Lost Lustre: A New York Memoir

Lost Lustre: A New York Memoir

by Joshua Karlen
     
 

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Muggings on Avenue C, punk bands at CBGB, parties in a nascent SoHo, dropping out from the famous Music & Art High School. In this episodic, coming-of-age memoir, Josh Karlen chronicles growing up in New York's Greenwich Village and crime-ridden Alphabet City in the 70s and early 80s. Lost Lustre recaptures a New York suffering its gravest financial crisis and soaring

Overview

Muggings on Avenue C, punk bands at CBGB, parties in a nascent SoHo, dropping out from the famous Music & Art High School. In this episodic, coming-of-age memoir, Josh Karlen chronicles growing up in New York's Greenwich Village and crime-ridden Alphabet City in the 70s and early 80s. Lost Lustre recaptures a New York suffering its gravest financial crisis and soaring crime, yet staging a spectacular resurgence of the arts. Karlen shares a fascinating personal history of the punk rock scene through the prism of The Lustres, a band that played venues that launched the Talking Heads, Patti Smith and the Ramones. In the title chapter, Karlen poignantly pays homage to the band's charismatic and talented lead singer, whose life in many ways seemed to mirror his times in both its shining creativity and nihilistically destructive force. Lost Lustre is a reverberant, strata-rich memoir, written with a  relaxed and endearing fluency and modesty. I was engrossed. --Edward Hoagland, author of Notes from the Century Before

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his first book, Karlen, a former journalist now working in broadcast media, recounts tales of his youth growing up during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s in New York City’s Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. His memories are a window into a darker, grittier version of the city and are especially intriguing when he juxtaposes them with the current descriptions of Manhattan. While the memoir follows a chronological pattern, the chapters are only loosely tied together, giving the book the feel of a collection of essays rather than a straight life story. Some sections, like the author’s memories of living in the rough neighborhood known as Alphabet City, are vibrant, while others, such as Karlen’s descriptions of his attempts to get in touch with his first love, are painfully sentimental. The most dynamic writing centers on the story of Tim Jordan, the author’s best friend, whose bright musical career leading the band Lustre was snuffed out by alcoholism. It is here that Karlen finds the true narrative thread. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780981932132
Publisher:
Tatra Press
Publication date:
12/04/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
File size:
1 MB

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Meet the Author

Josh Karlen, a former journalist, grew up on the Lower East Side and in the Village. He lives with his wife and two children in Manhattan. He currently works in media relations.

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