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Description - The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

Thousands of people live in the subway, railroad, and sewage tunnels that form the bowels of New York City and this book is about them, the so-called mole people. They live alone and in communities, in subway tunnels and below subway platforms and this fascinating study presents how and why people move underground, who they are, and what they have to say about their lives and the "topside" world they've left behind.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781556522413
ISBN-10: 155652241X
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: Chicago Review Press
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1993
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

Book Reviews - The Mole People by Jennifer Toth

US Kirkus Review » There is, says Raleigh News & Observer staffer Toth, a city below New York City: a fantastic underworld of men, women, and children who are born, live, and die in the darkness beneath the streets. In the early 90's, the author, then a Los Angeles Times intern, spent a year exploring that nether world, preparing this startling report. Toth first heard about "the mole people" from a child who claimed that her classmate lived underground; further research brought the author into contact with Sgt. Bryan Henry, a Grand Central Station cop who introduced her to one "J.C." (most of Toth's homeless use pseudonyms), the "self-described" spokesman for an underground community of 200 - a large but not unprecedented number for one of the dozens of camps, gangs, and roving bands that Toth found in the tunnels. These tunnels - including gas and sewer lines as well as abandoned subway tunnels and stations - honeycomb the city's foundation, descending to seven levels and housing perhaps 5,000 lost souls. To the uninitiated and, at first, to Toth, the tunnels are terrifying: She walks them both guided and alone, aware of forms flitting past, of rats and madmen. She visits camps whose members stay below for weeks at a time; she watches a "filthy and bearded" loner skewer and roast a "track rabbit" - a rat; she talks to graffiti artists, women, teenagers, and a kill-for-hire gang whose services cost $20. Pausing in her chronicle, she surveys underground life in history and literature, from Egyptian slaves living in mines to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Finally, Toth flees the city's depths, her life threatened by a mole man who thinks her a police informer. The life expectancy of the average mole person, stricken by drugs and disease, is under five years. Toth's unusual sociological adventure story, then, is as saddening as it is gripping. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jennifer Toth

Jennifer Toth is a journalist and the author of "Orphans of the Living: Stories of America's Children in Foster Care" and "What Happened to Johnnie Jordan?: The Story of a Child Turning Violent."

Books By Jennifer Toth

What Happened to Johnnie Jordan? by Jennifer Toth
Paperback, September 2007
Orphans of the Living by Jennifer Toth
Paperback, July 1998