4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Lori M. (ripley) - , reviewed Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, New York's Greatest Hoarders (An Urban Historical) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
The Collyer Brothers were infamous in Harlem in the early 1900's. Eccentric and very private (paranoid), they were the stuff of legend and myth, routinely covered in the newspapers and whispered about on street corners. Living in an old brownstone and filling it with anything and everything they could find, there was plenty for people to talk about.
This book could easily have been a scandal piece, written as a criticism and meant to demean the subjects. Happily, that is not what this book is. The author presents the story of the Collyer Brothers alongside the story of his own Uncle Arthur, the family "hoarder" and eccentric, who shares many of their same proclivities. The book is written with much affection and respect, and gives you a real feel for these people and who they were. The hoarding aspect really isn't the centerpiece of this story; it is really just a short history of a few people at a particular time and place, and the quirks and eccentricities that affect their lives and those around them. It also an interesting short history of Harlem in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Rachel H. reviewed Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, New York's Greatest Hoarders (An Urban Historical) on
I thought this book was interesting. The author writes about his own experiences with his hoarder Uncle Arthur and the Collyer Brothers. He lets you see the mind of a hoarder through his Uncle Arthur in some chapters and other chapters are devoted to the Collyer Brothers saga. The book is small in size and a fast read. I wish it had more about the Collyer Brothers but what you learn from this book is I don't think anyone really knew the Collyer Brothers since they were not only hoarders but hermits. After reading this book I went on Amazon to read other reviews, and one reviewer noted that this book read more like a long Magazine article which I agree with.
Carol H. reviewed Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur, New York's Greatest Hoarders (An Urban Historical) on + 60 more book reviews
Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department was forced to lower Homer's dead body by rope out of the house he hadn't left in nearly a decade, the neighborhood had degentrified, and the Collyers' home had become a sealed fortress of junk. Dedicated to preserving the past, the brothers had held on to everything they had ever touched...The front-page scandal of the discovery of Homer's body and the worldwide search for his brother, Langley, is brilliantly and charmingly interwoven with the heartbreaking story of the author's Uncle Arthur, who had his own tower of "stuff".