If you enjoy reading about bohemian life in NYC you will enjoy this short story collection. The Chintz Age Is A Top Small Press Fiction Bestseller And A Must Read Book By A Ky Author LEO Weekly Don T Miss This Great Read About NYC New York Public Library Recommends The Stories In The Chintz Age Are A Monument To New York The Guardian Just As Soylent Green Is People, So THE CHINTZ AGE Is Now Everything Is Cheaper And Chintzier Than In The Past, From Consumer Products To Culture Itself Our Great Cities, And, In Particular, New York, Are Being Transformed As We Speak, As Rising Rents Squeeze Out The Artists And Bohemians Who Honed And Burnished The City S Glittering Cutting Edge So Should We Look Backward In Teary Eyed Nostalgia For The Glorious Past, Or Grit Our Teeth And Move Forward, Accepting The Inevitability Of Change In Order To Carve Out A Place For Ourselves In This Brave New New York This Book Of Gritty Urban Fairy Tales Represents A Heartfelt Prayer For The Future Of The Arts In New York, As Well As A Blueprint For A Moral And Spiritual Resistance To The Forces Of Cultural PhilistinismIn Seven Stories And A Novella, Ed Hamilton Takes On This Clash Of Cultures Between The Old And The New, As His Characters Are Forced To Confront Their Own Obsolescence In The Face Of This Rapidly Surging Capitalist Juggernaut Ranging Over The Whole Panorama Of New York Neighborhoods From The East Village To Hell S Kitchen, And From The Bowery To Washington Heights Hamilton Weaves A Spellbinding Web Of Urban Mythology Punks, Hippies, Beatniks, Squatters, Junkies, Derelicts, And Anarchists The Entire Pantheon Of Urban Demigods Gambol Through A Grungy Subterranean Elysium Of Dive Bars, Cheap Diners, Flophouses, And Shooting Galleries, Searching For Meaning And A Place To Make Their Stand Love this book It is now among the list of my favorite short story collections, including those of Dorothy Parker, Jhumpa Lahiri and T.C Boyle I would like an audio version of it in the future. Panhandlers, junkies, whores, alcoholics, would be writers and artists, the frail and elderly and slightly crazy Ed Hamilton knows them all, and gives us a vivid account of the has beens and never weres, the low schemers and high minded failures who people a city in flux that may not have any room for them, as crumbling buildings and sleazy bars and rubble strewn lots give way to the relentless tide of gentrification Most of his characters succumb to drugs, alcohol, Alzheimer s, obsessions, or the crippling awareness of their own mediocrity, as they fight desperately or sink hopelessly into the uncaring, amoral, chew you up and spit you out juggernaut of New York Don t look for heroes or success stories here, and don t expect to be inspired The Chintz Age reveals the gritty underside of a New York of a few decades past If this appeals to you, here is a rich feast of a read. I often think of short story collections as being comparable to a record album or a mixed tape, with each story being like an individual song on the album or tape I always wonder about the song order or story order , I wonder if the album tape short story collection has a theme or a concept, I wander how autobiographical each song story is and how much it reveals about the writer s world vision and philosophy I also look for certain hooks, riffs, solos soliloquys that either express the writer s creativity or lack thereof Albums are interesting because they can be viewed as a whole as well as being viewed in terms of their individual songs this allows for various things to be going on at different levels all at once Thinking of a short story collection in that context means a strong opener is important In Ed Hamilton s The Chintz Age Fat Hippie Books is that strong opener It introduces a number of themes and motifs that set up further exploration in the stories that follow The most central motif that Hamilton introduces in Fat Hippie Books is that of real estate or domicile uncertainty In Fat Hippie Books a bookstore owner is conflicted over selling out and scrapping his dreams when he comes face to face with reality when his rent is about to be jacked up to 4,000 a month This conflict and uncertainty that Greg has over the future home of his bookstore ignites the narrative and it represents a reoccurring theme throughout the entire collection of stories In the second story The Chintz Age Martha a former squatter who was responsible for having another squatter booted out of a squat is now leaving her apartment to her daughter In Westside Hotel in which the narrator takes a room in the hotel he works at a hotel building itself is a central character In Plagiarism, a writer named Theo is getting squeezed out of his domicile and needs to convince Kim the Sandwich Whore to let him live with her Rock of the Lower East Side meanwhile begins with the boarding up of a building that the protagonist once lived in and then decides breaks into in order to find closure to a past relationship and come to terms with his lot in life King of the Underground is about an elderly man who breaks out of a nursing home and finds a new home in the underground dwelling amongst the mole people Highline Highlife is the first person account of a writer s life and times in the Highline building And The Retro Seventies Manhattan Dream Apartment revolves around the schemes of three female vultures trying to take over a Manhattan guy s apartment.With each story involving in some way domicile uncertainty, Hamilton is able to explore various themes and schemes that revolve around the relationship people have with their homes specifically people in New York who are in a set of circumstances that is unique from other American cities In nearly every story, Hamilton shows us how a person s relationship to their home can affect their relationship with other people and often cause battles that result in a break or a drifting apart of two people who were once very close In some cases the change in these relationships cause Hamilton s character s to completely rethink their entire mission in life, their entire value system. Ed Hamilton s books have a unique way of exploring things that, on the surface, seem very New York, but uncovers the human condition far beyond any geographical region.In his newest collection, Hamilton takes on gentrification not in nostalgia for the past sort of way, but rather through a Heideggerian critique of the modern world A world where craftsmanship, individuality, and character are mere resources to be arranged, rearranged, and ultimately disposed of for a cheaper copy.The effects of this book will linger in your mind long after you put it down highly recommended Interesting vignettes of New York City life. Great great book of stories, and the last one is on par with Stephen King..totally creeped me out I have never heard of women like that..not mentioning it because I don t want to spoil the read for anyone Fabulous readI lOVED it I think each story could become its own novel..Thanks, Ed Hamilton..well done I look forward to reading your next book A good portrait of the changing New york, but the book s best stories are those which deal with gentrification indirectly, such as Westside Hotel, King of the Underground, and The Retro Seventies Manhattan Dream Apartment.
Lords of the Schoolyard Sept 2017 was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Sagging Meniscus Press Stark, brutal, at times darkly humorous, and written in a powerfully pared down style purged of any ostentation, Hamilton s story is told from the point of view of one such antisocial bully My short story collection, The Chintz Age Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York Cervena Barva Press
- 284 pages
- The Chintz Age
- Ed Hamilton
- 18 February 2019 Ed Hamilton