3 out of 4 stars
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New York – a seemingly vast place filled with millions of people and never-ending activities. A frequent vacation destination for tourists and home to many, both native-born and those who happened to visit and fall in love, New York has quite the reputation. Those who live there are as described in the title: A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse, and Astonish You: New Yorkers. The author, Clifford Browder, fell in love with the city many years ago and shares all the aspects of the city that make it both wonderful and terrible in the eyes of a local. From lifestyles to prized landmarks and a lasting appreciation for liquor, New York and its people are revealed in this novel.
While New Yorkers is not a book that makes me rave about it, I did enjoy it, so I give it a score of three out of four stars. It was not professionally edited – many commas were missing throughout the book, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. The chapters themselves stem from Browder’s blog, so there is almost a stream of consciousness aspect to the writing. However, it is still easy to follow along. Browder has a frequently amused undertone that makes it fun to read. Browder made me laugh with some of the details and memories he chose to share as he portrayed what New York and New Yorkers look like to him.
If I have to name what I dislike most about the book, it would be that the organization is somewhat chaotic. There is still some organization and, given that the book reflects Browder’s personal opinions and memories regarding his home, it is appropriate for the topic. However, there are tangents within the chapters, resulting in the almost stream of consciousness writing style that I mentioned before. Nevertheless, this aspect means that readers get a few more personal details about New York and Browder.
This book can be read by many different people, although I think adult admirers of New York would probably receive the most enjoyment from the book. It could also be enjoyed by teenagers, although the historical facts and stories may not appeal to them. There is hardly any cursing or traditionally inappropriate references, so that does not hinder my belief that teenagers can also enjoy the novel.
A Feisty People Who Will Unsettle, Madden, Amuse, and Astonish You: New Yorkers is a novel that has a lot to say about America’s most populated city. Filled with amusing anecdotes, historical references, and love for his city, Clifford Browder presents his New York to readers. As a result, New York lovers near and far can discover more about the city and maybe grow to love it more.
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