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Slaves of New York (Bloomsbury Classic Reads) [Paperback]

Tama Janowitz
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
Price: 5.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2004 Bloomsbury Classic Reads
A coterie of artists, prostitutes, saints, and seers are all aspiring towards fame and hoping for love and acceptance. Instead they find high rents, faithless partners, and dead-end careers. Offbeat, funny and bitingly satirical, "Slaves of New York" sheds an incomparable light on the city's denizens and social mores.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; UK open market ed edition (5 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074757460X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747574606
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 359,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A fascinating, and fascinated, chronicler of the dystopian metropolis' -- Sunday Times

'The shrewd observation, the skewed invention … are the gifts of a singular talent’ -- Jay McInerney

‘Brilliantly funny’ -- Independent

‘Laugh-out loud funny ... wonderful’ -- Washington Post

About the Author

Tama Janowitz writes for numerous periodicals including the New Yorker and Elle. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her brutish, handsome husband, malevolent, adorable child, and two six-pound, partially hairless dogs, one of whom is crazy.

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone cheated 15 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was great. I got it for next to nothing because the write up on the back cover -- which I didn't read until after I finished the book -- was written by someone who obviously hadn't read the book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars tres 80's 17 Feb 2007
By andy r
this is a book that has the time it was written in stamped over all it. Tama Janowitz is a contemporary of Brett Easton Ellis,and was also part of Andy Warhol's inner circle . She writes stories that covered similar misadventures to Easton Ellis. This book is more like a set of short stories that cover a interesting variety of women trying to make an honest dollar and get on with there ambitions lives in New York as is often in big cities some of the women end up in less glamorous surroundings than they had hoped for. They are stories in which the protagonists hit hard reality regardless of there dreams. It is funny and sympathetic.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing read 27 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This was the first book I read by Ms. Janowitz and the story, for the most part, moves along at a nice pace. There are the various assortment of characters...some making numerous appearances, some only a solo appearance. I did appreciate her witty sense of humour.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I must be missing something 15 Aug 2006
By Z. Freeman - Published on
Maybe it's because I was born in the 80's and not partying then, or maybe I'm just too middle-class, but I thought this entire book was pretty mediocre. The characters were interesting, but usually I felt like the author was trying too hard to make them interesting. Janowitz fits in with the Bret Easton Ellis/Jay McInerney style of writing about what it's like to be incredibly spoiled and have no soul. The two aforementioned authors pull that off with a lot more style and ability than she does.

I only read this book because I heard that the character of Stash is in Ellis' book American Psycho. Overall, I found myself interested in the stories and the characters, but most of the stories lacked a certain human aspect that the other two authors know how to provide. This is a good read if you're stuck in an airport all day with nothing else, otherwise I'd recommend getting something with more substance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book when I read it 24 Jun 2011
By Christian Moller - Published on
I read this book when it first came out. I was living and working in NYC, and thought it captured the tone of the city perfectly. Ms. Janawitz got alot of exposure, and seemed like the hot ticket at the time as a new writer. I read some of the reviews above, and I guess you had to be there to appreciate the book. It was right on at the time. NYC in 1985 or '86. I have to re-read it and see if my opinion differs from when I was 18, now that I am 44. Of course, when I was that age, I saw "The Breakfast Club" and it really seemed to talk to my generation. I recently saw it on cable, and now I think it is about stupid, whiney teenagers. Maybe I shouldn't re-read the book, I might be disappointed.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Modern and 80s 4 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This book has had some trenmendous impacts on me that I never realized until one day when I thought of leg-waxing, I thought of "a tiny women yelling at me in Spanish and pouring hot wax on my legs..." Spend a day in uptown Manhattan with idiosyncratic artists in their most primitive desires and philosophies. This book is unbelievably true and sensitive.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read it over and over again 29 Nov 2001
By "meltingyellow" - Published on
I've read this book so many times over that I've actually become sentimentally attached to it. Most of the enjoyment from it is reliving the time in which it's set, the 1980s, an interesting time in the way that the clothing was: at times conservative, other times colorful, overall intriguing, but there's still no way in hell you'd want to BE in it again.
This book captures the lives of the wacky, egocentric NY artists who reflect their hated yuppie counterparts in that they're upwardly mobile, albeit nonconformistly, greedy and self-centered. But unlike yuppies, the artists of the Lower East Side present far more colorful stories and egos to capitalize on.
Fortunately the book has Eleanor, the self-deprecating protagonist to whom we all endear. She keeps the book light-hearted and comical, as she is the offbeat among the offbeat, the miscast in the world of misfits. She is the self-conscious woman who clashes with, and makes uncomfortable, her fellow carefree artists. But she eventually finds her ground in the big city. We root for because she conquers the city the way we wish we could: by keeping intact our integrity, humility, and naivete, and not succumbing to the cynicism and selfishness of the "Me" generation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like a Firecracker That Never Goes Off 5 May 2013
By Stacy Helton - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a new topic for me, so indulge me. My last two years of college, post-community college, I had a subscription to the VILLAGE VOICE. Here I was, a 20-year-old in a campus dining hall in Alabama reading the barometer of what's hip in New York City. Of course, to me I might as well have been reading about Iraq or Darfur, it was so exotic to me. This was 1988-1990, the era of Joel Steinberg, Michael Alig and Tawana Brawley, but, in my mind, it mostly belonged to three writers: Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz, labeled incidentally by the VOICE, the "literary brat pack." I had read the male writers at the time but for whatever reason the Janowitz book never materialized (of course these were the days when the only way you got a book not in stores was to try and "special order" it at the mall bookstore, which may or may not work.) SLAVES OF NEW YORK is a vaguely interconnected collection of short stories about the lower rung of the art world in 1980s Manhattan, specifically the Lower East Side. A lion's share of the stories feature Eleanor, a jewelry designer, and her artist boyfriend Stash, as well as a handful about quirky artist Marley Mantello. Satellite characters shadow the corners, some repeating, some one-timers, like the man who likes to take women to Tiffany's, have them pick out a piece of jewelry, then make like he forgot his wallet. I thought reading the book over 25 years past its' cultural expiration date might allow the book to be seen as a time capsule (in a good way), but the book is lite on atmosphere and heavy on character. And it's not that the characters are unlikable; Eleanor is interesting in her own way, but her acquiescence to Stash becomes quite tiresome as the book goes on. My favorite story chronicles a baseball game amongst artists played under the 59th Street Bridge; it's during this piece that Janowitz's artistry shines and shows a New York that existed in a time and place. Overall, the most disappointing thing is how unimportant the book seems now compared to the buzz upon it's' release, like a firecracker that never went off.
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