Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets

( 7 )

Overview

A moving, funny, and unforgettable memoir of homeless life in New York

For the past sixteen years, Cadillac Man has lived on the streets of New York City. Over those years, he has recorded the facts of his daily life, writing hundreds of thousands of words in a series of spiral-bound notebooks. Cadillac Man: My Life on the Streets distills those journals into a memoir of homeless life, full of indelible characters and packed with gripping stories. In a gritty, poignant, and ...

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Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets

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Overview

A moving, funny, and unforgettable memoir of homeless life in New York

For the past sixteen years, Cadillac Man has lived on the streets of New York City. Over those years, he has recorded the facts of his daily life, writing hundreds of thousands of words in a series of spiral-bound notebooks. Cadillac Man: My Life on the Streets distills those journals into a memoir of homeless life, full of indelible characters and packed with gripping stories. In a gritty, poignant, and funny voice, Cadillac narrates his descent into homelessness, the struggles and unexpected freedoms of his life, and the story of his love affair with a young runaway, whom he eventually (and tragically) reunites with her family. The United States has seven hundred thousand homeless people; ultimately, Cadillac’s story is their story.

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Editorial Reviews

Dwight Garner
Cadillac Man's story is grueling. His book is not. He works to put human faces on the men and women you see huddled under overpasses and in alleyways, and there are cracks of light in the tale he tells, even moments of joy, bravery and suspense.
—The New York Times
J. Courtney Sullivan
Land of the Lost Souls can be repetitive (we spend many pages watching Cadillac Man find and redeem cans) and chronologically confusing. But at its best, it is also unnerving and powerful…an absorbing portrait of New York's homeless—from where they sleep and bathe to the violence and alcoholism that so often define their lives.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Writer, veteran and native Manhattanite Cadillac Man exposes the hidden world of the homeless in this riveting collection of stories from his sixteen years on the streets of New York City. Following the heartbreaking deterioration of his marriage, Cadillac finds himself wandering New York with no destination, comforted by the memories of his young daughter and haunted by his failures. With an uncanny sense of humor and invention, Cadillac uses everyday objects most take for granted (soda cans, discarded beach chairs, toy wagons) to build a life for himself, literally, from the ground up. Cadillac guides readers through streets most people don't (or choose not to) see, introducing the outcasts he comes to value most: singers, teen runaways, pimps, prostitutes and a few unlikely angels. Excruciating details of fist-fights and romantic escapades leave little to the imagination, rendering Cadillac's world intimate, scary and touching; it becomes clear that his survival and sanity depend not only on crafty methods of making money, but also on journaling (excerpts from which have appeared in Esquire magazine). A surprising find, Cadillac lets readers in on a rarely seen community, revealing the compassionate hearts that beat even in the most despairing circumstances.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596916890
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 811,258
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan, Cadillac Man has lived on the streets in four of New York’s five boroughs. His journals have been excerpted in Esquire magazine.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from the introduction to Cadillac Man:

I ain’t no scholar.

I ain’t no bum.

I have never been good in grammar, so there will be misspellings and perhaps some passages that make no sense to you.

But hey, I ’m a street person, not a Rhodes Scholar. You’ll just have to bear with me. You may laugh. You may even say this guy is nuts. And in a way you’re right. You have to be crazy to live out here, but craziness is a way of arrival, which I’ll explain to you later.

These are my people, my friends, my enemies. I have changed their names for some are still alive somewhere. I hope not to embarrass or shame.

This is my story, their story, all of which is true.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    Gritty Street Life

    Cadillac Man's "Land of Lost Souls" really works to dispel negative images about the homeless. He has a way of getting to the reader by being both crude and colloquial. His manner of speaking directly to the reader humanizes the homeless. However, I did not enjoy how the timeline jumps around; it made it difficult to follow the process of Cadillac Man becoming homeless. Overall it is an interesting novel that looks into the soul of an "outsider" who is curt about his life position.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    Excellent read

    really enjoyed this book - everyone should read it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    Insight on Homelessness as a Choice

    Fascinating look at an urban American subculture. Rather self serving at times as the author attempts to justify his choices for abandoning his previous life and proof that he is a good person who just happens to live on the street. I don't doubt that he is a good person at heart, but I think he has his doubts sometimes. Probably about 50% truth and 50% fiction. Over all an interesting read, at times very sad, and always thought provoking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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