The Fiddler in the Subway by Gene Weingarten
The Story of the World-Class Violinist Who Played for Handouts. . . And Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature Writer

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Synopsis

GENE WEINGARTEN IS THE O. HENRY OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM

Simply the best storyteller around, Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually is—in narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable.

Millions of people know the title piece about violinist Joshua Bell, which originally began as a stunt: What would happen if you put a world-class musician outside a Washington, D.C., subway station to play for spare change? Would anyone even notice? The answer was no. Weingarten’s story went viral, becoming a widely referenced lesson about life lived too quickly. Other classic stories—the one about “The Great Zucchini,” a wildly popular but personally flawed children’s entertainer; the search for the official “Armpit of America”; a profile of the typical American nonvoter—all of them reveal as much about their readers as they do their subjects.
 

About Gene Weingarten

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Gene Weingarten is a nationally syndicated humor columnist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer for The Washington Post. He lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published June 23, 2010 by Simon & Schuster. 384 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fiddler in the Subway

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and William Jefferson Blythe, killed in a 1946 car crash, who left behind a pregnant wife whose son would grow up to be President Bill Clinton—neither he nor his mother ever knew about Blythe’s previous two marriages (to sisters!) or of the stepbrother one union produced.

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BC Books

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Weingarten claims to have been Dave Barry's editor at The Miami Herald and to have learned all he knows about humor from him.

Sep 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

BC Books

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Although The Fiddler in the Subway was an interesting book to review, it is a little odd to review for this reason: It contains 20 short stories or essays or literary explorations, each of which, in itself, has a fascinating beginning, middle, and ending much like an entire novel might have — an ...

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

BC Books

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"Pardon My French" will have you snorting whatever you're drinking as the writer fails in attempt after attempt to verify American stereotypes of the French.

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Kirkus Reviews

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He has never used the term ‘life’s journey’ except in derision.’” And yet, the author says that he’s glad this newspaper essay collection is out in paperback (and even being read in journalism classes) because it gives him a chance to give advice to aspiring writers who are starting their own jou...

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

Star Tribune

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In this collection of eccentric and humorous feature stories -- ranging from a profile of violinist Joshua Bell to a story about a guy known as The Great Zucchini -- Gene Weingarten combines light and darkness in stories both entertaining and revelatory.

Jul 31 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

Christian Science Monitor

Gene Weingarten is a skilled magazine and newspaper feature writer and has been for a long time.

Jul 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

Dallas News

Weingarten, who writes a weekly humor column for The Washington Post and longer pieces for its Sunday magazine, has won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing twice in the last three years, an unprecedented feat.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

PopMatters

The first chapter begins with a meditation on “How I Learned How to Write”, in which Weingarten muses about his early career and some of the ideas that he has on writing and what writing must do in order to be effective and interesting, which is apparently always keep death in mind, even when (pe...

Sep 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

Bookmarks Magazine

HENRY OF AMERICAN JOURNALISM Simply the best storyteller around, Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually is—in narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fiddler in the Subway: Th...

Shelf Awareness

"What is being missed in the debate about the division of digital spoils is the opportunity offered by e-books to authors and readers, as well as to publishers who have the specialist skills to exploit it.

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