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Highly evocative

  • Oct 7, 2010
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Notes From the Night is an entertaining little book that takes readers on a tour of New York City night life, or more specifically a slice of it, described by a guy who spends much of his free time trawling the downtown clubs with his buddies. Apparently some things never change, as I well recall the feeling that author Taylor Plimpton describes of being out in the night and thrilled by all of the possibilities it presents. My nights on the town took place some years ago, yet Plimpton's writing managed to reach out and draw me back to those aimless late evenings when it was more than enough just to be young, free and have a twenty in your pocket.

One of the surprises of this quasi-memoir is how well written it is. Plimpton's descriptions about the thrill embedded in being out in the New York night are dead on. Take this for instance, "It is an obsession for me, this night. And it is not the alcohol that calls, or the drugs, or even the sex (far too infrequent). No, I am in love with possibility. Tonight, I cannot help but think, tonight could be the night. Because heading out on the town, you never know what will happen. It could be anything, everything, and whatever it is, it is not this, this whining, blue computer screen in front of me..."

If you ever 'made the scene,' anywhere, consider picking up up this book. If you ever made the New York scene, then this is a must read.

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Bonnie McEwan ()
Ranked #128
I own a communications consultancy in NYC called MAKE WAVES, which serves nonprofit organizations and foundations. I also hold a Visiting Lecturer position at Milano: The New School for Management & … more
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Jonathan Miles Reviews Notes from the Night

Jonathan Miles is a former columnist for the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times and the author of a novel, Dear American Airlines, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Book of 2008 by the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Amazon.com. His next novel, Want Not, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Notes to the Night might have been a more accurate title, because this slim, wistful memoir is, quite plainly, a love letter. To whom? The Manhattan nightlife, or more precisely a certain subspecies of that nightlife--to the style-obsessed, drug-dizzied, bass-thudded, celebutante-spangled, all-night parties that occur beyond the velvet ropes of an ever-shifting array of downtown nightclubs. In the literary world (which Taylor, as the son of the late Paris Review founder and highbrow bon vivant George Plimpton, was born smack into the white-hot center of), this scene isn’t sacred or even very familiar terrain. (Jay McInerney mined it in the ‘80s, with his novel Bright Lights, Big City, but with far more angst than affection.) Dive bars, Irish pubs, fusty old saloons, joints with depth and shaggy gravitas: these are the typical recipients of boozy mash notes from writers, rather than laser-lit clubs where conversation tends to be limited to a shouted sighting of, say, Natalie Portman. Yet Notes from the Night melts the distinctions by suggesting that, down deep, we nocturnal ...

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ISBN-10: 0307716228
ISBN-13: 978-0307716224
Author: Taylor Plimpton
Publisher: Crown Archetype

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"Highly evocative"
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