Thankfully, New Yorkers is not War and Peace, with its several hundred characters. Taylor culled and cut a lot. But among those who made it into New Yorkers, some are unforgettable ... The subtitle of New Yorkers is almost as generic as a Duane Reade: 'A City and Its People in Our Time.' Happily, New Yorkers is livelier than that. Much livelier ... Some of what surges past makes you cringe ... [interviewee Joshua] Jelly-Schapiro’s last few lines nicely capture his city and Taylor’s, a place that too often seems unfathomable to its populace and unmanageable to its leaders.
... a grand fugue for organ, with all the stops pulled out. It is a gift right now, when New York City is coming back from a pandemic winter that has been the ruin of many a favourite restaurant, bar and sandwich shop, and put the lives of anyone in the performing arts on pause indefinitely. Contrary to popular reports, New York is no ghost town. In New Yorkers the city is hopping, punching, reeling, dancing, thrumming, honking, thriving ... Taylor’s presence is felt between the lines; he is as skilled a writer of literary nonfiction as I have ever read. It helps that he is Canadian: a book like this calls for an observer, a listener, a sniffer who is alien but not too alien.
I’ve lived in Britain for more than 35 years and in London for a quarter century. But New York is my hometown ... Craig Taylor’s new [book] reconjured the city for me ... Taylor is Canadian, an outsider: his love of New York is plain, his ability to listen extraordinary ... Some interviews are concerned with the purely personal, while others offer a brutally vivid portrait of momentous events ... splendid ... Everyone and no one belongs to New York.