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VINE VOICEon January 2, 2001
This collection of New York stories shows both why writers have been fascinated with the Big Apple for so long and also why The New Yorker has been the hallmark of short fiction. The collection begins with Cheever and ends with Perlman, which pretty much sums up the golden years of the magazine. The pleasures here range from a story of lingering urban dread by William Maxwell to a hilarious tale of an intellectual loser by Jonathan Franzen. Updike's story both paints a true picture of New York in the snow and returns to his favorite theme -- infidelity. Philip Roth has a hilarious entry about a famous writer hounded by a game show contestant -- even funnier if you've seen "Quiz Show." The collection made me homesick for New York. It's one of the best books I read in 2000.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2002
John Cheever, Woody Allen, and Bernard Malamud wrote my favorite stories in this wonderful collection about life in New York City. Three quick thoughts: (1) While the dynamic captured by some authors seems a little dated (Dorothy Parker), most of the stories resonate with characters, experiences, and social groups that are common today in New York. (2) The collection offers 44 stories and 44 authors. This helps a reader see how these authors are great in different ways. (3) This collection ends, once and for all, the impression that all stories in The New Yorker are the same. Buy this book!
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on November 16, 2012
This great collection of New Yorker short stories gives some of the thrills of being in New York, at least the New Yorker's version of it. It leads one to hope for another collection of great stories about our favorite city.
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VINE VOICEon March 30, 2004
The opening author is John Cheever. A corporate man and a corporate secretary meet at her place for a drink. He is estranged from his wife, the father of a friend of his son, and, finally, the woman, who manages to humiliate him.

There is a story by Roth about a fictitious quiz show contestant. Tales by John O'Hara, Laurie Colwin, Jonathan Franzen, and Frank Conroy appear. The Franzen entry was used as a chapter or at least an incident in CORRECTIONS.

A character in a Nabokov story has referential mania. Jamaica Kincaid in her account of an overseas visitor speaks of day old food stored in a refrigerator. John McNulty writes of a bar, of course, and Hortense Calisher of Greenwich Village.

J.D. Salinger's contribution is a story featuring Holden Caulfield and Pencey Prep. Renata Adler writes in stylish fashion using a fictional "I" of life in a brownstone. Isaac Bashevis Singer comes along with yiddish-speaking cafeteria goers. Veronica Geng has a take on conspicuous consumption.

Susan Sontag provides a surprisingly buoyant account of chronic illness. The narrator of Julie Hecht's story believes that buildings in New York should be built to the specifications of Prince Charles. "Mentocrats" by Edward Newhouse concerns schoolboys promoting the idea of a mental aristocracy. Daniel Menaker has a character say that the banality of evil is outstripped by the banality of anxiety neurosis. The psychiatrist in the story tells the first character he doesn't have the courage of his own contempt.

In eliminating some regrets you create others according to Jeffrey Eugenides. Dorothy Parker, E.B. White, Elizabeth Hardwick, Bernard Malamud, and Saul Bellow are all present in this collection of stories. Bellow's story gives rise to the thought that everyone has burdens. Remnick's selections are a joy.
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on October 9, 2000
This is not only a good anthology to read for entertainment, but also a necessity for anyone who wants to write literary fiction. The New Yorker is the cornerstone of American contemporary literature, and this book captures a good sampling of the stories which have appeared in its pages the last 50 years or so. I particularly liked DEisenberg's story, and the fact that JCheever's story appears first. I think the book should have had a few more lighter pieces, and wonder why McInerney was skipped over.
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on March 7, 2010
David Remnick's introduction contains a short piece from The New Yorker's first issue with each line beginning with 'New York is...'. Of course, New York is many things: a host of contradictions, a furious experiment, a melting pot, a city that never sleeps (I couldn't help it), and often a stereotype that needs to be more fully examined. This collection of stories from the magazine assists that examination. Commencing with Cheever's The Five-Forty-Eight we know to expect a raw New York. This particular tale reminded me of his contemporary, Yates' Revolutionary Road.

Other notables include Shaw's Sailor Off the Bremen which shows that in 1939, New Yorkers were well aware of Nazi activities, Taylor's A Sentimental Journey demonstrates that there is no need to rush manhood, Benson's Apartment Hotel warns not to switch your routine, and Thurber's The Catbird Seat has a comedic Mr. Ripley as the main character. I have to reserve some major praise for Salinger's Slight Rebellion Off Madison which shows us a bit more of Holden Morrisey Caulfield whose angst has him railing against "guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks". The Cafeteria by Singer was also a standout that lingers long after the last line.

Overall, a tremendous collection from a magazine that has played such an incredible role through the decades of finding and remaining loyal to authors who challenge and enrich their readers.
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on October 5, 2015
This is a collection of stories that take place in and around New York from the New Yorker. Some stories are better than others, but I enjoyed reading all the ones that I did read.
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on October 12, 2013
A wonderful assortment of classical stories published in The New Yorker over time--one per author. A good read and a good addition to any personal library.
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on April 28, 2014
Story selection is varied and interesting. Works very well for a contemporary short story course. Stories lead to excellent discussions.
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on June 14, 2016
Love NY stories!
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