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Genre: non-fiction, Publisher: Penguin

Book Review: Keys to the City by Joel Kostman

Sorry, all, for the long hiatus, and for leaving you with urban fantasy mass markets as the last few posts. I’ve been reading up a storm in the non-urban-fantasy part of the adult market (okay, and a few U.F. in there, too) and finally have made the time to sit down and tell you about them. One at a time. Over the next few days/weeks. Brace yourself.

Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith
by Joel Kostman
Hardcover: 9780789424617
Paperback: 9780140279474
Dorling Kindersley (Penguin)

Sadly out-of-print, those are the ISBNs you can have your local independent bookstore look up for you, or check out yourself for a copy.

This is a non-fiction work of short vignettes by an actual locksmith about the places he’s seen and the people he’s met during the course of his time serving New York City. The stories are charmingly real, in that they give the reader brief glimpses into the human experience, both good and bad, and both of the author and of his clients. Simultaneously “very New York” and accessible to people who’ve never even seen the city, all of the stories will touch your heart and/or make you consider your own life for a brief moment.

Highly enjoyable, this was the perfect book when I was on a roadtrip – I could quickly read a story or two and then put it down to take a nap. This doesn’t have to be devoured in the first sitting, but I guarantee you’ll go back for the rest.

The hardcover edition is worth getting for the retro jacket design alone, as well as the unique tall, skinny, apartment building-like shape of the actual book. My only complaint is that I want to read more.


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