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Back from living in Paris with his wife and two kids, as chronicled charmingly in Paris to the Moon, Gopnik, a writer for the New Yorker, records in his tidy, writerly and obsessive fashion his family's relocation to the city of his earliest professional aspiration: New York. No longer the grim, decrepit hell of the 1970s, New York of the new century has become a children's city, infused by a "new paternal feeling," and doting father Gopnik is delighted to walk through the Children's Gate of Central Park to relive the romance of childhood. His 20 various essays meander over topics dear to the hearts of New York parents, such as learning to be appropriately Jewish ("A Purim Story"); working with the ad hoc committee called Artists and Anglers at his son's hypercaring private school, on methods of flight for the production of Peter Pan; and his four-year-old daughter's imaginary playmate, Charlie Ravioli, who is simply too booked to play with her. The less structured series of essays on Thanksgiving are most pleasing and read like diaries, ranging from the rage over noise to the safety of riding buses. Gopnik conveys in his mannered, occasionally gilded prose that New York still represents a kind of childlike hope—"for something big to happen." 150,000 copy first printing. (Oct.)
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*Starred Review* Gopnik's previous book, the best-selling Paris to the Moon (2000), drew its material in large part from his "Paris Journal" column appearing in the New Yorker. That book shared his and his family's experiences living in the City of Light for five years. In 2000 he and they moved back to New York, and in his new collection of essays, he demonstrates anew how, despite tackling two of the world's greatest and oft-written-about cities, he has staked out his own mastery of the literature of place. As Gopnik ranges over contemporary life in the Big Apple, bringing into his purview and commentary such specific topics as raising children in that vastly busy environment and indulging in one of the city's favorite preoccupations (namely, consulting a psychotherapist), he lets there be no mistake that these pieces are literate, serious in his analysis of social issues (even though he can be funny at the same time), deeply thought out and well reasoned, and arise from not only an immaculate writerly talent but also a sharp ability to understand why people, in particular places, do peculiar things. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A delightful book that has also much food for thought. His daughter Olivia's pal Charlie Ravioli will be remembered for some time; his tribute to his friend Kirk Varnedoe is... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ruth- Cape Cod
I love everything Gopnik has written. Sadly, I have read that the accolades have gone to his head. Too bad for a fellow McGillian to fall into that trap.Published 11 months ago by Julie C. Wang
Very slow moving read. I actually quit reading it about 60% through.Published 11 months ago by Maggie O.
Love the author's sense of what is important in life. Tugs at your heart strings and shares many details about life in America's greatest city. Very insightful.Published 18 months ago by Cecil
He brings the unique things he chooses to write about close enough to touch. He finds the unusual and gives it to us as a lovely, gently-coaxed-into-full-picture verbal display. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Clothilde
I have finished this book at 3:19 in the morning sharing with Adam Gopnik the early morning/late night hours of his last essay here. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Tama Hochbaum
New York, New York, it's a wonderful town. The Bronx is up and the People are down. Well, at least some of them. Not Gopnick and family, however. Read morePublished on November 27, 2012 by ilprofessore
J. P. Donleavy once wrote a hilarious novel titled A FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK, and I suspect that Adam Gopnik's masterpiece could be just as aptly titled. Read morePublished on October 10, 2012 by R. Russell Bittner
Every now and than I hear someone say... "you can't raise children in New York City." Or... "why would you want to?" Boy, do they have it all wrong. Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by Michael-Bruce