Saturday, October 29, 2011

Audiobook Review: The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine

The New Yorkers
Author: Cathleen Schine
Published: May 1, 2007
Audiobook: 7 CDs
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 1.5 stars

Synopsis (from As anyone who has walked a dog in any city knows, dogs bring people together who would otherwise never meet. On one humble, rent-controlled block of Upper East Side Manhattan, neighbors become neighborly because of their dogs, and the canines are cupids for their sometimes lonely, often eccentric, and hopelessly romantic humans. Like Polly and Everett, who briefly distract each other from heartache—until Everett realizes he is more in love with Howdy, Polly's dog, than with Polly. And Jody, who ponders a marriage proposal from Simon while walking her dog, Beatrice. Simon doesn't have a dog, but he courts Jody by waiting along Beatrice's walking path and dining at the corner Korean restaurant that allows dogs. George (Polly's sister) is looking for life direction, not love, and Howdy (Polly's dog) leads him right to it. Doris hates dogs—until she gets one of her own. In The New Yorkers, as in life, dogs compel their masters to take part in the community, make friends, fall in love—and learn more about themselves and human nature.

My Thoughts: This book was just a jumble. That's the only work I can think of to sum it up. There were so many characters, so much going on, and there was no real plot. It seems like everything is just thrown together and the author hoped for the best. Unfortunately, it doesn't work at all (at least for me). First off, Cathleen Schine's writing style made it very difficult to get through. About halfway through listening to the book, I realized it might be a bit easier if I was reading it, but I continued on, hoping it would grow on me. The sentences will start with talking about one character, then end with another character who isn't having an interaction with the first character, or even in the same location. Everyone's stories just became a big knot because I didn't know who was where and with whom! Then there were the characters; there were a lot of them, and between them all, there was no personality. They were all stereotypical people. Jodi (who I guess is the main character) is a middle-age music teacher who is single and wants to buy a cat, but ends up with a dog. Polly is young, so she is airheaded and talks like a Valley Girl. Everett is older and entering the grumpy-old-man stage of his life. I mean, it was just all too predictable.

Between the writing style and the characters, I just found this book to be a hot mess (yes, I just called a book a hot mess). It sounds like a cute little story from the description and cover, but it is not. 


  1. I just got this book in print on the recommendation of another blogger when I reviewed the author's Three Weissmann's of Westport. I hope it works better in print than it did in audio!

  2. What a shame :(

    I think I would have been attracted to the book by the description and the cover but now I think I'll skip it.