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Life on the Ledge: Reflections of a New York City Window Cleanerby Ivor Hanson
Synopses & Reviews
Despite playing in legendary punk bands with Henry Rollins and Ian Mackaye, Ivor realizes that window cleaning isn't his day-job, it's his only job. While washing the windows of celebrities and using the service entrance to Manhattan buildings, Ivor reflects on where he has been, what he is doing, and where he wants to go.
"Having moved to New York to fulfill his creative dream-hitting it big in a punk rock band-freelance writer Hanson soon found himself viewing the city 'as the skyscraper does,' hooked to the outside of a high-rise office building working as a window cleaner. Hanson's memoir has plenty of engaging material to draw from, and occasionally soars on the engaging details of his precarious day job, but a lack of focus and confidence proves crippling to the narrative. In his discussion of window-washing, Hanson is effortlessly sharp, insightful and funny ('I get paid by the window, not by the hour'), but this fascinating perspective is too often clouded by banal talk of his writing aspirations (getting into Columbia's Graduate School of Journlaism) and distracting, self-conscious stabs at establishing his literary and cultural chops (as in his irrelevant, overlong aside on 'a "Christo" building-when a building undergoing extensive exterior work gets wrapped in plastic, just as Christo, the artist, has done to such buildings in Berlin's Reichstag'). It's missteps like these that keep this book from getting off the ground." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A tale of risk, punk music, voyeurism, identity, and clean windows.
“[Ivor] Hanson is effortlessly sharp, insightful, and funny.”—Publishers Weekly
“Fascinating.”—New York Magazine
After playing in punk bands with Henry Rollins and Ian Mackaye, Ivor must face that he won’t be a rock star and that window cleaning isn’t his day job; it’s his only job.
About the Author
Ivor Hanson is a freelance writer and window cleaner who has written for The New York Times, The Big Takeover, Time Out New York, and other publications. A graduate of Vassar College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Ivor lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. When not working as a stay-at-home dad, he cleans windows all around town.
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