Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York Hardcover – January 11, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Inspired by his parents' story of meeting in Washington Square Park, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Sabar (for My Father's Paradise) looks at the "environmental psychology" of New York City's iconic public spaces and asks, "Could some places actually encourage people to take the first steps toward falling in love?" A chance meeting in 1941 between a runaway teenage girl and a sailor in Central Park results in a marriage of 64 years. A recently separated woman taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty meets a vacationing man and marries him two years later. Sabar introduces these stories with descriptions of the locations; rather than adding insight, however, they reveal an attempt to deepen a thin premise. Central Park, for instance, was conceived of "a social philosophy: that a city riven by economic stratification owed its masses an oasis from the ravages of toil." When a man meets his future wife in the subway, Sabar could be describing the city itself when he notes its appeal: "Anonymity-the ability to be simultaneously surrounded by and withdrawn from other people." Sabar may want readers to deeply consider his thesis but the strength of this effort lies in its sweetness.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A wonderful, life-affirming collection of romances, all the better because they're real" –- Daily Mail
"Books we love about love" --More magazine
"Cozy, seductive narratives [that] illustrate how NYC's adrenaline-spiking public spaces help steer potential lovers together" --Kirkus Reviews
"Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to meet one’s soul mate in the Big Apple, as these tales of real couples...attest." – Vogue
A "Great Read" -- People
"Charming true stories" -- St. Petersburg Times
"Quirky true tales about city landmarks and chance encounters" - New York Magazine
"New York has been described as a city of 8 million lonely people.
Don’t believe it. ... The stories touch the heart. They are poignant, compelling, absorbing, romantic, and just flat-out sweet. Reading them, even hardened cynics will feel the urge to hug someone." - Providence Journal
"Love among the landmarks" – New York Daily News
"What to Read in 2011: New Titles Bound to Make a Splash" --Christian Science Monitor
Ask anyone from Woody Allen to Carrie Bradshaw: there's no love story quite like a New York City love story. In Heart of the City, Ariel Sabar tells nine true - and very moving - stories of people who met in the Big Apple.
--Town & Country
If you've ever felt romantic upon seeing the Chrysler Building at dusk or excited...by the rush [of] Times Square, you're not alone. [Sabar reports] on the science of attraction in man-made environments [and] offers true stories as evidence. --Elle
"Thoroughly engaging...A sparkling love letter to the city." --BookPage
"Charming, uplifting tales of romance" – Library Journal
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I've not read Ariel Sabar's previous (much-loved) "My Father's Paradise", but I can see what makes Sabar a well regarded young author. Even in a collection of short (true) stories, Sabar maintains a clear, literary voice while somehow still making the stories ring with realistic truth. Though the stories are given certain sparkles and numerous details (to flesh the story out in a way that it does, in fact, feel whole), it works pretty well. The stories flow well, the language is clear without being over-indulgent and the stories progress at a believable, entertaining pace.
This is a light book. The stories are sweet. Sometimes even repetitive. The stories all have charming happy endings. The couples - some unlikely, some predictable and some downright fairy-tale-like - are human. Their stories aren't the deepest love stories you'll ever read. But it's incredibly sweet and heart-warming. Read quickly (in one evening, as I did) or one story at a time, it's just full of lovely stories of two people meeting in various circumstances and falling in love. Does "Heart of a City" really aim to be more than that? Not exactly. Yes, there's the constant aura of New York City in the stories. Yes, in many cases the love stories develop in part due to the location of the often serendipitous meeting of two soon-to-be lovers.
Yet there's a nice diversity in "Heart of a City" too. The stories range in decades, covering love stories from the 1940s through the early 2000s. It goes to show one thing - love will always happen. In these stories, the good always wins. It's not an overly complex book in that sense - Sabar doesn't really try to do more than the premise - love stories that found their start in New York City. Some stories will be more attractive to some than others (my personal favorite is still the opening story - a wonderfully strong start) and though this isn't a book for readers seeking "serious", heavy literature, it's a nice break from ordinary reading. Is it somewhat kitschy? Yeah. But does it do a good job of giving the reader a warm feeling of love and comfort? Absolutely.
Light fare (with the exception of the fascinating, deeply engrossing introduction), but ultimately charming and enjoyable. Not much more than it claims to be, but this is a very nice book of love stories. Recommended.
The way Ariel Sabar used specific locations in the city as the starting point for each story is brilliant. Places are especially important to New Yorkers. It's how we make the city ours. We remember every building we ever worked in. We point them out to our kids when we walk by or see them from the train. We make New York's places part of our history so we are part of its history - a history that is much larger than ourselves. At the same time we take something huge and overwhelming and weave it into something much more personal.
Each story reminded me of part of my own history and brought back floods of memories. But the most wonderful thing about these stories is that in each one I learned something new about my city and its "places".
Ariel Sabar has already proved himself to be a top class writer with the book "My Father's Paradise", but this is my favorite because, in the intangible way that New Yorkers are connected, these are my stories too.
If you enjoy the serendipitous way people are brought together, NYC, or both you will love this wonderful book.
There are nine stories in all. Not all of the subjects lived in New York, many lived in other places. The one thing they all shared was that they met there and the places they met probably added to the chance that they would fall in love and later marry. The stories are fairly short and easy to read. The real life characters are diverse in personalities and come from a lot of other backgrounds and places. Some are more interesting than others. The thing I liked is that there's a section in the back of the book called "Postscripts" that tell what happened to the people in the stories and where they are now and how their romance played out. I turned to the postscripts after reading each story.
For anyone who finds a certain magic in the places and history that make up New York City, I think you'd enjoy reading this book. I think it might also make a unique Valentines Day gift for a special person in your life who might also be fascinated by this great city.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
> To see relationships beginning and interacting with created spaces
> To see how created spaces are seemingly vital to interactions apart...Read more