Im a NewYorker and take the subway almost everyday. The stories in this book amazed me. I knew homeless people lived underground but never realized that there are such large communities of them. I never knew all these hidden spaces existed. There are stories of people who wired electricity down there, ones who lived in their underground rooms without seeing light for days, and other things one would never think of. I'd also like to say that the author was one brave chick for going underground to talk to these people alone and unarmed.
I really liked the explorations into the world beneath a city. The idea of tunnels beneath major urban center has always fascinated me. This book does not disappoint in highlighting the tunnels of New York and the people in them. A very interesting read.
This is a absolutely mind blowing book. Jennifer Toth goes into the seldom seen world of the tunnel people. There are worlds underneath the city of New York, vast tunnels some used and some forgotten to all but the Mole People. Sometimes frightening, sometimes sad and always on the edge.
She learns that relationships go a long way and that there are unspoken and spoke rules and regulations in this world.
Often the people in this world are the drug addicts and the alcoholics, sometimes they are insane.
She tells their stories and befriends some along the way.
Death and hardscrabble are a way of life and the Mole People have their own turfs, sometimes 7 stories below the surface of the streets.
Jennifer learns the hard way about unspoken rules and into the tunnels with out a escort.
This is a very interesting and thought provoking book, it will leave you wondering and grateful.
I'd always heard about this book written in very early 90s. Interesting enough though the mental illness of many of those she interviews makes their grandiose bragging about the 'society' they've 'created' by squatting in a truly horrible environment very pitiful. I share some doubt about details, either told by the homeless, or shared by the author, and am puzzled how she got the trust of many of these people so quickly. However overall it's a good read.
This is such a fascinating story, it is a shame it is hidden behind the poor writing style and the Authors need to inject herself into many of the people stories. Hard to get into because of the subject and lack of focus on the Subject matter.
I enjoyed reading this book. It brought my attenion to the homeless problem we have but it showed me it's much deeper then I thought. It tells stories of people who have given up life in the outside, but have adapted to living underground in communityies in subway , railroad and other tunnels that are both vacant or still use by the trains.
In 1990, Jennifer Toth, then a journalism student, entered the world of the homeless living under NYC. These are the beautiful and devastating stories she collected.
This book covered a unique topic about which I had no prior knowledge. The idea of people living underground beneath the subway tunnels was just unbelievable. However...some of the stories were a bit "off". I understand she changed details to protect the identities of these people and to hide their locations. But it still seemed weird. How does a young woman gain the trust of these secretive folk so quickly? She doesn't give much background on her research but I read somewhere that she made "hundreds" of visits underground within the span of a couple of months. Even more upsetting is that a simple internet search shows several reviewers challenging the validity and truthfulness of Toth's writing. One so-called subway expert even goes so far to say that all her stories about people living beneath Grand Central and Penn Station is BS.
I will set aside my personal beliefs and just evaluate this book for what it is- a collection of interesting but disjointed tales of people who make their homes in the subway tunnels. The actual stories are the highlights of this book, but beware there are lots of "filler" chapters that feel out of place. The last chapter, appropriately, is the showstopper, but whether you choose to believe it will impact your final opinion of this book.
Excellent read and look at the homeless situation in America. I found myself caring for and worrying about the author going into the tunnels. Great expose of this hidden world.
This was an exceptional book! It really makes you realize that there's more to Manhattan than meets the eye.