Crimes of New York

This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting (the challenges of buying a book almost at random from Amazon). But! The excerpts from various writers of New York crime was a really good concept. There was only one that bored me somewhat (The Rogues Gallery). For the most part, this book was a collection of an interesting ride around various tales of New York. And, let's be honest, crime is not often dull. This book has inspired me for when I eventually take my guided walk test, featured lots of interesting trivia, and even introduced me to PG Wodehouse, for which I am pleased. I even found out that surprise, surprise, the screenplay for the Gangs of New York isn't quite historically accurate, which might explain why apart from Daniel Day Lewis that film bored the shit out of me. I would recommend this if you like to read about crime, or if you are going to visit New York (or live there) and want some additional flavour to the area. My personal favourite story - the one at the end about the teenage schoolgirls getting ripped off. Not really, that one was a bit random. I think my favourite was the tale of Dr Dix and Gentleman Joe.

There were a couple of things that struck me as notable pieces of trivia, which are as follows:
  • There were two sets of police at one time in Manhattan, the Mayor's corrupt force and a new set to replace them, who battled each other quite a bit until a Supreme Court ruling. The best bit of the battles? "Whenever a cop of one force made an arrest, a cop of the other would set the culprit free, and the competing forces routinely raided each other's station houses and freed en masse the prisoners in each other's jails."
  • They used to hang people at 2nd Avenue and 13th Street.
  • A description of Long Island as by PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster: "The days down on Long Island have forty-eight hours in them; you can't get to sleep at night because of the bellowing of the crickets; and you have to walk two miles for a drink and six for an evening paper."


Copyright © 2008 - Gavin's Book Log - is proudly powered by Blogger
Blogger Template