Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life
Michael Greenberg’s stunning collection entertainingly chronicles the hardships, delights, and moral dilemmas of being a writer and a New Yorker. To eke out a living, Greenberg doctors doomed movie scripts, peddles cosmetics on the street, and waits tables at a posh restaurant, all while raising his son on the Lower East Side. Along the way, he meets a host of fascinating city characters, including a Holocaust survivor, a repentant communist, and a man who becomes a woman.
Hilarious and bittersweet, Greenberg's stories invite us into a world where the familial, the literary, the tragic, and the mundane not only speak to one another, but deeply enjoy the exchange.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Although highly entertaining, Beg, Borrow, Steal is not a humor book by any means. I was impressed by Michael Greenberg's economy of words - each small story carried the punch of a well developed theme within a few short pages. As evident in his stories, Michael Greenberg has seen many places and known a lot of people. Spurred on by his desire to observe humanity, he worked jobs that most of us would rather avoid (a waiter, street vendor and court translator among others). Some of the highlights of his stories are about: how he visited a gourmet chef who creates delicious food for a soup kitchen, his disgust and fear of the rats in New York City, and how he learned the proper way to kill a chicken. I found myself learning things about New York that I never would have known otherwise, like how many people are buried on Hart Island (for those whose bodies are unclaimed) and the estimated rat population (which kind of freaked me out). These short tales which are Michael Greenberg's memoirs are not simply separate statements, but rather pieces of the whole that come together as a mosaic of his life. One story leads into the next, and though they are not told in a linear order, each is equally fascinating. As a professional observer of people (in search of fodder for his writing) Michael Greenberg certainly has a wealth of stories to tell about the oddities he has seen, and he does it beautifully. I recommend this book to anyone who is a writer or to those who enjoy memoirs or short stories.
Review: Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's LifeUser Review - Goodreads
The book is astonishing. It makes Tyra, Oprah, and the others look profound. Greenberg is like a mayfly, hovering over the surface of the water, dipping down for tiny sips. He likes to quote Philip ...
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