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Subway Lives: 24 Hours in the Life of the New York City Subway Hardcover – October 23, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers, Inc.; 1st edition (October 23, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051758445X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517584453
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This isn't likely to find many readers west of the Hudson, but residents of New York City's boroughs should take note, for although one doesn't expect to be enthralled by a virtual monograph on the New York City subway, talent will out and Dwyer brings it off. The well-integrated statistical material is impressive: the subway transports 3.7 million paying riders daily, plus an estimated 169,000 turnstile jumpers; the Transit Authority's "money room" is the "world's busiest private currency processing enterprise"; the system is the only one anywhere to operate 24 hours a day. The book makes us privy to TA politics and profiles managers, including David Gunn, who solved the graffiti problem, saving the system $10 million annually in cleanups. Verging on the smarmy, however, are some of the human interest stories, one about a welfare mother giving birth on the subway, another of a retarded boy taking his first solo ride. Dwyer, a New York Newsday reporter whose beat is the subway, presents a balanced depiction of the crime that makes riders fearful, not sensationalizing its frequency. And he's on the mark when he comments, "Only in the dim warrens of the subway . . . can the full spectrum of city life . . . be glimpsed, felt, and at times even understood."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Talk about bad timing: New York Newsday columnist Dwyer's book comes out on the heels of a great subway disaster (fatalities and a major route line incapacitated for about one week) that he doesn't even mention. Still, as any straphanger could tell you, a 24-hour cycle pulsing through New York's underground artery will provide drama enough. Dwyer, who's been on the subway beat for four years, traces the real-life movements of such diverse characters as graffiti artists, a singing conductor, a pregnant woman, voodoo sacrificers, and turnstile-sucking thieves, throwing in enough historical data to please city history and transportation buffs (how about that mythical Second Avenue line?). Even libraries get connected to the story as a geologist monitors the dynamite blasts of New York Public Library's recent expansion project to avoid an underground shake-up. Just another typical day in (and under) the Big Apple. Recommended for city history/social science collections. --Judy Quinn, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Wow! This book is fantastic. I had to do some research on the subway system, so I dragged myself over to the library and grudgingly checked out a couple of books, figuring I would read them in small installments over the course of several weeks. Luckily for me, I opened this book first. I finished half of it before I went to bed that night. The mixture of personal life-stories, fascinating details and a great writing style makes this one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Serviss on November 9, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Surprise! Here's a book that not only intrigues with impressionistic detail of the New York City transit system, but that also provides a valuable lesson into how the most complex city in the U.S. lives and breathes. I took it with me on jury duty and it more than carried me through the tedium of long hours of nothingness with my peers. Jim Dwyer has X-ray vision when it comes to looking at the inner workings of the Big Apple.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nedj on August 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A great read! Thoroughly enjoyed it and was captivated by each if the subjects.
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