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Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York Paperback – November 6, 2007
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Not long after Adam Gopnik returned to New York at the end of 2000 with his wife and two small children, they witnessed one of the great and tragic events of the cityâs history. In his sketches and glimpses of people and places, Gopnik builds a portrait of our altered New York: the changes in manners, the way children are raised, our plans for and accounts of ourselves, and how life moves forward after tragedy. Rich with Gopnikâs signature charm, wit, and joie de vivre, here is the most under-examined corner of the romance of New York: our struggle to turn the glamorous metropolis that seduces us into the home we cannot imagine leaving.
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I expected a book of stories about life in New York. While I got this in some ways I got it in such a way as to be at times rendered speechless. This book contains laugh out loud elements (stories of his children) and parts which brought me to tears (the ending of the Giant Metrozoids). It has also inspired me to do a whole lot more reading, all the books which Gopnik refers to are now on my reading list.
I am not a New Yorker, but, after a week there in 2006 now miss this city so desperately from my home in Australia, that I am amazed. Gopnik captured my feelings in this book. The moments of clarity that I had to share with the people I was travelling with, and will become pearls of wisdom for staff meetings when I am required to talk.
Would I recommend this book? Of this I am unsure. It is a highly observationalist book, looking at the society in which the author lives and grasping for the truth that is found within. It is also in the nature of critical literacy, so some deep thinking is required on the part of the reader. I usually read a book every day or two when travelling (particularly when in a country where English is not found readily) my addiction is to the pages, not the 'screens or cards'. But this book took me nearly two weeks, and I feel a need now to re-read it. To high light and mark the pearls I have discovered in the manner of a university text so that I can give these the true depth of consideration they deserve.
All in all though, this was a book I can see myself reading again and again one which spoke to my soul so truly that I can hear the sirens of NYC echoing down the streets, smell the hotdog venders and feel the wind in my face. This book will tide me over until I get to go back again.
This one is a particularly sweet revelation.