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Triburbia [Kindle Edition]

Karl Taro Greenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With an unflinching eye, Triburbia explores Tribeca, Manhattan, where an artists' community has been overrun by those made staggeringly wealthy by the world of finance. A group of fathers - a sound engineer, a writer, a career criminal - meet each morning at a local café after the school run. Over the course of a single year, we learn about their dreams deferred, their secrets and mishaps, as they confront truths about ambition, wealth and sex.

Seen through the eyes of these men and the women with whom they share their lives, Triburbia shows that our choices and their repercussions not only define us, but irrevocably alter the lives of those we love. Wonderfully layered and complex, Triburbia creates a powerful portrait of a group of unlikely friends and a neighbourhood in transition.

Product Description


Pitch-perfect, dry, and smart, this is a vivid portrait of New York, our lives, our loves, and our hearts. --Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief

[Greenfeld's] sensitivity to nuances of the zeitgeist and his keen observational skills make his characters... instantly recognizable as creatures of their time and place without quite denying them their humanity. --Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of six previous books, including the much-acclaimed memoir Boy Alone, about his autistic brother. Greenfeld's fiction has appeared in the Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, American Short Fiction and the PEN/O Henry Prize Stories. A veteran editor and writer for the Nation, TIME, and Sports Illustrated, Karl has also been a frequent contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times, GQ, Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler and the Washington Post. Born in Kobe, Japan, Karl has lived in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Tribeca. Visit Karl Taro Greenfeld's website at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 730 KB
  • Print Length: 275 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062132407
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008M7BM14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #236,968 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
It's not often that I'm truly saddened by reaching the last page of a book, but that was the case with Triburbia. Karl Taro Greenfeld has so winningly introduced me to the well-to-do residents of Tribeca, made me privy to their private thoughts, hopes and aspirations that I'm reluctant to let them go. I've spent just a brief time with them - the space of a school year.

These folks are a photograph album of Tribeca once it becamee one if not the most fashionable neighborhood in New York City. It's 2008 and there
s a creeping uneasiness - the financial crisis has not yet occurred. We meet a disparate group of fathers who gather for coffee after walking their privileged offspring to school. Were it not for the common neighborhood and their children they probably wouldn't give each other the time of day.

The men are identified by street addresses - for instance, 113 North Moore is the home of a 37-year-old half-Chinese, half-Causasian sound engineer. He describes his neighborhood as "a prosperous community. Our lofts and apartments are worth millions. Our wives vestigially beautiful. Our renovations as vast and grand in scale as the construction of ocean liners."

As we've oft heard money does not buy happiness. In his case when some believe a child molester is in the area, flyers are made, tacked everywhere, and the photo looks very much like him. One of his daughters, Cooper, is the cruelest 4th grader to be found. She relishes excluding other girls from her circle, not allowing them to play jump rope with the chosen few.

This tactic so destroys the daughter of Rankin. a Jewish gangster who lives at 57 Warren Street, that she constantly weeps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Entertaining collection of interconnected narratives by and about the walking worried of the NYC neighborhood of Tribreca, circa 1980s forward. This is author Karl Taro Greenfeld's cold-eyed and merciless take on the talented and bright but frequently spoiled, stoned, self-absorbed and/or lazy residents of New York's up-and-coming area (of the time) and their struggles to make it in the world's most fickle social and professional circles. It ain't a pretty picture.

But Greenfeld is a pretty amazing writer who has a great feel for what the downside of striving for and achieving success can be in the Big Apple. The ultra stimulation of the place (suggests Greenfeld) creates a path that leads to unreasonable expectations, boredom, envy, jealously, and betrayal. All of this is adroitly chronicled in "Triburbia's" ten or so individual chapters, with wonderfully rendered characters in each. The chapter on the social pecking order at the neighborhood's elementary school sounds frighteningly accurate, though I suspect that this explanation of how "the beautiful mean girls" run things is pretty universal.

