Welcome to the Subway Times Book Review!
We’ve all been there: Five pages left in the saddest novel ever. You’re curled up on a bench in the last car of the L train, sobbing softly to yourself. The lovers are doomed. They know it, you know it, but you’re holding your breath anyway, hoping against all odds for a happy ending. The train stops at Bedford, but you are so entranced in the tragedy on the page, you barely notice.
HEY SWEETHEART CANIGETYONUMBER?
The answer is no, of course, but by the time you have convinced your subway companion you’re not interested in being ‘taken out,’ you’re already at Grand. 17 middle schoolers get on and start a raucous game of ‘scream swear words across the train.’ A hipster girl is running her hands through her hipster boyfriends long locks, while a mariachi band strikes up a lively rendition of “Guantanamera.”
All you wanted was some peace and quiet. What you got instead was New York.
But isn’t that the truth of your novel? All the lovers wanted was to have a perfect life together. Instead they got tumors and deception and loss and even food poisoning! In books, as in the subway, you can’t always get what you want.
There’s something to be learned from the ways in which whatever I’m reading intersects with the real life on the subway. The Subway Times Book Review is an attempt to figure out what that learning might be.