Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York

From the #1 NYT bestselling author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast's new graphic memoir--a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/ thank-you note to Manhattan.A native Brooklynite-turned-suburban commuter deemed the quintessential New Yorker, Roz Chast has always been intensely alive to the glorious spectacle that is Manhattan--the daily clash of sidewa...

Title:Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York
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Edition Language:English

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York Reviews

  • Diane

    This is a charming love letter to New York City from cartoonist Roz Chast. I had liked her previous book, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and was thrilled she had written another one.

    Chast said this book started as short guide for her daughter when she moved to Manhattan for college. The final version is both helpful and humorous, packed with useful tips about the layout of the city, how to get around, what to do, how to find an apartment, etc., but also lots of jokes about the ur

    This is a charming love letter to New York City from cartoonist Roz Chast. I had liked her previous book, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” and was thrilled she had written another one.

    Chast said this book started as short guide for her daughter when she moved to Manhattan for college. The final version is both helpful and humorous, packed with useful tips about the layout of the city, how to get around, what to do, how to find an apartment, etc., but also lots of jokes about the urban jungle, the quirky stores, the subway, and the people. I smiled often while reading it, and even called my husband over to look at a favorite drawing.

    Highly recommended for fellow Roz Chast fans, or anyone who loves NYC.

    “I feel about Manhattan the way I feel about a book, a TV series, a movie, a play, an artist, a song, a food, a whatever that I love. I want to tell you about it so that maybe you will love it too.”

    “I will always feel gratitude and astonishment that Manhattan allowed me to make my home there. It’s still the only place I’ve been where I feel, in some strange way, that I fit in.”

  • Jill Meyer

    Cartoonist Roz Chast - whose work has appeared often the The New Yorker and in previously published books - seemed to strike gold in her last book of cartoons, "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant". That book, which was about the aging of her parents and how she coped with it, "spoke" to many, many people in my age group, who often had elderly parents we were responsible for. And, the book reminded US of OUR coming problems, as WE aged. "Good times...", as they say, bemoaning our current

    Cartoonist Roz Chast - whose work has appeared often the The New Yorker and in previously published books - seemed to strike gold in her last book of cartoons, "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant". That book, which was about the aging of her parents and how she coped with it, "spoke" to many, many people in my age group, who often had elderly parents we were responsible for. And, the book reminded US of OUR coming problems, as WE aged. "Good times...", as they say, bemoaning our current lot and fearing for the future, all in one book.

    Roz Chast's newest book, "Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York", is a bit of a different. Please note that to Roz Chast, "New York City" actually means the island of Manhattan. Originally set forth as a guide to her college-age daughter who had grown up in the northern suburbs of New York, and was now moving to the city, the book is a joyful look at New York City, both its past and future, but, mostly its present. Roz had grown up in Brooklyn and ventured into Manhattan with her parents on rare, special occasions, so a lot of what she was writing to her daughter would have applied to her when she finally moved to Manhattan as a young adult. She and her husband moved to the suburbs to raise their two children. Chast's special drawings, combined with spot-on commentary about the city and its people, is a charming reminder to all of us poor people who may go to New York on vacation, but don't get to live in that special place, with the traffic jams, the street food, the noises and smells, all of which combine to make Manhattan, Manhattan.

    "Going Into Town" is a sweet book. It truly is a "love letter to New York".

  • Jill

    Roz Chast grew up in Brooklyn (before it became trendy) in the same neighborhood that I did; in fact, we even attended the same high school. So I laughed out loud when she describes the destiny she avoided: commuting every day to Manhattan wearing beige support hose and clinging to a subway pole.

    Fortunately, Roz Chast evaded that fate and did move to “the city.” But like many city dwellers. she eventually moved an hour north of the city. When her own daughter decides to attend college in Manhatt

    Roz Chast grew up in Brooklyn (before it became trendy) in the same neighborhood that I did; in fact, we even attended the same high school. So I laughed out loud when she describes the destiny she avoided: commuting every day to Manhattan wearing beige support hose and clinging to a subway pole.

