"The history of Broadway has been written before, but never better. . . . The verbal energy that pours off these pages is enough to transform the hell of...Times Square into a rough-hewn heaven, neon lit and open all night. . . . The only thing wrong with this book is it isn't longer." --Newsweek Nik Cohn ushers readers along the street he calls "The Heart of the World." producing a book that is a resplendent pageant of New York's high--and low--life. Among the characters we meet are a golden-tongued cab driver who calls himself a "collector of farces"; a pickpocket with the terrifying gift of impersonating his marks; a heartbreakingly beautiful Dominican transvestite named Lush Life; strippers; pseudo-prophets; and a disgraced political veteran of the days when the graft was still honest. Conducted by a writer with the manic energy of a sideshow barker and the full-blooded lyricism of a raucous poet, this is a bebop odyssey along the Great White Way that reaches in implication far beyond the streets of New York to document the ever-evolving mixtures that make up America itself. "A lovely, bracing book, full to bursting with juicy, tasty, rancid life. While making its bawdy way through crowded spaces . . . it also travels through modern times . . . wondrous." --USA TODAY
Strippers and stockbrokers, pickpockets and bureaucrats, transvestites and pseudo-prophets--these are just a few of the real people readers will encounter in Cohn's lyrical and sinister journey that reaches beyond the streets of New York to document the ever-evolving cross-section that makes up America.
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