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Literature & Fiction

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (81 votes)

Released: 1993-06-01

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Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell


Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books—McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould's Secret—that are still renowned for their precise, respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style.

These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens—as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time.

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Editoral Review

Journalist Joseph Mitchell, whose death in in May 1996 at the age of 87 merited a half-page obituary in the New York Times, pioneered a style of journalism while crafting brilliant magazine pieces for the New Yorker from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Up in the Old Hotel, a collection of his best reporting, is a 700-page joy to read.

Mitchell lovingly chronicled the lives of odd New York characters. In the pages of Up In the Old Hotel, the reader passes through places such as McSorley's Old Ale House or the Fulton Fish Market that many observers might have found ordinary. But when experienced through Mitchell's gifted eye, the reader will see that these haunts of old New York possess poetry, beauty, and meaning.

Book Details

Author: Joseph Mitchell Publisher: Vintage Binding: Paperback Language: English Pages: 736

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