Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories
Random House, Inc.
Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books—McSorley's Wonderful Saloon,Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould's Secret—that are still renowned for their precise, respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style.

These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens—as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time.

Baker & Taylor
An omnibus volume collects all of the author's books and several previously uncollected stories in a darkly comic anthology that is pungent with graveyard humor. Reprint. 60,000 first printing. $30,000 ad/promo.

& Taylor

A collection of literary portraits looks at waterfront workers, people on the Bowery, Mohawk Indians working on high structural steel, gypsies, itinerant preachers, and others

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c1992
ISBN: 0679412638
Branch Call Number: 818 Mitchell
Characteristics: xiii, 718 p. ; 24 cm.


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Sep 20, 2014

James Spader said this was his favorite book when he gave a copy to Jimmy Fallon on his show for his birthday - 19Sept2014

Aug 01, 2013
  • gnarly_authenticity rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Best book I've read in years. Worth it for "Joe Gould's Secret" alone.

Sep 05, 2012
  • johnami rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is an absolutely wonderful collection of non-fiction and fiction works by the very gifted writer, Joseph Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell is both a seasoned journalist and a creative writer. In his works he provides the best of both literary worlds. The non-fiction pieces are thoroughly researched, examined objectively, and written with satisfying clarity. The fiction pieces bring to life characters and situations that are a pleasure to identify with. From these works we come to understand that Mr. Mitchell is a very sociable person, interested in everything and everyone. He truly enjoys the company and stories of the many unique characters he writes about. They are never portrayed as odd, but always as interesting.

The stories in this collection take place decades ago, ranging in time from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. They are primarily concerned with situations in New York City and the eastern seaboard. Yet, despite the considerable passage of time, the situations and people are in many ways identifiable with modern counterparts. Part of that is due to the personalities of the characters, and a greater part is owing to Mr. Mitchell’s skill. The characters and their dilemmas are so genuinely portrayed it is as if we know them.


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Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories
Mitchell, Joseph, 1908-1996
Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories

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