrigued from the first sentence with the "Dominic will do 'this'" structure. It was different so it caught my attention. I felt like a lot of the chapters were too short so it felt a bit disjointed at times. My favorite chapter was the really long one about Bridget and Johnny. There was so much story there and enough time to really get through it. But I also enjoyed the chapter that was titled "Ghosts of New York". The O'Malley family in that chapter broke my heart.
This is supposed to be a series of vignettes centering around a few different stories and plotlines. I felt it was disjointed and I didn't flow with the transition from story to story. I felt it was another New York (Manhattan-based) story made of various lifestyles yet there was never a satisfying plot line to any of them, and the characters not developed.. I would recommend Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York, which portraying the NYC (specifically, Manhattan) scene in the latter part of the 20th century, yet the characters were more exciting and developed.
There’s no city like New York. Which is to say some major metropolises actually deserve some of their glamorous reputation, but NYC has simply had what appears to be the best marketing of all time. It isn’t even the plain girl of city, it’s ugly, used up, dirty whore of a one, but it got shellacked with coverall make up, dressed up in the latest designer duds, styled to the nines and now it photographs well from certain angles and inspires a sort of fawning undeserved adoration Americans typically reserve for celebrities. And, of course, like most objects of such inexplicable affections, it gets serenaded. This is the latest in such serenades. An ode to the city that never sleeps because the lights are too bright, or maybe the face lift is too tight.
Ghosts of New York traces lives of the individuals who stumble through NY streets, deliberately ignoring the ugliness to concentrate on the beauty. A photographer, who literally does just that, and others who simply have made it an aspect of their lives. The structure of the book is that of individual plotlines eventually converging into something of a cohesive some total when toward the end they start to interlace. Most of this narratives are relatively short with one disproportionally large story of a failed romance in between. In fact, it is the longest entry that works best the rest seemingly too episodic, more like sketches than proper entries, at least until they all get connected. The narratives don’t specify years, but it seems to stretch for at least a couple of decades, maybe more, from the (late?) 80s on, and covers death, romance and all the quotidian life in between as the characters haunt New York or maybe it is that New York haunts them.
For all its numerous shortcomings, NYC actually lands itself extremely well to fiction, it’s so huge, so diverse, so dreamy (albeit in all the wrong ways) that it’s bound to attract all sorts of drama. This book has plenty of that, though its main and greatest asset is the character writing, which, obviously, for a character driven work of fiction, is a good thing. Never read or heard of the author prior to this, but he’s had some impressive accolades thrown his way and going by this book they are well deserved…with some reservations.
The writing itself is great, excellent even at times, the way the characters are fleshed out, the dimensionality of the ordinary and so on, but…but there’s a certain density here, like a dwarf star density, disproportional to size, there are prolonged sentences turning into protracted paragraphs, with scarcely any dialogue and the entire thing is all tell and barely any show. The book is so heavily narrated, it’s shoots itself in the foot with it. Reading it at times is like going to the museum, but being distracted from appreciating the artwork by the ever present and never silent curator. Mind you, it’s obviously a gifted and well versed curator, but it can simply overwhelm.
So overall…this is something of a mixed review, I suppose. Not a rip, but also not quite along with the accolades and praises the author seems to have gathered for his work. Then again, this is the first rating and review on GR for it, so maybe the rumors of the popularity and excellence have been somewhat exaggerated. Not sure, though I do love to get the first word in.
All in all, a pretty good read, mostly owning to some really terrific character writing, though nowhere fresh or exciting enough to wow a reader. Kind of reminiscent of a lesser Paul Auster, one who, among other things, decided plots and originality are overrated. Reader mileage may wary. It’s entirely possible, that much like its main attraction, the city, this book will hold different levels of appeal for different individuals. Thanks Netgalley.