Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story from the Collyer Brothers, New York's Greatest Hoarders, An Urban Historical [Kindle Edition]
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When 65-year-old Homer Collyer, blind and crippled by rheumatism, was found dead in the dilapidated, junk-filled Harlem brownstone in March 1947, the discovery made all of New York's newspapers, as did the subsequent hunt for his younger brother, Langley, whose body was finally located under piles of debris. In this slim volume, part of Bloomsbury's Urban Historicals series, Lidz, a memoirist (Unstrung Heroes) and senior writer at Sports Illustrated, examines the Collyer brothers' intriguing, baffling lives. The compulsive hermits came from the respected, well-to-do family and were educated at Columbia, Homer as being a lawyer and Langley, who would are already a talented pianist, being an engineer. They became portion of The big apple lore in August 1938, once the World-Telegram wrote about the pair as well as their once-fashionable house on Fifth Avenue and 128th Street, that was crammed packed with pianos, other instruments, bicycles, chandeliers, clocks and a large number of newspapers, "strewn in yellowing drifts through the floor." Additionally to deconstructing the brothers' descent into their unique realm of squalor and isolation, Lidz shares recollections of his Uncle Arthur, an eccentric hoarder who would have been a featured character in Unstrung Heroes. Arthur amassed anything from magazines and bus transfers to socks and shoelaces and lived "nested inside his walls of junk." "My junk was as being a friend," says Uncle Arthur. "Sort of a freedom, it was. I'd saved it during my own way." These words help make feeling of men like Uncle Arthur along with the Collyers, whose stories Lidz captures vividly, with humor and compassion.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Franz Lidz can be a Sports Illustrated senior writer, a Ny Times film essayist, and the author of Unstrung Heroes: My Improbable Life with Four Impossible Uncles, which has been made right into a 1995 Disney feature film.