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In the first twenty years of the twenty-first century, New York City has been convulsed by terrorist attack, blackout, hurricane, recession, social injustice, and pandemic. New Yorkers weaves the voices of some of the city’s best talkers into an indelible portrait of New York in our time—and a powerful hymn to the vitality and resilience of its people. Best-selling author C In the first twenty years of the twenty-first century, New York City has been convulsed by terrorist attack, blackout, hurricane, recession, social injustice, and pandemic. New Yorkers weaves the voices of some of the city’s best talkers into an indelible portrait of New York in our time—and a powerful hymn to the vitality and resilience of its people. Best-selling author Craig Taylor has been hailed as “a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman” (David Rakoff), acclaimed for the way he “fuses the mundane truth of conversation with the higher truth of art” (Michel Faber). In the wake of his celebrated book Londoners, Taylor moved to New York and spent years meeting regularly with hundreds of New Yorkers as diverse as the city itself. New Yorkers features 75 of the most remarkable of them, their fascinating true tales arranged in thematic sections that follow Taylor’s growing engagement with the city. Here are the uncelebrated people who propel New York each day—bodega cashier, hospital nurse, elevator repairman, emergency dispatcher. Here are those who wire the lights at the top of the Empire State Building, clean the windows of Rockefeller Center, and keep the subway running. Here are people whose experiences reflect the city’s fractured realities: the mother of a Latino teenager jailed at Rikers, a BLM activist in the wake of police shootings. And here are those who capture the ineffable feeling of New York, such as a balloon handler in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a security guard at the Statue of Liberty. Vibrant and bursting with life, New Yorkers explores the nonstop hustle to make it; the pressures on new immigrants, people of color, and the poor; the constant battle between loving the city and wanting to leave it; and the question of who gets to be considered a "New Yorker." It captures the strength of an irrepressible city that—no matter what it goes through—dares call itself the greatest in the world.


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In the first twenty years of the twenty-first century, New York City has been convulsed by terrorist attack, blackout, hurricane, recession, social injustice, and pandemic. New Yorkers weaves the voices of some of the city’s best talkers into an indelible portrait of New York in our time—and a powerful hymn to the vitality and resilience of its people. Best-selling author C In the first twenty years of the twenty-first century, New York City has been convulsed by terrorist attack, blackout, hurricane, recession, social injustice, and pandemic. New Yorkers weaves the voices of some of the city’s best talkers into an indelible portrait of New York in our time—and a powerful hymn to the vitality and resilience of its people. Best-selling author Craig Taylor has been hailed as “a peerless journalist and a beautiful craftsman” (David Rakoff), acclaimed for the way he “fuses the mundane truth of conversation with the higher truth of art” (Michel Faber). In the wake of his celebrated book Londoners, Taylor moved to New York and spent years meeting regularly with hundreds of New Yorkers as diverse as the city itself. New Yorkers features 75 of the most remarkable of them, their fascinating true tales arranged in thematic sections that follow Taylor’s growing engagement with the city. Here are the uncelebrated people who propel New York each day—bodega cashier, hospital nurse, elevator repairman, emergency dispatcher. Here are those who wire the lights at the top of the Empire State Building, clean the windows of Rockefeller Center, and keep the subway running. Here are people whose experiences reflect the city’s fractured realities: the mother of a Latino teenager jailed at Rikers, a BLM activist in the wake of police shootings. And here are those who capture the ineffable feeling of New York, such as a balloon handler in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a security guard at the Statue of Liberty. Vibrant and bursting with life, New Yorkers explores the nonstop hustle to make it; the pressures on new immigrants, people of color, and the poor; the constant battle between loving the city and wanting to leave it; and the question of who gets to be considered a "New Yorker." It captures the strength of an irrepressible city that—no matter what it goes through—dares call itself the greatest in the world.

30 review for New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben Ostrowsky