    Fortunately, Roz Chast evaded that fate and did move to “the city.” But like many city dwellers. she eventually moved an hour north of the city. When her own daughter decides to attend college in Manhattan, she created this book—a graphic memoir that is, in essence, a love note to the Big Apple.

    Both personal and practical (there’s a great guide, for example, to the main museums and the main parks), this is a hilarious, dead-on look at Manhattan: where the city bird may well be the pigeon, the wildlife consists of mice, rats, and GIANT rats, and interesting storefronts and objects abound.

    Still, there’s no other city like it – “the best place in the world, an experiment, a melting pot, a fight to the death, an opera, a musical comedy, a tragedy, none of the above, all of the above.” It’s a “must have” book for any New Yorker, former New Yorker, or anyone who has heard of or dreamt of New York. And, while it lacks the introspection and poignancy of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, it is what it is…a wonderfully illustrated look at a one-of-a-kind city as only Roz Chast could create.

  • Mary Lins

    I wish I had read Roz Chast’s “Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York” before my recent trip to New York City! While not a guide book in the strictest sense, there is actually a lot of information and good advice packed in here! Not to mention humor!

    I’m a long-time fan of Chast’s work (“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant”, brought me to tears – it was so close to my own experiences) and so it was a treat to dive into “Going Into Town” just a month after my NYC trip. It brought back

    I wish I had read Roz Chast’s “Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York” before my recent trip to New York City! While not a guide book in the strictest sense, there is actually a lot of information and good advice packed in here! Not to mention humor!

    I’m a long-time fan of Chast’s work (“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant”, brought me to tears – it was so close to my own experiences) and so it was a treat to dive into “Going Into Town” just a month after my NYC trip. It brought back pleasant (and a few unpleasant) memories of the trip and also help explain a few things that had confused me logistically.

    This would make a terrific gift for a friend planning a trip to NTC!

  • Bethany

    a gift from my dad

  • Elyse

    If you love Roz Chast, or New York and have perhaps developed a soft spot for graphic art books ......secretly knowing “Can’t We Talk About Something More

    Pleasant” is when your love, appreciation, and admiration, for ‘graphic art’ books first grew.....then there is no reason you won’t enjoy this book too: “Going Into Town”....a love letter to New York.

    I wasn’t rolling on the floor - laughing and crying - hysterically like I did in CWTASMP.... ( yes.... I really ‘was’ laughing and crying uncont

    If you love Roz Chast, or New York and have perhaps developed a soft spot for graphic art books ......secretly knowing “Can’t We Talk About Something More

    Pleasant” is when your love, appreciation, and admiration, for ‘graphic art’ books first grew.....then there is no reason you won’t enjoy this book too: “Going Into Town”....a love letter to New York.

    I wasn’t rolling on the floor - laughing and crying - hysterically like I did in CWTASMP.... ( yes.... I really ‘was’ laughing and crying uncontrollably the second time I read the book when reading it out loud… or at least trying to read it to my husband Paul...who was adding his own jokes).....but I enjoyed it.

    This book is EXACTLY what it says it is....” Going Into Town”. It might seem tedious for some New Yorkers to read a page about the facts of streets and avenues— and the important facts about the east side and the west side... but I think even a native might get a kick from Roz’s creation. After all not everyone knows what the term CROSS STREET means in Manhattan.

    From walking around the city making “discoveries” such as a store that sells a

    “jabillion” kinds of ribbon, to noticing the wide variety of installation pipes, to the subway experience, the shuttle stations, how to hail a cab, things to do, finding a place to be alone, shopping, parks, wildlife ( mice, rats, apartment cats, dogs, and psycho pets), food....(if you can’t find something to eat in New York you must not like food), to apartment living, etc., Roz Chast who no longer lives in New York but grew up in Brooklyn was inspired to write this book when her daughter was leaving for college in Manhattan.

    All mom’s want to make sure their daughters and son’s know how to get around in the new city where they will be attending college —�( shhhh even if they have been there a zillion times) .....Roz wrote this book as letter to New York... focusing on Manhattan... where she feels most at home .... but as any mother will see.....

    it’s a love book to her daughter too!

