Finished reading this on Wednesday, Day 10. 81 pages of 109 read during the challenge. Easy, LOL reading. Roz Chast is a long-time cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine. I love her style, the way she thinks, the way she prints (the book is entirely handwritten) and the way she draws. This book began life as a sort of guidebook for her daughter who was going to move to Manhattan to go to college. Roz grew up in Brooklyn and lived there in various apartments until she married, and she and her husband decided they should move to the hinterlands for the sake of their kids. To her great surprise, her daughter actually appreciated and used the thing, so she turned it into a book–part guidebook and part “Love Letter to New York,” all in the form of cartoons.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves NYC, as I do. I would buy it as a gift for any friend about to travel there. I actually learned a thing or two while cracking up laughing.
I’d love to photograph pages to share with you, but I wouldn’t be able to stop. Two of my favorites regard 1) empty subway cars and 2) Old Master paintings at The Met. Here’s what she says about the subway: “If the train is very crowded, and you see an empty car, don’t think: I must be some kind of genius! or Wow! I’m in LUCK!! Plenty o’ seats for ME!!! An empty car in the middle of a bunch of packed cars means that the air conditioning or heating is on the fritz; a nut is holding court, someone has had a pungent accident;…” She says that a fun thing to do at The Met is to look at old paintings and invent stories for them. She shows some examples of paintings where she has done just that by adding speech balloons. One story is called “Put Something On.” [Two figures in the painting are talking.] “Put this on. You can’t go around naked! No. Put it on!! NO. Put it on, dammit!!! Bite me.