    As dizzying a spectacle as the city itself, Craig Taylor’s NEW YORKERS is a fixed record of the fleeting present, a curated selection of those numberless “stories in the Big City”. If you’ve scrolled through Humans of New York, you’ll relish the chance to get beyond the photos. Some stories stand me in awe of the city, and some of them make me very glad I don't live there. People make their living getting nits and lice out of people's hair because the pests have evolved to resist remedies that w As dizzying a spectacle as the city itself, Craig Taylor’s NEW YORKERS is a fixed record of the fleeting present, a curated selection of those numberless “stories in the Big City”. If you’ve scrolled through Humans of New York, you’ll relish the chance to get beyond the photos. Some stories stand me in awe of the city, and some of them make me very glad I don't live there. People make their living getting nits and lice out of people's hair because the pests have evolved to resist remedies that work elsewhere—no thank you! But maintaining a midcentury World’s Fair scale model of the entire city in a Queens museum? That sounds like a fascinating job. You’ll meet homeless New Yorkers, and you’ll meet an elevator repairman who has seen how many empty spaces the city holds, enough to house everyone in the city, except the landlords are trying to keep up their reputation by keeping the rents too high to fill the building. You’ll meet, one after the other, a “cop” who prides himself on not being a “police officer” (his badly-motivated co-workers), and then a trans Latina who sees the whole NYPD as a lethal danger to her and a lot of other people, unaccountable to any real justice—and then a far-right militia member who makes excuses for old racists and says “a black” shot his friend. You’ll meet a personal injury lawyer who waxes rhapsodic about arranging for the author to accidentally trip and fall over an officially documented crack in the sidewalk, and how eloquently he would describe the author’s face as maimed, tragically disfigured!, you know, hypothetically. You’ll meet the mother of a man who’s incarcerated at Rikers Island, and an ex-con who did time there, and a car thief who’s still on the outside. NEW YORKERS is only a tiny sample of the fascinating lives in New York City, of course. But that’s all the more reason to savor every story. I did. And I can tell you, if I ever get up to New York City again, I’m gonna savor every slice on a Scott’s Pizza Tour (Chapter 8, “Life is a Parade”). That’s a thing that exists in New York. Because of course it does. It’s New York. I am grateful to NetGalley for a free advance copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simon Lowe

    What is it about New York City? I’ve only been once, yet during that brief trip in 2008, each landmark, each district was already so deeply embedded in my visual memory from films, tv and photos of the city that I had this dizzy sense of deja vu everywhere I looked. You might ask whether a city that has been recreated so often in so many mediums needs yet another book. I thought the same too. What I didn’t count on was a pandemic keeping me at home for 12 months, how much I miss travelling and als What is it about New York City? I’ve only been once, yet during that brief trip in 2008, each landmark, each district was already so deeply embedded in my visual memory from films, tv and photos of the city that I had this dizzy sense of deja vu everywhere I looked. You might ask whether a city that has been recreated so often in so many mediums needs yet another book. I thought the same too. What I didn’t count on was a pandemic keeping me at home for 12 months, how much I miss travelling and also meeting other people. Craig Taylor’s New Yorkers has helped to fill that gap. As in his previous book Londoners, Taylor has spent years walking the streets of NYC interviewing people across its 5 Boroughs. There is breadth and depth here: from subway conductors to electricians scaling the radio mast on the Empire State Building; the ultra-rich and the homeless, they’re all here. The life of and in the city feels fully represented, with the effects of 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and the current Covid-19 pandemic rippling through the books’ stories which are loosely grouped together thematically. Several interviewees re-appear and sometimes stories overlap with others, giving a sense of how, in a city often characterised as a relentless, brutal hustle, there are still human connections to be made. I loved this. With many thanks to John Murray for the ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jo Coleman

    I didn't love this as much as 'Londoners' - maybe because I don't know New York nearly as well, maybe because midway through the book, one or two of Craig Taylor's garrulous interviewees seem to corner him and make him write down their every thought. However, I particularly loved the stories from people who worked on the buildings and the transport systems (the recording studio owner, the elevator repairman, the window cleaner, the subway conductor), and Craig Taylor's own story of his awkward f I didn't love this as much as 'Londoners' - maybe because I don't know New York nearly as well, maybe because midway through the book, one or two of Craig Taylor's garrulous interviewees seem to corner him and make him write down their every thought. However, I particularly loved the stories from people who worked on the buildings and the transport systems (the recording studio owner, the elevator repairman, the window cleaner, the subway conductor), and Craig Taylor's own story of his awkward friendship with a homeless man. My abiding memory of my last visit to New York is crossing the road with a man who took umbrage at the pedestrian crossing sound and shouted "Shut the fuck up with your beep!"; this book is full of him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mac

