The Heart of the World

Nik Cohn, Author Knopf Publishing Group $21 (371p) ISBN 978-0-394-56869-0
Sometimes sparkling, sometimes disappointing, this tour of Broadway from the Battery to Times Square by British journalist Cohn ( Rock Dreams ) tells the story of the Great White Way through the lives of various eccentric denizens. They include a Russian emigre taxi driver (``Broadway is mother of Broadways all over world,'' he says), a pickpocket (``Aaron saw stealing--dipping , he called it--as something prideful, a craft, a discipline'') and a pre-op transvestite who is about to ``marry.'' Cohn displays a sloppiness with geography rather curious in a book about place; for example, he puts the farmer's market in Union Square ``on the east.'' His voice rambles and sometimes hits bizarre notes, as when he writes, ``Where the Pied Piper walked on gilded splinters, press agent Dick Falk strode with cleated hooves.'' And occasional Briticisms are jarring in an otherwise stridently colloquial American narrative. Still, when Cohn is in top form the reader receives a bold, brash, immediate taste of this special world. BOMC and QPB alternates. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 380 pages - 978-0-679-74437-5
Open Ebook - 219 pages - 978-0-307-76712-7
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