The Night Line

Ambrose Clancy, Author, Peter M. Donahoe, Author New Amsterdam Books $27 (192p) ISBN 978-0-941533-45-4
Driving the ``night line'' in a New York City cab is not for the faint of heart. It's a dark and dangerous world, and a tough place to make a buck. This chronicle of one such night, penned by novelist and cabby Clancy, follows him past the weirdos and junkies, pimps and hookers he fears to pick up, and the no less risky fares he actually accepts. Maybe he will be asked to share a joint or a friendly conversation; more likely, intimate human dramas will be played out in the back seat among the nickel tippers and those who vomit on the floor. Clancy does not offer a pretty picture, and neither do Donahoe's harsh black-and-white photos, which comprise the second half of the book. They present the city's often ugly nocturnal face and the unsmiling, careworn taxi drivers who confront it every night--but their snapshot quality lacks the power of Clancy's hardened prose. This is indeed the belly of the beast, as seen by two who braved the nighttime streets. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 04/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
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