    I'm an Anglophile with a distaste for NYC in general and I still think this is not only 5*, but better than "Londoners." I'm an Anglophile with a distaste for NYC in general and I still think this is not only 5*, but better than "Londoners."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I love New York City. As much as someone can love a city, but not particularly want to live or visit there. I love reading about NYC history. I am interested in learning about the city’s varied cultures and neighborhoods. Everyday people’s stories fascinate me the most, so this book seemed to be right up my alley. Overall, this book met my expectations of what I thought it would be. I was hoping for stories of how New York used to be in the “old days”/how things have changed over the years, stor I love New York City. As much as someone can love a city, but not particularly want to live or visit there. I love reading about NYC history. I am interested in learning about the city’s varied cultures and neighborhoods. Everyday people’s stories fascinate me the most, so this book seemed to be right up my alley. Overall, this book met my expectations of what I thought it would be. I was hoping for stories of how New York used to be in the “old days”/how things have changed over the years, stories about why New York is so special to people, and stories of normal people just living in the city and trying to make a life for themselves. This book brought all of those things in spades. Each chapter had a theme that the stories in that chapter would be about. Within each chapter there would be about four or five stories told by NY residents that go with the theme. The stories were transcribed from recorded voice, so it seemed like the person was talking directly to the reader. There were three different interludes throughout the book where the author tells his story of meeting and befriending Joe, an individual experiencing homelessnes, throughout his time living in the city. Some standout chapters were Pandemic City, Non-stop Hustle, and Building Stories. Pandemic City was the most affecting section, to me. It tells the story of Dan Bauso, a personal injury lawyer from Queens, and his experience testing positive for COVID and then being hospitalized for almost a week in Long Island Jewish Hospital (LIJH). It also included interviews with a LIJH nurse who took care of Bauso and other COVID patients. His hospitalization happened right at the beginning of quarantine and already the hospital ICU was full and it was all hands on deck. I liked the insight to what the nurses were experiencing (emotionally and physically) when treating COVID patients and insight into what it felt like to be a COVID patient in New York City. Also, Dan Bauso (who is in other chapters as well) is delightful and I would pay to have him take me on a tour of NYC like he did with the author. The author interviews a very diverse cross section of people for this book. Their perspectives and circumstances are from every end of the spectrum. There were some stories that I skipped over because they weren’t as interesting to me, but it was only a few. This book is a quick read. Most of the stories aren’t overly long or rambling, but the ones that are add to the interviewee’s character. This book is good for anyone wanting to get a taste of what everyday NYC residents are like in real life. I would recommend anyone with an interest in NYC culture and/or history told from an insider’s perspective pick up this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tara Watson

    New York will always have my heart ❤️ I was #gifted New Yorkers by John Murrays and I’ve been reading it over the last couple of months and I loved it! New Yorkers is a collection of stories from people living in New York collated over 6 years. This book has everything and everyone you could imagine, there’s such a variety! Some of my personal favourite stories were from a a private cook, a meditation specialist, an elevator repairman, the owner of a recording studio and a lice consultant. And o New York will always have my heart ❤️ I was #gifted New Yorkers by John Murrays and I’ve been reading it over the last couple of months and I loved it! New Yorkers is a collection of stories from people living in New York collated over 6 years. This book has everything and everyone you could imagine, there’s such a variety! Some of my personal favourite stories were from a a private cook, a meditation specialist, an elevator repairman, the owner of a recording studio and a lice consultant. And of course Joe ❤️ When I went to New York 6 years ago, I did all the cliche things you want to do in New York. I went to the top of the Empire State Building, I visited the Statue of Liberty, I bought a designer handbag in Macy’s, saw a Knicks game and walked though Central Park (and got engaged there too! ❤️). I did all these cliches because I’d read and seen New York everywhere and these were ‘the things to do’. I absolutely adored my time in NYC and I know I’m going to go back there again one day. Even though I already knew that there was so much more to the city that I hadn’t seen, this book showed me that New York is not just the cliches we see in books and films, it has so much more to offer. So next time I go, I want to find the hidden secrets of New York, to see it through the eyes of New Yorkers themselves. This book covered everyone and everything New York has been through, and even though I only stayed there for 6 days 6 years ago, it made me miss the city. It was so honest and open, the stories inside it really get to your heart. And you can tell the love that Craig Taylor has for it too. This is one that will stay forever on my shelves and I go back to again in the future. ❤️

  7. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    I was born and bred in the Midwest. The first time I met a New Yorker I was on a roadtrip in Arkansas. My family and I were playing the license plate game and I (being 10 at that time) saw the New York license plate and yelled ‘New York’! The driver retorted ‘yeah what about it!?’ This brief interaction shaped my stereotype of New Yorkers; blunt, mouthy, snappy, and quick to cut through the bullshit. After reading this book I think it has both reinforced and shifted my perception of New Yorkers ( I was born and bred in the Midwest. The first time I met a New Yorker I was on a roadtrip in Arkansas. My family and I were playing the license plate game and I (being 10 at that time) saw the New York license plate and yelled ‘New York’! The driver retorted ‘yeah what about it!?’ This brief interaction shaped my stereotype of New Yorkers; blunt, mouthy, snappy, and quick to cut through the bullshit. After reading this book I think it has both reinforced and shifted my perception of New Yorkers (NYC). The city is tough and so are its people. But, that’s what makes them great. I loved the diversity of people Taylor spoke to and the interludes with Joe (although wish he would’ve spoke to some informal workers as they make up a big part of the city). Anyway, what a wonderful book. I was sucked in story after story. You walk away from this book hearing for the New York of yore. As a geography student, we study place. What is placemaking? Who are cities being built for? What are the neoliberal policies driving this change? This book answers them all. I loved (in a horrifying way that makes you hate rich people) the story with the private tutor. I am just reminded that we as a society need our cities to be built FOR the working class. After all it is the working class that built the city. I really loved this book and it makes me want to visit NYC, something I never thought I would say after the license plate incident.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katy Wheatley

