Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine

Publisher: Picador
Pages: 290
Source: Publisher
Category: Fiction/Chick-lit
Rating: 3/5


Cathleen Schine's 'The New Yorkers' is about Upper West Side New Yorkers, life's obstacles and the occasional interaction between dog owners. Dog owners tend to converse with other dog owners. It's strange but very true, walking a dog down the street attracts many unlikely visitors. Having to walk a dog is great, when you want to walk by a certain someone's door. A dog is a great excuse to stand around and talk to others. Walking a dog creates many opportune moments, also the occasional embarrassing moment. In a rent controlled, New York apartment building there are many variety of residents. Judy, a self-proclaimed 'spinster' adopts a dog, hoping to find a great companion. She gains her companion, and gains the attention of a unfriendly neighbor when Beatrice decides to skip the fire hydrant and use the shiny, expensive SUV. One innocent walk with Beatrice leads her she meet Everett. A man of 50, divorced, with a daughter in College. Polly, a newly single, desperate twenty-year old seeks an apartment and ends up living in a apartment recently vacated. The previous tenant committed suicide, and left his puppy behind. While Polly feels guilty about taking the apartment, she can't bear to leave the puppy behind. She end up taking the apartment and the dog. Polly's brother George is barely making a life for himself, the cockroaches in his apartment are vile and Polly forces George to move in, a bitter-sweet decision. 'The New Yorkers' is filled with many every-day characters, and situations. If you're interested in moving into an apartment building in New York, uncovering the strange residents, and the lovely dogs I suggest giving this one a try.

Overall Impression:

I enjoyed 'The New Yorkers' but I had an issue with the writing style. Cathleen creates memorable, loving characters but I felt like there was too many. I had a hard time connecting with the characters, the narration was difficult. Cathleen jumped from character to character, and I had a hard time figuring out who the narrator was talking about. This unnamed character knew everyone about everyone, and unfortunately there was a lack of flow. I found the pace very slow, and at time I wanted to just put the book down. I started to find the characters I liked and only focused on them. I think you can tell by reading my synopsis. This book was far from horrible, I think it would be a great movie. If it sounds like something you would like, I suggest giving it a try. I'm curious about her other books, I will have to give Cathleen Schine another try.

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