Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

This book is subtitled "Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City" and depicts exactly that. Toth describes how communities have popped up in the tunnels beneath New York City and are thriving. The homeless that end up below the city are scared of being above ground because of how rough homeless shelters are. This kind of stuff is kept out of the media, I guess for fear of damaging the reputation of the city, but it makes me wonder how many other cities in North America have the same situation. It's quite sad that homeless people feel that they have no where to turn for help. Yes, some of them are dangerous people, but as Toth describes, a good number of those she interviewed have had jobs (or are even currently holding them). Some even have university degrees.
The writing of the book was pretty bad. There wasn't much flow, Toth was all over the place in her descriptions. She would make references to people she hadn't yet described. And she would switch between stories of the homeless, and policy on the homeless. This detracted a bit from the book, but the overall picture makes quite an impact.



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