    This is a collection of snapshots of what it's like to live and work in New York, and in some cases what it means to be a New Yorker. There is one relationship that the author comes back to over and over again, but apart from this, there is a huge variety of voices and experiences here. It reminded me very much of Humans of New York, which is a project I follow through Facebook. It's a real social snapshot, kind of like a longer term, more in depth and interesting census. I found myself wanting This is a collection of snapshots of what it's like to live and work in New York, and in some cases what it means to be a New Yorker. There is one relationship that the author comes back to over and over again, but apart from this, there is a huge variety of voices and experiences here. It reminded me very much of Humans of New York, which is a project I follow through Facebook. It's a real social snapshot, kind of like a longer term, more in depth and interesting census. I found myself wanting to know more about some of the people and the people I didn't warm to were only there for a few pages, so it was perfect. The sections which feature people's experiences of 9/11 were particularly fascinating. This is a book you could read in one go, or like me, dip into and out of as they day progresses. During this last few months of COVID I've found it really difficult to concentrate on reading for long periods of time, and this book has been perfect for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sean Loughran

    Craig Taylor’s New Yorkers was a reminder of every reason I love New York City. I felt I really resonated with Antwon Shavers’ story from Craig’s book, who says, “Every time I wake up in the morning, I always say to myself, “Wow, I’m actually here in New York,” At times throughout this book, my heart dropped into my stomach. One point in particular was the story of Gladys DeJesus, a retired 911 dispatcher who was working when the planes hit the towers. She explains when the first call came in, an Craig Taylor’s New Yorkers was a reminder of every reason I love New York City. I felt I really resonated with Antwon Shavers’ story from Craig’s book, who says, “Every time I wake up in the morning, I always say to myself, “Wow, I’m actually here in New York,” At times throughout this book, my heart dropped into my stomach. One point in particular was the story of Gladys DeJesus, a retired 911 dispatcher who was working when the planes hit the towers. She explains when the first call came in, and her immense sadness and ongoing PTSD can be sensed through her words. New Yorkers includes people from every walk of life. One of the most multicultural cities in the world, with over 200 languages spoken, and 40 percent of the NYC population born outside of the United States, this book manages to capture the cultural diversity that lives and breathes there. The individual stories might not be revolutionary. But together, they are remarkable. Avocado Diaries

  10. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Over a period of six years, the author, Craig Taylor, met with, interviewed and be-friended scores of New York residents from all walks of life - each of them eager to share their slice of New York City with us. The resulting book, “New Yorkers, A City and Its People in our Time”, is a fascinating literary mosaic of dozens of unique and intimate musings collected and distilled for us into one wonderful volume. Some of the characters we meet include a security guard at the Statue of Liberty, a cit Over a period of six years, the author, Craig Taylor, met with, interviewed and be-friended scores of New York residents from all walks of life - each of them eager to share their slice of New York City with us. The resulting book, “New Yorkers, A City and Its People in our Time”, is a fascinating literary mosaic of dozens of unique and intimate musings collected and distilled for us into one wonderful volume. Some of the characters we meet include a security guard at the Statue of Liberty, a city roadworks engineer trying to hold back the tide on crumbling streets and Infrastructure, and a COVID patient admitted to a NY hospital in the height of the earliest pandemic days. We meet some of the homeless, the poverty-stricken, a criminal, a lawyer, the militant, a cop, a 911 dispatcher and several social justice seekers; as well as nannies, tutors, interior designers and others trying to eke out a living at the hands of a city which has evolved into a “playground for the rich”, or as some see it, the “violently or aggressively wealthy”. Several of the stories involve young people arriving from midwestern or southern states, - artists, actors, journalists, singers - creative hopefuls caught up in the dream, the “generosity of opportunities”, the theatrical loudness and the “great bigness” of everything NY. Across it all, the voices we hear are alternately strident, empathetic, assertive, intelligent, kind, angry, reflective, uncompromising and many are fiercely proud of their borough and their city - in short, every and all characteristics you would expect to find in the population of any huge metropolitan area. What makes this collection cohesive then, is not what these individuals have in common, so much as what they don’t. If it wasn’t clear beforehand, its certainly clear after losing yourself to this totally engrossing collection of characters - New York City, as evidenced in this book, pulsates with an inexhaustible, fluid, larger-than-life energy which feeds on diversity - the outcome evident in an ever-widening cacophony of city living, an “assault on the senses”, that, love it or hate it, is impossible for an individual to ignore. A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an advance review copy in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts presented are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Over a period of six years, the author, Craig Taylor, met with, interviewed and be-friended scores of New York residents from all walks of life - each of them eager to share their slice of New York City with us. The resulting book, “New Yorkers, A City and Its People in our Time”, is a fascinating literary mosaic of dozens of unique and intimate musings collected and distilled for us into one wonderful volume. Some of the characters we meet include a security guard at the Statue of Liberty, a cit Over a period of six years, the author, Craig Taylor, met with, interviewed and be-friended scores of New York residents from all walks of life - each of them eager to share their slice of New York City with us. The resulting book, “New Yorkers, A City and Its People in our Time”, is a fascinating literary mosaic of dozens of unique and intimate musings collected and distilled for us into one wonderful volume. Some of the characters we meet include a security guard at the Statue of Liberty, a city roadworks engineer trying to hold back the tide on crumbling streets and Infrastructure, and a COVID patient admitted to a NY hospital in the height of the earliest pandemic days. We meet some of the homeless, the poverty-stricken, a criminal, a lawyer, the militant, a cop, a 911 dispatcher and several social justice seekers; as well as nannies, tutors, interior designers and others trying to eke out a living at the hands of a city which has evolved into a “playground for the rich”, or as some see it, the “violently or aggressively wealthy”. Several of the stories involve young people arriving from midwestern or southern states, - artists, actors, journalists, singers - creative hopefuls caught up in the dream, the “generosity of opportunities”, the theatrical loudness and the “great bigness” of everything NY. Across it all, the voices we hear are alternately strident, empathetic, assertive, intelligent, kind, angry, reflective, uncompromising and many are fiercely proud of their borough and their city - in short, every and all characteristics you would expect to find in the population of any huge metropolitan area. What makes this collection cohesive then, is not what these individuals have in common, so much as what they don’t. If it wasn’t clear beforehand, its certainly clear after losing yourself to this totally engrossing collection of characters - New York City, as evidenced in this book, pulsates with an inexhaustible, fluid, larger-than-life energy which feeds on diversity - the outcome evident in an ever-widening cacophony of city living, an “assault on the senses”, that, love it or hate it, is impossible to ignore. A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an advance review copy in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts presented are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Veesreadinglist

