McSorley's Wonderful Saloon

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Pantheon Books, 2001 - Bars (Drinking establishments) - 370 pages
4 Reviews
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New Yorker essayist Mitchell likes to start with an unimportant hero, but collects all the facts, arranges them to give the desired effects, and usually ends by describing the customs of a community. The subject of one portrait "is a brassy little man who has made a living for the last forty years by giving an annual ball for the benefit of himself." Mitchell doesn't present him as anything more than a barroom scrounger; but in telling his story, he also gives a picture of New York sporting life. "King of the Gypsies" sets out to describe the spokesman of 38 gypsy families, but it soon becomes a Gibbon's decline and fall of the American gypsies; and it ends with an apocalyptic vision that is not only comic but also more imaginative than recent novels. Reading some of his portraits a second time, you catch an emotion beneath them that resembles Dickens'.--From Malcolm Cowley, The New Republic.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dandelionroots - LibraryThing

Eventual journalist for the New Yorker who came to the city at the onset of the Great Depression catalogs his encounters (often numerous) with characters from gypsies, indians, and bearded ladies to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nigeyb - LibraryThing

Up in the Old Hotel is the complete collection of Joseph Mitchell's New Yorker journalism and includes McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbour and Joe Gould's Secret. I ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Joseph Mitchell came to New York City in 1929 from a small town in North Carolina. He was twenty-one years old. He worked as a reporter & feature writer--for "The World", "The Herald Tribune", & "The World Telegram"--for eight years, & then went to "The New Yorker", where he remained until his death in 1996.

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