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Speedology: Speed on New York on Speed Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Context Books (June 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893956296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893956292
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Speedology: Speed on New York on Speed, journalist Timothy Levitch presents an uncontrolled, sweeping portrait of Manhattan. (Levitch's bus tour of the city was the subject of a 1998 documentary film, The Cruise.) The eclectic mix of historical tidbits, inspirational quotes, guidebook-like descriptions and humorous commentary make for a sometimes frenetic but mostly entertaining book about the city Levitch calls "a great teacher bestowing life lessons upon a mostly slow-learning population." Atypical in format-Levitch uses various font styles and sizes-the book is divided into chapters on New York neighborhoods including SoHo, Midtown and the Lower East Side. While he conspicuously leaves out chapters on Chinatown or Little Italy, Levitch does offer fresh takes on much-written-about places, such as the Chrysler Building ("the semblance of a budding flower and a spaceship preparing for launch"), and other more obscure locales, such as Filene's Basement ("many of the women in Filene's Basement are masochists").
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Timothy "Speed" Levitch (born 1970) is an actor, tour guide, speaker, author and voice actor. The name "Speed" was given to him by a childhood friend in high school. Levitch has appeared in multiple films and has had his poetic and philosophical works published in books and periodicals.

Levitch was born July 9, 1970 in New York City. Along with his older brother and younger sister, he grew up in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, where he attended the Horace Mann School. When he was twelve, his parents got a house in Westchester County, New York and he was briefly a suburbanite. He longed to return to New York City and eventually he did, graduating from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts in 1992.

In 1992 he received his tour guide license from the Central Park Conservancy. He later took a position with Apple and Gray Line Tours as a tour bus guide. He soon attracted a cult following, due not only to his fast talking style, but also for his obvious love of his native city and passionate philosophical ideas.

Levitch's fame was spread beyond NYC when Oscar winning Director, Bennett Miller, made Speed the subject of the 1998 documentary The Cruise.

Works to Date:

The Cruise (1998), as himself.
Waking Life (2001), as himself.
Scotland, PA (2001), Hector. (Hippie #2)
School of Rock (2003), Waiter.
Live from Shiva's Dance Floor (2003), as himself.
Weezer: Video Capture Device (2004), as himself.
Stroker and Hoop (2004) TV Series (voice), Hoop. (credited as Speed Levitch)
Xavier: Renegade Angel (2007) (voice), Puggler, the Punk Rock Juggler. (credited as Speed Levitch)

Customer Reviews

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If you've never let Speed sleep on your couch, you really should!
Ginger Petunia
His comments were thought provoking and deep - this outstanding ability shines through in his book.
Christine Hill
It should be enjoyed by those who want to read it, not just by those who can afford it.
Noreen M. Novak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. reilly on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is written by the genuinely brilliant, misfit friend you grew up with and hung out with, and in adulthood are a little bit freaked out by. Maybe he gets weirder every year, and it's not always pretty, but you still want to hang out with him, because you feel more real around him than you do around anyone else...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Noreen M. Novak on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Timothy "Speed" Levitch is a creative maelstrom. After reading Speedology, I have never felt so utterly alive and ready to overcome fear in my life. It has made me hunger to visit New York to see the world through the literary eyes I have been given as well as a need to think, feel and express more than I previously have. The poetics and spiritual reflection are superb to the point that even an atheist or skeptic can find utter beauty in them...the question of god is irrelevant, as the book is about Cruising with one's self. The oxymoronic idea of "spiritual non-belief" kept floating through my mind as I read and yet it made total sense.

This is a book that is difficult to categorize. It wants to be a New York guide book, but also speaks a great deal about Western and Eastern Philosophy, performance art, tantra and much more. It is perhaps best to consider this the colors of life using New York City as its canvas. Breaking down the ideas that are taken for granted today (money, sex and sexuality, freedom, fear, materialism, etc.), Speed shows us just how connected we can be through discovering, loving and then shattering our own alienation. I can only hope to be a fraction of the creative creature that Speed Levitch is, after all, we are all members of the exuberant party, the Cruise that is the world.

It is a sorry state of things that this book is priced the way it is from second hand dealers. The publisher, Context books, is indeed out of business, but $60 dollars is a ridiculous crime. Look for your profit in $25 at best. It should be enjoyed by those who want to read it, not just by those who can afford it. I found my copy at Strand Books out of New York, the only company that had a copy priced as a book and not as an antique.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen F. Brownell on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
The words literally jump off the page, attacking your psyche and opinions, demanding you to think and rethink everything you've ever thought. Speed challenges you with every word to redefine your very existence and to live joyously. "materialism is the utilization of the fear of other people's opinions" The world is a joyful place, take part! stop reading this! go out and live!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Cavaliere on March 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have had the pleasure of crusing with Speed in New York last year and I bought my copy from him. (Sorry AMAZON) He is an artist. Of what, I don't really know, but that's the beauty of Speed. Time with him on our cruise is genuine, funny, endearing, educational and most of all precious. His book Speedology, is not just a tour guide, it is this psychatrist/poet's interpretaion of New York and it's many layers itself.
A note to Speed: Coming out this summer. Hope to catch up with you again.
Cavaliere
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Hill on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have waited 18 months to get a copy of this book and I am delighted to have finally obtained one. Aa a travel agent, I brought out a group to New York CHristmas shopping and arranged for a guide and a coach to take us round the city.The group was from Leeds, England and the majority were from Yorkshire Television PLC How lucky we were to have Tim Levitch. This was 1995.I have spent my life in travel but have never experienced such an interesting, caring and totally dedicated guide. His wit, depth of feeling, knowledge and clear love of the city shone throughout. His comments were thought provoking and deep - this outstanding ability shines through in his book. To really appreciate the book and the mind behind it it is preferable to have met him - however the book is an excellent buy as it stands. Well done Timothy - we all loved you and your book is just icing on the cake

CHristine Hill
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