    ""I told Joe about phosphorescence where I grew up and what it was like to swim in the stuff, what it was like to draw your hands through water and watch the paths of shimmering algae. “I would love to see that, “he said. “Sometimes you talk about a place, and I get sad that I won’t see it. “ “Anytime you want. “I said. “You believe that?” He nodded. “You’ve got places, “I told him. “Don’t say New York,” he replied."" Ah, New York… It’s like a piece of chocolate- you know it might be bad for you, but ""I told Joe about phosphorescence where I grew up and what it was like to swim in the stuff, what it was like to draw your hands through water and watch the paths of shimmering algae. “I would love to see that, “he said. “Sometimes you talk about a place, and I get sad that I won’t see it. “ “Anytime you want. “I said. “You believe that?” He nodded. “You’ve got places, “I told him. “Don’t say New York,” he replied."" Ah, New York… It’s like a piece of chocolate- you know it might be bad for you, but you still want it. That’s how I feel about New York. I’ve never visited the place, but the attraction to it is enormous. I can’t tell you why I want to see the city so much- I simply don’t know. There’s no big reason for me to go… But I want. And I will. I think, maybe it’s the unknown- everything is bigger in New York City, right? Craig Taylor’s book New Yorkers. A City and Its People in Our Time was a phenomenal read. I could not stop highlighting chapters, that’s how beautiful it was. Think of this book like a photo album, but instead of pictures- you have stories- stories told by New Yorkers themselves. The author spent 6 years interviewing people of New York City- from rich to poor. New Yorkers gladly shared their stories of the City, they spoke about their struggles and happy times. There was nothing to hide- what you see is what you get in New York, and I loved every bit of it. It’s not just glitz and glam, you guys. Be prepared, get your pens and notebooks ready- there will be many things to put down. Brilliant book. I can’t wait for you to meet these beautiful people- Andrea Pawlak(the owner of a dog- walking business),  David Frye (an elevator repairman), Katie Perry ( a nanny), Jaiquan Fayson( a painter who used to be incarcerated on Rikers Island), Joe and many more… It warms my heart to know that the stories of these people will live forever here in Craig Taylor’s book. Surely it will at my heart, too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Craig Taylor’s concept to create a representation of New York using New Yorkers’ lived experiences and passing conversations creates a vast smorgasbord of topics, discussions, and information which represents the events which have built the city into what it is today. The main topics are separated into parts, such as wealth inequality, pandemic woes, culture, etc. Within these sections goes deeper into smaller yet memorable experiences which do not necessarily fit all of New York’s beliefs or ex Craig Taylor’s concept to create a representation of New York using New Yorkers’ lived experiences and passing conversations creates a vast smorgasbord of topics, discussions, and information which represents the events which have built the city into what it is today. The main topics are separated into parts, such as wealth inequality, pandemic woes, culture, etc. Within these sections goes deeper into smaller yet memorable experiences which do not necessarily fit all of New York’s beliefs or experiences. Taylor does a great job of showing how diverse New York’s ideologies and lifestyles can be, and how the city has been changing. When reading the book, I found the order of certain stories very hit or miss. There would be great transitions from the concluding story in a section to the next part, and then there would be stories of the aftermath of police officers experiencing 9/11 following nurse stories about the Covid-19 pandemic. While I certainly don’t need a chronological telling of events, there should be strong thematic significance to why an order is written the way it is. I also felt as though the more memoir parts of the book were sparse enough to feel disconnected from the overall message of the piece. The aspect I liked most about this nonfiction collection was that it allows the reader to read and come up with their own conclusions about what New Yorkers are and represent within its pages. Taylor is simply the medium which New York shares its stories; rather than an interpreter or present day historian. What results is a refreshingly authentic experience which gives the reader plenty to think about at the end of each anecdote.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joy Lee

