Lucy Lethbridge

The Bright Incongruity of It All

Gone to New York: Adventures in the City

By

Granta Books 203pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

New Yorker writer Ian Frazier has a mild fixation with plastic carrier bags. Over the years, he has become transfixed by the sight of them billowing, tattered and water-logged, in the bare branches of New York’s sidewalk trees, along with several hundred tangled metres of cassette tape. Understandably, he loathes the ugliness of this spectacle and, with a friend, invented a device, a sort of hooked pole, with which to unsnag stuff from trees. Their success (they even patented the pole) led to a brief flirtation with a similarly cunning invention with which to bring helium balloons down to earth. They were inspired by the irritating sight of one of those silver heart-shaped birthday balloons apparently stuck forever to the ceiling of Grand Central Station, dancing across its mural of the constellations.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,
    • Hi , we would love to review 'Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar' in our next issue! Please could you get in… ,