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The Fiddler in the Subway

The True Story of What Happened When A World-class Violinist Played for Handouts-- and Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature Writer

Weingarten, Gene

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Fiddler in the Subway
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A collection of essays by the nationally syndicated humor columnist includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, "Pearls Before Breakfast," about a social experiment for which unrecognized world-class violinist Joshua Bell performed in a Washington, D.C. subway station for spare change.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2010
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 1439181594
9781439181591
Branch Call Number: 818.5407 W4238f 2010
Characteristics: xvii, 361 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm

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List - Michele's list by: multcolib_tamaf Jul 02, 2014

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gene Weingarten probably writes a grocery list that I would happily read. Some of these essays are the best nonfiction I've ever read, and I recommend it passionately to almost everyone. My favorite is one of the shortest, about a vision problem his dad is having.

The title article is the story behind the setup of Joshua Bell playing for handouts in a Washington, D.C. subway station. Would anyone notice who it was playing the bazillion dollar violin? Almost no one. Every other story ranges from a good+ to brilliant. My favorite is the shortest, only a few ... Read More »

Includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, "Pearls Before Breakfast," about a social experiment for which unrecognized world-class violinist Joshua Bell performed in a Washington, D.C. subway station for spare change.

The title article is the story behind the setup of Joshua Bell playing for handouts in a Washington, D.C. subway station. Would anyone notice who it was playing the bazillion dollar violin? Almost no one. Every other story ranges from a good+ to brilliant. My favorite is the shortest, only a few ... Read More »

Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually is, in narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable. The very short essay on his dad's illness is some of the very best nonfiction I've ever read. Ever.


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May 06, 2014
  • booklover2014x2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing, concise writing. Interesting stories. A must-read!

Jan 29, 2013
  • Jennmro rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed the writing style in this book! Some really great stories, and some really disturbing ones with topics that were hard to read about, but overall, loved this book and would recommend.

Jan 11, 2013
  • hiking1957 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I thought that I would end up skipping around but I didn't. I enjoyed this collection of essays. There were some that I didn't like much and some that were hard to read because of their subject manner but all in all I found this a very enjoyable book.

Jan 02, 2013
  • hmcgivney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed most of these articles. Weingarten is a very lucid writer, and much of the time I was willing to follow where he wanted to take me. There were a few pieces that I thought were too long, or that didn't interest me very much, and one (about a small town in Alaska) that I didn't finish because it was too distressing and depressing. My favorites were the articles about the ghost-writer for the Hardy Boys mysteries, Bill Clinton's father, Weingarten's father and daughter, and about those who live with the terrorism in Jerusalem.

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Mar 11, 2012
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

One biographically intriguing fact about Bell is that he got his first music lessons when he was a four-year-old in Bloomington, Indiana. His parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their son had strung rubber bands across his dresser drawers and was replicating classical tunes by ear, plucking the strings and moving the drawers in and out to vary the pitch.

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