    Rating: 5 Re-Read Factor: Yes New York is a stream and you find your spots in the pools where there's a little shade and there's a little light and there's something that stays. I felt like I was in New York. From the hustle, to the past, to politics, to immigrants, to NASDAQ, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to life and death, New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time encompassed it all. Taylor does an incredible job in his execution of each story. He conveys anger, frustration, heartbreak, and Rating: 5 Re-Read Factor: Yes New York is a stream and you find your spots in the pools where there's a little shade and there's a little light and there's something that stays. I felt like I was in New York. From the hustle, to the past, to politics, to immigrants, to NASDAQ, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to life and death, New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time encompassed it all. Taylor does an incredible job in his execution of each story. He conveys anger, frustration, heartbreak, and happiness so well, I found myself laughing one moment and crying the next. You meet people from an array of fields-- from 911 responders, far right and far left individuals, landlords, renters, undocumented immigrants, repairmen, activists, nurses on the frontlines, lawyers, patients, and more. When first thinking of the city, it can be easy to forget how integral these individuals are in the cog that is New York, and Taylor's back-to-back contrast of these dualities (e.g. back-to-back stories of far right and far left individuals, landlords to renters, nurse to patient). I would recommend this book to fans of Humans of New York and anyone interested in learning about the many lenses of our society.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adam Murphy

    "If I can make it there I'll make it practically anywhere It's up to you." New Yorkers by Craig Taylor is an exciting anthology of America's famous city that never sleeps. This doorstopper of a book contains numerous interviews with New Yorkers from all walks of life. They talk about their city experiences over the last couple of decades, both good and bad (including the pandemic, 9/11, occupy Wall Street, & Hurricane Sandy). The author has interviewed such a wide range of people talking about diff "If I can make it there I'll make it practically anywhere It's up to you." New Yorkers by Craig Taylor is an exciting anthology of America's famous city that never sleeps. This doorstopper of a book contains numerous interviews with New Yorkers from all walks of life. They talk about their city experiences over the last couple of decades, both good and bad (including the pandemic, 9/11, occupy Wall Street, & Hurricane Sandy). The author has interviewed such a wide range of people talking about different topics & different professions that you are bound to find something to interest you. New York City is made up of five boroughs: Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Of them, however, Manhattan by far gets the most attention in fiction. This is changing, however, as Brooklyn is becoming trendier. New York State has it even worse. Despite what fiction may lead you to think, Manhattan is the smallest of the boroughs (By land area; by population, it still lags well behind Brooklyn and Queens), and "New York City" is only a relatively small part New York as a whole. Taylor's book is only a tiny sample of the fascinating lives in NYC. It's a glorious symphony of NYC stories scaling from the Empire State to the subway & the rich to the homeless in one of the most cosmopolitan, ethnically diverse, & culturally influential cities in history (if not the most).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paul English-Wolfe

    NEW YORKERS: A CITY AND ITS PEOPLE IN OUR TIME is a completely candid tour of New York made up of seventy-plus interviews with a gloriously diverse selection of its inhabitants. If you’ve heard of ‘Humans of New York’ this is effectively the same thing just sans photos. The range of people you get to meet covers quite a spectrum and you read the thoughts, hopes, and grumbles of the homeless, used-car dealers, and nannies. You get a peek into the myriad worlds that co-exist, fighting for time and a NEW YORKERS: A CITY AND ITS PEOPLE IN OUR TIME is a completely candid tour of New York made up of seventy-plus interviews with a gloriously diverse selection of its inhabitants. If you’ve heard of ‘Humans of New York’ this is effectively the same thing just sans photos. The range of people you get to meet covers quite a spectrum and you read the thoughts, hopes, and grumbles of the homeless, used-car dealers, and nannies. You get a peek into the myriad worlds that co-exist, fighting for time and attention in the Big Apple. Sure, some of the stories are less scene-stealing than others, but they are all interesting and offer you something to take away, to think about or to use. Each interview exists authentically as a record of that person’s words so you get a taste of the differences in language and dialogue that are used across the boroughs. It’s without question that New York emerges as a character in its own right but it’s impossible to define quite what kind of characters. Some people talk of the city as some kind of narcissistic mother, while others gush over how loving and welcoming it is. New York it seems has far more facets than it does faucets. While I read through NEW YORKERS: A CITY AND ITS PEOPLE IN OUR TIME across a couple of days, it’s perhaps better enjoyed by dipping in and out, reading a story or two a day. Overall though I’d really recommend this book as it is extremely interesting, intimate, and authentic.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Enid Wray

