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Ghostly Men (03 Edition)

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Ghostly Men (03 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9781582343112
ISBN10: 158234311x
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

A true tale of changing New York by Franz Lidz, whose Unstrung Heroes is a classic of hoarder lore.

Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department had to carry Homer's body out of the house he hadn't left in twenty years, the neighborhood had degentrified, and their house was a fortress of junk: in an attempt to preserve the past, Homer and Langley held on to everything they touched.

The scandal of Homer's discovery, the story of his life, and the search for Langley, who was missing at the time, rocked the city; the story was on the front page of every newspaper for weeks. A quintessential New York story of quintessential New York characters.

Franz Lidz is a Sports Illustrated senior writer, a New York Times film essayist, and the author of Unstrung Heroes: My Improbable Life with Four Impossible Uncles, which was made into a Disney feature film.

Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department was forced to lower Homer's dead body by rope out of the house he hadn't left in nearly a decade, the neighborhood had degentrified, and the Collyers' home had become a sealed fortress of junk. Dedicated to preserving the past, the brothers had held on to virtually everything they had ever touched.

The front-page scandal of the discovery of Homer's body and the worldwide search for his brother, Langley, is interwoven with the heartbreaking story of the author's uncle Arthur, whose own tower of "stuff" topples when he is blindsided by a mysterious and seductive femme fatale.

"Franz Lidz brings thorough research and a deft, journalistic touch to this brief, readable tale, [and] does an elegant job of situating the famously odd brothers' lives within the context of a changing New York City."—Adam Mansbach, San Francisco Chronicle

"This is the New York City of Coney Island and flea circuses, of race riots and street sages. Think The Royal Tenenbaums meets Gangs of New York."—Los Angeles Times

"Franz Lidz's Ghosty Men is funny and moving and full of odd details, and it will make you clean up your room."—Luc Sante, author of Low Life

"Poignant, dark-humored account of the brothers who transported 140 tons of street stuff to their Harlem brownstone . . . A welcome addition to Bloomsbury's Urban Historical series, shimmering with dabs of color that bring the entire portrait to life."—Kirkus Reviews

"When 65-year-old Homer Collyer, blind and crippled by rheumatism, was found dead in his dilapidated, junk-filled Harlem brownstone in March 1947, the discovery made all of New York's newspapers, as did the subsequent hunt for his younger brother, Langley, whose body was finally located under piles of debris. In this slim volume, part of Bloomsbury's Urban Historical series, Lidz, a memoirist (Unstrung Heroes) and senior writer at Sports Illustrated, examines the Collyer brothers' intriguing, baffling lives. The compulsive hermits came from a respected, well-to-do family and were educated at Columbia, Homer as a lawyer and Langley, who was a talented pianist, as an engineer. They became part of New York lore in August 1938, when the World-Telegram wrote about the pair and their once-fashionable house on Fifth Avenue and 128th Street, which was crammed full of pianos, other instruments, bicycles, chandeliers, clocks, and thousands of newspapers strewn in yellowing drifts across the floor.' In addition to deconstructing the brothers' descent into their own world of squalor and isolation, Lidz shares recollections of his Uncle Arthur, an eccentric hoarder who was a featured character in Unstrung Heroes. Arthur amassed everything from magazines and bus transfers to socks and shoelaces and lived 'nested inside his walls of junk.' 'My junk was like a friend,' says Uncle Arthur. 'Sort of a freedom, it was. I'd saved it in my own way.' These words help make sense of men like Uncle Arthur and the Collyers, whose stories Lidz captures vividly, with humor and compassion."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

A true tale of changing New York by Franz Lidz, whose Unstrung Heroes is a classic of hoarder lore.

Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department had to carry Homer's body out of the house he hadn't left in twenty years, the neighborhood had degentrified, and their house was a fortress of junk: in an attempt to preserve the past, Homer and Langley held on to everything they touched.

The scandal of Homer's discovery, the story of his life, and the search for Langley, who was missing at the time, rocked the city; the story was on the front page of every newspaper for weeks. A quintessential New York story of quintessential New York characters.

About the Author

Franz Lidz is a Sports Illustrated senior writer, a New York Times film essayist, and the author of Unstrung Heroes: My Improbable Life with Four Impossible Uncles, which was made into a 1995 Disney feature film.

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bookends, April 19, 2007 (view all comments by bookends)
A true story of two brothers who were packrats to the extreme. So much junk was jammed into their brownstone that they had to tunnel through the mess. Only in New York could this make the front page of all the papers.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582343112
Author:
Lidz, Franz
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Eccentrics and eccentricities
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1900-1945)
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
108-203
Publication Date:
20031031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
161
Dimensions:
7.31 x 5.83 x 0.765 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Americana » New England and Mid Atlantic
History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Ghostly Men (03 Edition) Used Hardcover
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$12.00 In Stock
Product details 161 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582343112 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A true tale of changing New York by Franz Lidz, whose Unstrung Heroes is a classic of hoarder lore.

Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department had to carry Homer's body out of the house he hadn't left in twenty years, the neighborhood had degentrified, and their house was a fortress of junk: in an attempt to preserve the past, Homer and Langley held on to everything they touched.

The scandal of Homer's discovery, the story of his life, and the search for Langley, who was missing at the time, rocked the city; the story was on the front page of every newspaper for weeks. A quintessential New York story of quintessential New York characters.

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