When things start to come part for several of the formerly comfortable characters in the book, Greenfeld allows redemption to be found in -- of all places-- Hollywood. This might be a joking irony by the author or just a reality that is known only to the denizens of Manhattan and their West Coast counterparts. In any event, this was an enjoyable read considering that damn few of its characters are admirable in any way as human beings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love, life and loft living in Tribeca! 18 Mar. 2013
By lovemurakami TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The premise of Triburbia is that, after dropping their kids off at school, a group of men meet for breakfast and on the surface interact with each other forming bonds of sorts.

Each chapter focuses on a different character and we see their life as it is and has been, the narrative also moves forward but the books structure makes the narrative slow paced. As the novel develops you see the characters emerge as an incidental player in another characters life.

The neighbourhood of Tribeca also becomes a major character in the novel, we see it's development from a poor area of Manhattan in the 80's to it's artistic, elitist status as Manhattan Island gentrified itself.

Triburbia is a fascinating, meandering read which is great for anyone who love American fiction and is looking for a new name to try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The lofts of Tribeca 15 May 2013
By Marand TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although this is the author's seventh book, he is completely new to me. This is the story of a group of men who occasionally meet up for breakfast after dropping their kids at school. None have mainstream careers, mostly being involved in the arts - a photographer, sound engineer, sculptor, failed playwright, celebrity chef, etc.. Their intertwining stories are told against the back drop of Tribeca, now an area of extreme wealth but previously a rundown district of Manhattan.

The novel encompasses the lives of the men and their wives, mistresses & children, sometimes told in a first person narrative, sometimes third person. The gilded lives of the wealthy are in counterpoint to one character, a puppeteer who arrived before Tribeca moved upmarket and lives on in a rent control apartment amid all the luxury, a man who tells his daughter that he gave up on his dreams because he wasn't ruthless enough: "That's what you have to be. That's what everyone who makes it is. Everyone around here. And you have to be that, because there is no penalty for ruthless. Only upside."

I liked the occasional sharp wit and the sometimes searing social commentary conveyed by a choice phrase here and there. The demarcations of society are highlighted, starting from an early age - a brutal nine year old who "carefully curated her friends" and had "already formulated her dictum: no ugly friends, no fat friends, no dumb friends".

The characters are well-drawn and entirely believable and the writing style is cool, sparse, precise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A cutting and incisive look into the macho/paranoid/vain world of ...
A cutting and incisive look into the macho/paranoid/vain world of middle aged and middle class men in modern day NYC. Read more
Published 23 days ago by keen reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A reflexive book to read
Published 5 months ago by Carsten Clausen
3.0 out of 5 stars BRITTLE & WRY
Set in a well-heeled part of New York, here are tales of smug affluence and disenchantment. Main male characters have the most tenuous of links. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. D. L. Rees
4.0 out of 5 stars Tribeca's the star
This novel is about the separate lives of eight or nine men who all live with their families in the Tribeca district of New York's Lower Manhattan. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bad Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars The Triangle below Canal Street NYC....
I enjoyed this. The writing is sparse and tight, and describes the intersections of eight guys who live in Tribeca NYC. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Don Panik
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight
Using a series of characters and telling their stories this book provides an insight into the lives of those living in Tribeca - it's well written and the characters are well... Read more
Published 21 months ago by traveller
4.0 out of 5 stars Social Darwinism in NYC.
Mr. Greenfields most famous work, 'Speed Tribes', a collection of fictionalised portraits of members of Japanese youth cults in 1990s Tokyo, is one of my all-time favourites, and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by A. Miles
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting...
I was a tad bemused by this book. I can only blame myself as I read and believed the synopsis on the back first. Silly boy. Read more
Published 22 months ago by D. Thurgood
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable slice of life with little plot but a whole heap of...
This is a damn fine book and it deserves a long, in-depth review. The problem is that it's good. Too good. Give me some flaws and I can moan for paragraphs. Read more
Published 23 months ago by BS on parade
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Enjoyed the book,well written and a nice afternoon read. Would recommend as a nice view of new York life - a real snapshot
Published 23 months ago by Nokomis Suffield
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