    While this is a somewhat fascinating glimpse into the everyday that is New York, and the life of New Yorkers from all walks of life… I found I needed more from the author in the way of context and analysis. With the exception of a few rather pithy pages bookending the personal stories, and the author’s ‘grouping’ of stories in very broad thematic categories, there is little to no reflection or analysis of what it all means. I guess that’s that academic in me… wanting the reflection, a ‘pulling i While this is a somewhat fascinating glimpse into the everyday that is New York, and the life of New Yorkers from all walks of life… I found I needed more from the author in the way of context and analysis. With the exception of a few rather pithy pages bookending the personal stories, and the author’s ‘grouping’ of stories in very broad thematic categories, there is little to no reflection or analysis of what it all means. I guess that’s that academic in me… wanting the reflection, a ‘pulling it all together.’ Granted, the same academic in me recognises the need for the ethnographer - because that really is what he is in this - to remain outside (his) subject matter and simply document what he encountered. On the next to last page the author notes that “I’d failed to stay objective, but I’d also failed to get involved enough.” The latter pretty much sums up how I felt about reading this. And much as I enjoy visiting NYC... how about writing something like this about Canada? That would be of great interest to me -and many others I'm sure... Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for granting me access to an early review copy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Boland

    I have just finished reading this book and I loved it. Craig Taylor does a superb job of getting into the true core of New York. So many of the characters he interviews are complex and fascinating just like the city itself. The reader gets a sense of the good, bad and heart-warming aspects of this city. All those interviewed were clearly real people, living sometimes impossibly complicated lives. Craig’s compassion for the stories of all the 70 plus New Yorkers interviewed was transparent. At ti I have just finished reading this book and I loved it. Craig Taylor does a superb job of getting into the true core of New York. So many of the characters he interviews are complex and fascinating just like the city itself. The reader gets a sense of the good, bad and heart-warming aspects of this city. All those interviewed were clearly real people, living sometimes impossibly complicated lives. Craig’s compassion for the stories of all the 70 plus New Yorkers interviewed was transparent. At times while reading their stories I laughed, cried and mostly had a renewed hope for humanity. It you want to read a travel guide to New York this isn’t the book for you. If you want to get insight into what’s it like to be a real person, with real life complexities, with mixed feeling about the city many love and hate, you have to read this book. I have a sense that many of characters will stay with me for a long time. I’m left wondering how are they all doing? These are real people I now know and care about and I am sincerely touched that Craig introduced me to so many seemingly ordinary while as the same time extraordinary people.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I loved this book and I'm not a New Yorker! I listened to the audio version of this book and would highly recommend listening rather than reading. The actors that they have reading this book are extremely talented and made me feel like I was actually talking to a real New Yorker telling his/her story! This book is written in the first person with each story being its own vignette (personal story) that paints a picture of the bigger chapter (our neighborhood) which paints an even bigger picture o I loved this book and I'm not a New Yorker! I listened to the audio version of this book and would highly recommend listening rather than reading. The actors that they have reading this book are extremely talented and made me feel like I was actually talking to a real New Yorker telling his/her story! This book is written in the first person with each story being its own vignette (personal story) that paints a picture of the bigger chapter (our neighborhood) which paints an even bigger picture of the book (and NYC). I laughed at some parts and cried at others. My eyes were opened to how bad things could be, and my heart strings were tugged with some controversial topics such as occupy wall street, black lives matter, 9/11, homelessness, immigration, and so much more. The ending left me wanting for more. I'd absolutely recommend this book! There's not too many books that I come across and tell my friends "you've got to read this book!" Well, this is one of them! It's sad that I can only give it 5 stars because I'd probably give it 10!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    I alternated between physical book and audiobook and can attest that this is a rare example of how the audiobook is the optimal experience. New Yorkers is an intriguing collage of extended monologue-like interviews of the diverse community of people that make up the fabric of New York - a subway conductor, a museum curator, a nanny, a recycler, a car thief, a meditation instructor and many more - since these are (I assume) closely transcribed interviews, the text follows standard speech patterns I alternated between physical book and audiobook and can attest that this is a rare example of how the audiobook is the optimal experience. New Yorkers is an intriguing collage of extended monologue-like interviews of the diverse community of people that make up the fabric of New York - a subway conductor, a museum curator, a nanny, a recycler, a car thief, a meditation instructor and many more - since these are (I assume) closely transcribed interviews, the text follows standard speech patterns that we recognize and respond to in an audio format, but when it is in plain text, it becomes a bit awkward to read at times, The stories and interviews are a mixed bag, some punchy, others hilarious, others wistful, others philosophical, there are some duds but they are very few and far between - this book is highly recommended especially if you have been to New York, and love it just as much as those that live there.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I've always wanted to live in NYC. It's been a dream of mine. Most of my childhood, I grew up 1 hour train ride away from NYC. I felt I was living on the periphery of this big glamourous cosmopolitan city, feeling the energy and hearing the sounds from afar. I would visit it often. But visiting is different than living in the heart of it. It's like hearing a concert or parade from a few blocks away...but not the same as when inside feeling the raw noise and energy. The book captures the pulse of I've always wanted to live in NYC. It's been a dream of mine. Most of my childhood, I grew up 1 hour train ride away from NYC. I felt I was living on the periphery of this big glamourous cosmopolitan city, feeling the energy and hearing the sounds from afar. I would visit it often. But visiting is different than living in the heart of it. It's like hearing a concert or parade from a few blocks away...but not the same as when inside feeling the raw noise and energy. The book captures the pulse of the city by focusing on the workers. Those scraping by day-to-day. The ones that keep NYC running and beating. The stories focusing on the workers remind me of the August Sander's portrait photography at the beginning of the 1900s, and Studs Terkel book called "Working". Maybe, someday.... my dream will come true and I'll be able to live there even for a brief moment.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Greville Waterman

