Joseph Mitchell was a legendary New Yorker writer and the author of the national bestseller Up in the Old Hotel, in which these two pieces appeared. What Joseph Mitchell wrote about, principally, was New York. In Joe Gould, Mitchell found the perfect subject. And Joe Gould's Secret has become a legendary piece of New York history.
Joe Gould may have been the quintessential Greenwich Village bohemian. In 1916, he left behind patrician roots for a scrappy, hand-to-mouth existence: he wore ragtag clothes, slept in Bowery flophouses, and mooched food, drinks, and money off of friends and strangers. Thus he was able to devote his energies to writing "An Oral History of Our Time," which Gould said would constitute "the informal history of the shirt-sleeved multitude." But when Joe Gould died in 1957, the manuscript could not be found. Where had he hidden it? This is Joe Gould's Secret.
"[Mitchell is] one of our finest journalists."--Dawn Powell, The Washington Post
"What people say is history--Joe Gould was right about that-- and history, when recorded by Mitchell, is literature."--The New Criterion
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys or studies journalistic techniques.
Mitchell shares his eventual exasperation with the reader, alternating between that and genuine sympathy for Gould.
Mitchell's style of writing is short and to the point but each sentance is crafted to paint a very vivid image.
This summer, 2009, I have found myself on a journey into the past via transporters like Mitchell, Thurber, EB White, McNaulty, etc. Joe Gould's Secret punctuates these visits. Read morePublished on July 31, 2009 by Timothy B. Schreier
Having seen the movie before reading the book, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm happy to report that the movie had been totally faithful to the book. Read morePublished on December 15, 2007 by decayla
I would love to be able to ask Joe Mitchell why in the
devil he succumbed to this worthless little wastrel
and beggar, Joe Gould. Read more
This book with two different pieces about a homeless person of NY is remarkable demonstration of how to write a profile. Read morePublished on April 24, 2002 by Pedro
In hindsight, I am a bit shy to admit that I first learned of Joseph Mitchell through the made-for-TV version of this story. Read morePublished on August 27, 2001 by M. A Netzley
Joseph Gould was a member of one of the oldest families in New England. A graduate of Harvard the world was at the feet of this New England scion. Read morePublished on June 22, 2001 by Bonita L. Davis
No Hope For Joe Gould By: Ashik Kabir
Ever since I was a child, I've always has a weak spot for the homeless. Read more
Joseph Mitchell takes two looks at the life of Joe Gould, a homeless denizen of NYC's Greenwich Village. Read morePublished on September 19, 2000 by J. Carroll
Joseph Mitchell has written a piece of journalism that is true, but seems almost like a fictitious story. I won't ruin anything. Read morePublished on September 4, 2000 by Matt McGlaughlin