    4.5 Stars. ‘not’ as powerful as “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant”....yet still warms your heart!

  • David Schaafsma

    I just read indie comix artist Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, and was reminded of other love letters to NYC I have read in recent years: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasure of Urban Decay, Ben Katchor, and See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled, Matteo Pericoli. I lived in Manhattan, on the upper west side, from 1995-1999, and loved it. But could never be seen as a New Yorker, even if I lived there forty years. I was an am

    I just read indie comix artist Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, and was reminded of other love letters to NYC I have read in recent years: Cheap Novelties: The Pleasure of Urban Decay, Ben Katchor, and See the City: The Journey of Manhattan Unfurled, Matteo Pericoli. I lived in Manhattan, on the upper west side, from 1995-1999, and loved it. But could never be seen as a New Yorker, even if I lived there forty years. I was an am an outsider, and know how to drive! I was born in the flyover midwest, Grand Rapids, Michigan, so my nearest Big Cities were Chicago, where I visited with my family yearly the Art Institute and Museum of Science and Industry, and Detroit, where I mainly saw the Detroit Tigers play. But NYC, and especially Manhattan! It had everything that I read about in The Village Voice, music, art, theater! The Village! When I finally lived there, I was too old to go clubbing (though I did go to several shows and even actual clubs to dance), but I was at the time childless, so it was great to eat out a lot and see the museums and plays. It was exciting to be there, teach there.

    Roz Chast is a whimsically odd and always insightful staple of The New Yorker. She last year wrote a memoir about her aging parents, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Going Into Town is less memoirish, but—as the subtitle says—a love letter to her beloved Manhattan (though she doesn’t really talk about the other boroughs; Chast’s New York City is Manhattan). She calls it a “sort-of guide” to NYC, because it talks of the layout of the City and the subway system, the things to do such as museums and parks, apartment life, but it is more a kind of meditation on the look and feel of it, the experience of this great city, mainly for those who live there and love it. The audience isn’t clear, really, but you get Chast cartoons, all lovely and funny and quirky.

    Here’s an article in “The Times” (or, what others outside of New York might refer to as the The New York Times, “Roz Chast is New Yorkier than You”:

    You can see some of the book on the NPR Review site. Do it now:

  • Suzy

    So many reasons to love this book! Roz Chast for one - her humor, her fabulous illustrations and her intimacy with her subject. NYC for another - what's not to love! I got half-way through and deemed worthy of 5 stars.

    Looping back now that I've finished . . .

    I love Roz Chast and have been enjoying her cartoons for decades. I was reminded by the blurb on the back of the book that she has been drawing in The New Yorker since 1978 - almost 40 years! I've been subscribing that entire time, and more

    So many reasons to love this book! Roz Chast for one - her humor, her fabulous illustrations and her intimacy with her subject. NYC for another - what's not to love! I got half-way through and deemed worthy of 5 stars.

    Looping back now that I've finished . . .

    I love Roz Chast and have been enjoying her cartoons for decades. I was reminded by the blurb on the back of the book that she has been drawing in The New Yorker since 1978 - almost 40 years! I've been subscribing that entire time, and more, and one of the first things I do when I get the latest issue is flip through the magazine to find her cartoon. Did I say how much I love Roz Chast?

    Going Into Town made me laugh out loud, touched me and left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. At the beginning of the book, Roz tells us:

    That just tickled me to think that your Mom would create a book of illustrations to introduce you to the place you're going to college and to the place that your Mom loves, even though you've grown up in Connecticut.

    She ends the book with:

    Enough said!

  • Aloke

    Less personal than "Can't we..." so if you're expecting something cathartic you'll be disappointed. It's really a Manhattan travel guide but just focusing on whatever Chast thinks is important. I'd get it from the library (or buy it as a gift for someone from out of town and read it before giving it away).

  • Kelli

    My introduction to graphic novels was the funny and deeply moving memoir

    It was very good. This book was more guidebook than love letter. It is clear that the author loves NYC and this has good information, but I was hoping for many more personal stories. Still, a quick fun read for fans of the city. 3 stars

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