Sunday, February 25, 2007

Recently Read: The Meadowlands by Robert Sullivan

I finished this on Friday, but haven't managed to mention it until now. I got this because my bus goes through the Meadowlands (less tactfully, but possibly more realistically, described as "those swamplands around Giants Stadium") every day, and because I've read a couple of Sullivan's books before (Rats and Cross Country) and liked them. So I read this, pretty much entirely on the bus, over three days -- which means I mostly read it in the Meadowlands, sitting in traffic.

Sullivan is a solid non-fiction writer, with an apparent interest in the underbelly of modern urban life (rats, swamps near major cities). I don't think you have to live near the Meadowlands to appreciate a book about them -- they're vaguely interesting because they're right next to a major city, but the fact that the city is New York isn't as important.

Anyway, he covers the usual stuff (where Jimmy Hoffa might be buried, where lots of other bodies have been found, mosquitoes, garbage dumps, and so on), and even took a couple of serious trips by canoe through the area (see the cover). This book pretty much covers anything a normal person would want to know about the Meadowlands. It's a good book for anyone interested in how human habitation affects the natural world, and vice versa.

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