Immersive. Insightful. Writing. Atmosphere. Anecdotes. Feel. Place. Experiences. People. YES.
Some books propel you forward, urging you to get to the next exciting thing, a sort of mad dash to the finish. When you finally get there you are spent and nearly exhausted by the experience.
Other books, like this one, take their time. They invite you into the experience, where you walk leisurely down the avenue, trying to drink in all the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
There is nothing wrong with either one. I find myself enjoying each of them for the very different experiences they bring. But if I’m honest I would have to say I love these sorts of stories the best. I savor them. Enjoying the small details that add a depth and richness not found, or even wanted, in those mad dash books.
If you enjoy taking your time, savoring an experience, a place, soaking up a feeling, then this is the book for you. Roger Ebert won the Pulitzer, not for this work mind you, but he did, and after reading this I have to say that award was well deserved. His writing is emotional, empathetic, warm, and true.
“At the little newsstand on the other side of the market, I must buy today’s Herald-Tribune. I am always the first to ask for it, and the old woman inside the kiosk always has to unsnap the wire around the bundle, and she always has trouble finding her pliers, and this is important, too.”
“You have to understand that nobody is more impressed by celebrities than other celebrities; having spent a lifetime becoming famous, they value fame more than ordinary people, and are more impressed when they see it.”