    I love oral histories and was brought up on the immortal Studs Terkel who was the acknowledged master of this genre. I loved "Londoners", Craig Taylor's previous collection of London lives and this is just as good. The best thing that I can say is that I lived in Manhattan for several years and this book brought back so many fond - and not so fond - memories of the time I spent there and the incredible varied and eclectic nature of this wonderful city. He talks to people from all walks of life, ri I love oral histories and was brought up on the immortal Studs Terkel who was the acknowledged master of this genre. I loved "Londoners", Craig Taylor's previous collection of London lives and this is just as good. The best thing that I can say is that I lived in Manhattan for several years and this book brought back so many fond - and not so fond - memories of the time I spent there and the incredible varied and eclectic nature of this wonderful city. He talks to people from all walks of life, rich and poor and without exception they paint an incredible evocative picture of New York where anything is possible. I was entertained and challenged throughout the book and I loved every page of it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Varade

    As a New Yorker myself, these poignant tales really spoke to me. We see the beauty, quirkiness, humor, intelligence, sadness, and honesty of the daily New York City experience in the voices of the people. Thank you, Craig Taylor, for taking the time to get to know us and, through your eloquent narration, to reveal how we each participate as individuals in making this great patchwork quilt of a city function and prosper.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lcitera

    A book that should be read by every politician, by every high school senior, by all who need to be reminded that a world exists beyond their narrow focus. Primary-source conversations, verbatim, from a bus driver, an elevator repair man, a nurse in the midst of a pandemic, a singer, a man who lives in a cardboard box in front of a nail salon. And so many more. A book filled with humanity. A book that hits you in the face and hopefully in the heart.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sayo

    I really liked this concept. The author is a gatherer of stories, we hear small life experiences from a chef, a doctor, a protestor, people of all social classes, the one thing they have in common, they are all New Yorkers. Often times saying you're a New Yorker is such a statement. It was interesting to see how the city shaped these different people. I really liked this concept. The author is a gatherer of stories, we hear small life experiences from a chef, a doctor, a protestor, people of all social classes, the one thing they have in common, they are all New Yorkers. Often times saying you're a New Yorker is such a statement. It was interesting to see how the city shaped these different people.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liberty

    This was the absolute perfect book to read before my trip to New York next week. It will also go down as one of my favorite books of the year, and I'm calling it even though it's only March. I listened on libro.fm, and the cast was brilliant and felt authentic and genuine. I really suggest listening to this on audio. This was the absolute perfect book to read before my trip to New York next week. It will also go down as one of my favorite books of the year, and I'm calling it even though it's only March. I listened on libro.fm, and the cast was brilliant and felt authentic and genuine. I really suggest listening to this on audio.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I cannot praise this book more highly. Mr Taylor clearly put enormous time and energy into finding a very diverse group of New Yorkers to speak to. And oh the stories they tell. The segment on COVID had me weeping for the people, and my beloved city. There could easily be a Vol 2 but I suspect Mr Taylor will move on. He has written a very memorable book in an effort to capture the people of N Y.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ric

    Fascinating look at NYC, the good, bad and ugly as recounted in dozens of interviews with a very wide assortment of residents. The British author pretty much just stays out of the way (which is actually a smart choice) with the exception of the periodic updates of a friendship between himself and a homeless man that remains on the right side of cloying and is all the better for it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joe McMahon

    It gets better and better. Mr. Taylor is a skilled, sympathetic listener, allowing people to tell their own stories. They offer beautiful insights into life. --- I was ready to criticize the author as an outsider, but he has produced a masterpiece. However, somebody who does not know the five boroughs allowed him a misspelling of Belle Harbor, top of page 194.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Excellent. Initially I thought it would be more of a coffee table book. Pick it up from time to time and read a vignette about New York. Instead I found a beautiful read about the city I love. Taylor does a wonderful job showcasing the raw beauty that is New York and New Yorkers. It is and always was all about the people.

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