September 27th, 2023
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Mary BurtonMary Burton
Fresh Pick

New Books This Week

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

Latest Articles

Fall into September books you'll love

Slideshow image

Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
A tragic accident or something more sinister? A woman�s buried memories put her life at risk in a novel of shattering psychological suspense.

slideshow image
Secrets Unraveled, Nations Entwined: The Cold War's Hidden Chronicles

slideshow image
Love and Danger Collide: A Heart-Pounding Race Against Time to Save a Woman from the Shadows of the Past.

slideshow image
Would you risk nature's wrath to save a friend's life?

slideshow image
Duty to his country keeps him from the arms of the woman he craves with every breath�his bride.

Slideshow image

Bartleby and Me
Gay Talese

Reflections of an Old Scrivener

Mariner Books
September 2023
On Sale: September 19, 2023
320 pages
ISBN: 0062967487
EAN: 9780062967480
Kindle: B0BQMZL1R6
Trade Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Add to Wish List


“Literary legend” (New York) Gay Talese revisits his pioneering career profiling the many “nobodies” who make New York so fascinating, culminating with the strange and riveting story of Dr. Nicholas Bartha, who blew up his Upper East Side brownstone—and himself—rather than give up his beloved patch of NYC real estate.


“New York is a city of things unnoticed,” a young reporter named Gay Talese wrote sixty years ago. He would spend the rest of his legendary career defying that statement by noticing those details others missed, celebrating the people most reporters overlooked, understanding that it was through these minor characters that the epic story of New York and of America unfolded. Inspired by Melville’s great short story “Bartleby the Scrivener,” Talese now remembers the unforgettable “nobodies” he has profiled in his pioneering career—from the New York Times’s anonymous obituary writer to Frank Sinatra’s entourage. In the book’s final act, a remarkable piece of original reporting titled “Dr. Bartha’s Brownstone,” Talese introduces readers to a new “Bartleby,” an unknown doctor who made his mark on the city one summer day in 2006.

Rising within the city of New York are about one million buildings. These include skyscrapers, apartment buildings, bodegas, schools, churches, hospitals, and homeless shelters. Also spread through the city are more than 19,000 vacant lots, one of which suddenly appeared some years ago—at 34 East 62d Street, between Madison and Park Avenues—when the unhappy owner of a brownstone at that address blew it up (with himself in it) rather than sell his cherished 19th-century high stoop Neo-Grecian residence in order to pay the court-ordered sum of four-million dollars to the woman who had divorced him three years earlier. This man was a physician of sixty-six named Nicholas Bartha. On the morning of July 10th, 2006, Dr. Bartha had filled his building with gas that he had diverted from a pipe in the basement, and then he set off an explosion that reduced the four-story premises into a fiery heap that would soon injure ten firefighters, five passersby, and damage the interiors of thirteen apartments that stood to the west of the crumbled brownstone.

Gay Talese’s byline has been synonymous with legendary portrayals of the city’s characters, high and low. Bartleby and Me continues that tradition, concluding with an examination of a single 20’ x 100’ New York City building lot, its serpentine past, and the unexpected triumphs and disasters encountered by its residents and owners—an unlikely cast featuring society wannabes, striving immigrants, Gilded Age powerbrokers, Russian financiers, and even a turncoat during the War of Independence. Concise, elegant, tragic and whimsical, Bartleby and Me is the capstone of a master journalist.


No comments posted.

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!

© 2003-2023  all rights reserved Privacy Policy