'Stevenson conveyed such a strong sense of place and time that I felt I was right ...
'Mitchell bottled and preserved more of the soul of New York than any man before or since; Up in the Old Hotel is required reading for anyone who wants to hear the lost voices of the city' Tim Adams, Observer
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Published: 05 July 2012
Genre: Travel writing
'The master of a journalistic style long vanished - urbane, lucid, courteous... A masterpiece of observation and storytelling' Ian McEwanMitchell is the laureate of old New York. The hidden corners of the city and the people who lived there are his subject. He captured the waterfront rooming-houses , nickel-a-drink saloons, all-night restaurants, the 'visionaries, obsessives, imposters, fanatics, lost souls, the end-is-near street preachers, old Gypsy Kings and old Gypsy Queens, and out-and-out freak-show freaks.' Mitchell's trademark curiosity, respect and graveyard humour fuel these magical essays. Written between 1943 and 1965, Up in the Old Hotel is the complete collection of Joseph Mitchell 's New Yorker journalism and includes McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr Flood, The Bottom of the Harbour and Joe Gould's Secret. 'Joseph Mitchell is buried treasure' Salman Rushdie
This is a book about New York as it was a long time ago… Mitchell is interested in the texture of the city. He loves the cops and bums and old Italian restaurants. After a while you really feel engrained in the place yourself
William Leith, Evening Standard
Swift, razor-sharp characterisation, narrative suspense and the sparest, yet most penetrating description
One of the greatest journalists America has produced
Times Literary Supplement
What James Joyce might have written had he gone into journalism
A poet of the waterfront and a writer of surpassing tales that captured the unsung and unconventional life of New York and its denizens
If Borges had been a New Yorker he might have come up with something like Joe Gould's Secret
An original... Civilised, intelligent, kind, humorous
[Mitchell’s] portrait of old New York is unmatchable
It is a teeming confection of the kind of people you wish to meet in a city, but would never quite have the guts to spend time with
Stuart Ever's blog
Comparing a journalist's oeuvre with the titanic Ulysses may appear presumptuous, but Mitchell shared Joyce's obsessive interest in the odd corners and overlooked eccentrics of urban life… Mitchell produced pure gold… his book has some of the finest feature writing published
Christopher Hirst, Independent
A work of consummate artistry
Jake Kerridge, Sunday Telegraph
Mitchell is a superb writer and this collection is a treasure
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Joseph Mitchell was born near Iona, North Carolina, in 1908, and came to New York City in 1929, when he was twenty-one years old. He eventually found a job as an apprentice crime reporter for The World ...