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Up in the Old Hotel Paperback – June 1, 1993
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Mitchell lovingly chronicled the lives of odd New York characters. In the pages of Up In the Old Hotel, the reader passes through places such as McSorley's Old Ale House or the Fulton Fish Market that many observers might have found ordinary. But when experienced through Mitchell's gifted eye, the reader will see that these haunts of old New York possess poetry, beauty, and meaning.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Up in the Old Hotel is a collection of Mitchell's otherwise hard to find essays, in which he lovingly describes haunts like the Fulton Fish Market and McSorley's, one of the last bars in America to admit women, and profiles various fisherfolk and colorful denizens of New York City's nether regions, most famously, Joe Gould, the bohemian character with whom he is inevitably and eternally linked. Mitchell first wrote about Gould in 1942, in a piece called, Professor Sea Gull. Mitchell's great skill as a writer was to let his subjects seemingly speak for themselves, but to in fact render their words in compulsively readable fashion. This works particularly effectively with Joe Gould who was a fountain of words anyway. The story relates how Gould, a Harvard grad, subsists on practically no money (one of his tricks is to make a soup out of the ketchup in restaurants), his propensity for making a spectacle of himself as he starts flapping his arms and declaiming poetry in the "language" of sea gulls, and his life's work, the nine million word Oral History of Our Time.Read more ›
" ... it rose twice, and cleared the water both times, and I plainly saw its bristly snout and its shiny little eyes and its white belly and its glistening, greenish-yellow, bony-plated, crocodilian back and sides, and it was a spooky sight."
If you love sentences like this, get this book. I've been teaching college composition for a dozen years, and can think of no better model for clean, elegant prose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If anyone wanted to know what life in New York City was like between the 1929 stock market crash and the revolutionary 1960s, an exemplary source would be UP IN THE OLD HOTEL. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. M. Peterson
It was interesting, and I feel like I know way more about the fishing industry and homeless population that swelled in New York in the 1940's.Published 4 months ago by Christine Cunningham
This is THE collection of Joseph Mitchell. No one needs my opinion to appreciate him: one of the American great writers of the 20th century, one of the great writers at The New... Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Welch
I loved this book so much, I didn't want it to end! The stories were engaging and the characters were memorable. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Attack Hamster
One of best story tellers New York City ever had. Brilliant.Published 9 months ago by James Lonergan