Urban Fiction

TalkCity-Related Books

Join LibraryThing to post.

Urban Fiction

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Jun 28, 2007, 10:12am

I am taking the risk of making the first posting. I work in the field of public transportation, so I think about cities all the time.

I immediately thought of how much I enjoyed reading Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. This is a book with qualities of magic realism, but it is written with a real love of cities.

2cityskip First Message
Edited: Jun 28, 2007, 12:53pm

I just read Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb. There were a lot of great passages about the experience of a tourist/wanderer in cities in Italy...

Jun 28, 2007, 4:44pm

You might like Neil Gaiman's playful use of the London Underground in Neverwhere. "Mind the Gap" takes on a whole new meaning.

Jun 28, 2007, 7:59pm

I'll have to take a look at Neil Gaiman's book. I have read Lisa Goldstein's Dark cities Underground.

Another book I read ages ago was All Hallows' Eve by Charles Williams, a supernatural thriller laid in London, written in the World War II era.

Jul 7, 2007, 11:43pm

I just saw a notice for Nicholas Christopher's new novel, The Bestiary, and remembered that he had two very good urban fiction books, The Franklin Flyer and Veronica. Both ae good, but ae in the magical realism vein.

Jul 8, 2007, 12:40pm

There's a marvelous little book by Neil Gaiman called A Walking Tour of the Shambles, which purports to be a guidebook to Chicago (though certainly not a Chicago that Mayor Daley would like to see publicized as he pushes to ruin us with his Olympic bid). Personally, I think it's an obvious fraud, since it says right here in the preface that "nobody has been paid off"! ;-))

Edited: Jul 8, 2007, 5:52pm

A Walking tour of the Shambles is not a book that libraries get. The only library in the Northesast United States (Maine to Pennsylvania) that has it (according to worldcat) is New York Public (Main research library) which means it doesn't circulate. The next nearest is Library of Congress. I did see that Gene Wolfe is noted as a co-author (or maybe, secondary). Are both Gaiman and Wolfe midwesterners or Chicagolanders?

Jul 8, 2007, 6:16pm

According to the bio on his website, Gaiman is a Brit who now lives near Minneapolis. Wolfe, according to Wikipedia, lives in Barrington, a stinking-rich ("The Barrington area ZIP code 60010 is one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country with a population of 20,000 or more."), white-bread (96.16% white) suburb north of Chicago.

Jul 31, 2007, 9:44pm

Although I am not much of a fiction reader, a friend gave me I Am Thinking of My Darling several years ago. She didn't like it, and I'll admit it's not great literature, but it covers a wide range of New York City, including some of the lesser known island (North Brother comes to mind).

10deliriousnewyorker First Message
Aug 14, 2007, 9:51pm

I just read "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman. It was a great read - it reminded me a bit of Calvino's "Invisible Cities." The amount of detail was amazing... I've never read a book that approaches science in such an artful way. He imagines what places would be like if time were conceived of in different ways.

Edited: Aug 14, 2007, 10:35pm

I just checked out of the library, 253 the print remix by Geoff Ryman, subtitled the "journey of 253 lifetimes. It is set on a London Tube train and each page describes one of the 253 passengers while the train travels from Embankment Station on the Bakerloo Line headed for Elephant and Castle. Many linkages exist between people in unusual ways. Maybe, some correspondence to Georges Perec's Life : a user's manual, set in a Paris apartment house, in which the linkages comprise a puzzle which the author puts together.

Apr 15, 2009, 5:47pm

How about Jonathan Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude
for contemporary writers and then the classics: Henry James, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf.....so many!

Jul 1, 2009, 2:30pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

May 3, 2010, 4:45pm

Let the Great World Spin and Lowboy two great novels set in NYC.