Book Review: A Coney Island Reader

coneyA visit to Coney Island has been on my Bucket List for years. It is so close, I don’t know why I haven’t bothered to make the trip there yet!  But for now, I will live vicariously through A Coney Island Reader.  The book begins with a timeline and has a ton of history throughout the 300+ pages and some wonderful photographs too.  Coney Island is the home of Nathan’s Hotdogs and the yearly hot dog eating contest. (I’m not sure I want to visit to witness that though!)

It was great to see and read about all the history that is at Coney Island.  I just love the old photos of what it looked like in the early 1900s!  Each essay throughout the book is by a different author and features a different part of Coney Island.

And now I want to visit all the more! Take some awesome photos, ride some rides, catch a ball game…

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Featuring a stunning gallery of portraits by the world’s finest poets, essayists, and fiction writers — including Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, José Martí, Maxim Gorky, Federico García Lorca, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E. E. Cummings, Djuna Barnes, Colson Whitehead, Robert Olen Butler, and Katie Roiphe — this anthology is the first to focus on the unique history and transporting experience of a beloved fixture of the New York City landscape.

Moody, mystical, and enchanting, Coney Island has thrilled newcomers and soothed native New Yorkers for decades. With its fantasy entertainments, renowned beach foods, world-class boardwalk, and expansive beach, it provides a welcome respite from the city’s dense neighborhoods, unrelenting traffic, and somber grid. Coney Island has long offered a kaleidoscopic panorama of people, places, and events, creating, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti once wrote, “a Coney Island of the mind.” This anthology captures the highs and lows of that sensation, with works that imagine Coney Island as a restful resort, a playground for the masses, and a symbol of America’s democratic spirit, as well as a Sodom by the sea, a garish display of capitalist excess, and a paradigm of urban decay. As complex as the city of which it is a part, Coney Island engenders limitless perspectives, a composite inspiring everyone who encounters it to sing its electric song.

Category: Book Review
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