Gimme Shelter and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item has been gently used.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Gimme Shelter Hardcover


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.01 $0.01 $7.71
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416557083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416557081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Williams, a freelance journalist, provides a blow-by-blow account of the recent inflation of the real estate bubble and its economic—and emotional—impact on middle-class families like her own. The author paints a vivid picture of the crisis in New York City, where even with a housing budget of $400,000, she and her husband found only properties that provided less than 1,000 square feet of living space or were located under bridges or facing expressways or were in dire need of six-figure renovation. She provides cogent explanations of the recent financial crisis and foreshadows its still-developing repercussions, given that she is one of the millions who signed onto an Alt-A (not quite prime) mortgage. Her family's search for a home and their journey through the mire of the New York real estate market rises to affecting heights and is a compelling, clearly written story that will interest anyone seeking a personal perspective on the causes, depth and long-term consequences of the financial crisis and the ramifications of past and current policy decisions. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Williams had a young daughter and was considering having another child when the tinyness of the family’s Brooklyn apartment, the pressure of the New York housing market, and the house-hunting and -buying activities of friends all brought to a fever pitch her own desire to take the plunge into home ownership. Over a three-year period that included the birth of a second daughter, Williams discovered the alarming pace of gentrification in New York, the maddening inverse relationship between home price and mortgage rate (when one was rising, the other was falling), the dizzying array of elements that go into buying a home (from finicky co-op boards to snippy real-estate brokers and lenders), and the widening gap between those who can and do own their homes and those who don’t. Loath to leave their beloved Brooklyn, Williams and her husband looked further and further afield, pondering the similar moves their friends were making across the nation. In this engaging and personal look at the home-buying process, Williams takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster of fear and envy as she illuminates some of the market pressures that lie behind the nation’s current financial crisis. --Vanessa Bush

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
28
4 star
12
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 42 customer reviews
Try it...you'll like it!
D. Preg
There were times when I laughed out loud ("Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Manhattan!") and times when my heart ached for Williams' intense desire to find Home.
bookie
It's a really engaging read, funny, thoughtful, and very personal.
T. Igoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra Henshel VINE VOICE on March 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gimme Shelter: Ugly Houses, Cruddy Neighborhoods, Fast-Talking Brokers and Toxic Mortgages: My Three Years Searching For The American Dream is the whole overblown title, which promises much more than is delivered in this surprisingly weightless book.

For 310 pages, Williams moans with the dreadfully self-conscious tone of the plagued priviliged, and it is not a pretty sound.

The book is not, as implied, a look at the greater collapse of the American housing industry or what have you- it is a great whine about how she (freelance writer for publications such as Salon) and her husband Jeff (on-and-off employed copy editor) couldn't afford to buy in Brooklyn's Carrol Gardens during the housing boom.

Considering that they had lived there for years before prices skyrocketed, it seems rather sour grapes of her how much she bitches and squeaks about those friends of theirs who did buy early and made mad money from their foresight, and what she has to say about those dreadful new rich people who priced her out of what she clearly felt was rightfully her cool neighborhood- well, you can practically see her stamping her little feet.

She did have the grace to realize, close to the end of the book, that what she and Jeff were doing by buying and tarting up a place in way way uptown Manhattan (Inwood) was the same thing the wealthy were doing in Carroll Gardens- gentrification, lady. The rock stars priced you out of your neighborhood, now you're doing it to the residents of Inwood Park, the immigrants and the elderly.
Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Someone Like You on July 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
MBW can definitely write. There are some phrases in this book that made me laugh out loud. Like..."It's half-past get the BLEEP out of here" and "Once you get above 125th street it's all spanking and cockfighting, which is not as good as that might initially sound." And, the idea for the book is a good one: what's it like to be a middle-income (truly middle-income) family of 4 in search of affordable housing in New York City? It's a quick read but ultimately the book collapses under a mountain of minutia (I had lunch here, I told my husband this, my kid did this, it was sunny, it was cloudy), platitudes about New York and a sophmoric paint-by-numbers structure that goes something like this: 2 pages detailing her real estate or other neurosis-of-the-day, 3 pages on her search, a sentence or two of stats, a dash of sarcasm and then a quick annecdote about a friend's real estate quest. These annecdotes are interesting at first but by the 15th they blend together into meaningless uniformity: JL and BK loved New York, left New York and now live somewhere else, pay less and love it. Repeat.

Buy it used in paperback on Amsterdam and read it on a bumpy flight to Vegas.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. Griffin on February 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
gimme shelter is mary elizabeth williams' quest for a simple reasonably-priced home. and what does she get? more monsters, setbacks and double crosses than frodo and his fellowship.
apparently real estate folk have more nifty lies than a bar full of frat boys and williams tell us all about them. the writing is precise, honest and very funny. if one got paid for laughs generated Mary Elizabeth Williams would be a wealthy landowner with many cows by now.
read this book in the warmth and comfort of your undersized, overpriced but rent stabilized apartment and feel good about yourself. apartments - they aren't just for losers anymore.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zelda on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went into this book expecting a personal, possibly painful, and certainly funny memoir. While I found all that, I was thoroughly impressed by the author's ability to simplify mortgage-speak and explain the crazy sub-prime mortgage industry. This book couldn't be more timely, but that's not really why you should read it.

I couldn't put it down. I was simultaneously informed, entertained, and pained as I rooted for this family to find a home. Read this book for the sheer enjoyment of a well-written memoir.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phil Madman on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've not yet gone home shopping myself, but after reading this book I feel as though I already have. Every challenge and heartbreak, elation and fall, every pressure point the world could push on, they're all there.

Somehow however, Ms Williams' wit and way with words make the journey both an adventure and a joy to read. You may shake your fists at the world from time to time while reading, but in the end you may have an appreciation of the fact that sometimes the best things in life cost $400,000 plus 8.5% interest for the next 30 years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paula Span on March 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The yearning for a nest -- including a bedroom with a door -- is universal, but this enjoyable book is very specific. Instead of trudging through a national survey of how the real estate market overheated, we follow one middle class working woman and her family as they struggle to find a modest apartment for what is, in almost any other part of the country, a ridiculous sum. You'll laugh; you'll cry...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Liz L. on March 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Very, very funny. I only wish we had this hilarious handbook during the two miserable years we spent searching for plausible, affordable real estate within commuting distance of Manhattan.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0x9d6bcf48)