Thursday, September 03, 2015

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood

6 comments:

Rick Robinson said...

I've read more than I expected. I don't call Up In The Old Hotel a novel, it's an essay collection. I'll be interested to see what Jeff says.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Here I was expecting it to be all Manhattan, so at least she got that right. I'd add under Brooklyn:

Red Hook
Gabriel Cohen, Red Hook
Ivy Pochoda, Visitation Street

I don't remember Bay Ridge in Last Exit to Brooklyn, but it's been a long time. It was what is now Sunset Park (then just South Brooklyn) and maybe a little Red Hook.

Some of Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder books are in Brooklyn, like A Walk Among the Tombstones at Greenwood Cemetery.

I'd add Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn to Boerum Hill.

Thomas Boyle's Only the Dead Know Brooklyn has scenes in a number of areas.
Reed Farrel Coleman's Moe Prager books often center on Coney Island and Bensonhurst.

Queens
Rockaway
Jill Eisenstadt, From Rockaway

I'm sure there are many others, like Westlake's Dancing Aztecs and most of the Dortmunder series.

Jeff

Don Coffin said...

It's hard to argue with the NYPL about something like this, and I've been only a tourist, not a resident. But I'd add something by Chester Himes to the Harlem section. (He may not be "high-brow" enough, though.)

(One could do this with poetry, but I think Lawrence Ferlinghetti has it mostly locked up with A Coney Island of the Mind and A Far Rockaway of the Heart.)

Don Coffin said...

It just occurred to me that I'd put Richard Wright's Native Son in there somewhere, too.

Unknown said...

Jerome Weidman's I'LL NEVER GO THERE ANYMORE (1941)is a fine "Young Man in New York" novel that missed getting a lot of attention because it was published in December of 1941, when lots of folks had lots of other concerns, but 6 pages of it were turned into the movie HOUSE OF STRANGERS (1949) and then remade as a Western, BROKEN LANCE (1954) surely the strangest fate ever to befall a New York novel.

Unknown said...

A strange fate, indeed.