Dark Knowledge (Anaphora Literary Press, 2018), the third novel in the Metropolis series. Adult and young adult. A fast-moving historical novel about New York City and the slave trade, with the sights and sounds and smells of the waterfront.
The star of the occasion was a young African-American woman, phenomenally thin, with a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. She arrived to much applause at another table where seven older white men rose from their seats in turn to give her a hearty hug of greeting, and one of them a kiss as well. She then took her place at the table, where loud laughter was soon heard, and she repeatedly beamed and clapped her hands in appreciation of something someone had said. An odd combination of people, but what the hell, this is New York. And as always, being aware that this moment was special and not to be repeated – not with the same cast of characters -- I was struck by the rich, intense, heart-breaking fragility of it all. But at least I had captured the moment, juicy and unique.
If you love the city (or hate it), this may be the book for you. An award winner, it sold well at BookCon 2017 and 2018.
"If you want wonderful inside tales about New York, this is the book for you. Cliff Browder has a way with his writing that makes the city I lived in for 40 plus years come alive in a new and delightful way. A refreshing view on NYC that will not disappoint." Five-star Amazon customer review by Bill L.
"To read No Place for Normal: New York is to enter into Cliff Browder’s rich and engaging sixty years of adult life in New York. Yes, he delves back before his time – from the city’s origins to the 19th Century that Ms. Trollope and Mr. Dickens encounter to robber barons and slums that marked highs and lows of the earlier Twentieth Century. But Browder has lived such an engaged and curious life that he can’t help but cross paths with every layer and period of society. There is something Whitmanesque in his outlook." Five-star Amazon customer review by Michael P. Hartnett.
For readers who like historical fiction and a fast-moving story.
"A real yarn of a story about a lovable pickpocket who gets into trouble and has a great adventure. A must read." Five-star Amazon customer review by nicole w brown.
"This was a fun book. The main character seemed like a cross between Huck Finn and a Charles Dickens character. I would recommend this." Four-star LibraryThing review by stephvin.
What was the gay scene like in nineteenth-century New York? Gay romance, but no porn. Women have read it and reviewed it. (The cover illustration doesn't hurt.)
"At times amusing, gritty, heartfelt and a little sexy -- this would make a great summer read." Four-star Amazon customer review by BobW.
"Really more of a fantasy of a 19th century gay life than any kind of historical representation of the same." Three-star Goodreads review by Rachel.
Short biographical sketches of colorful people who lived or died in New York. A cardinal who led a double life, a serial killer, a baroness with a tomato-can bra, and a film star whose funeral caused an all-day riot.
"Unputdownable." Five-star review by Dipali Sen, retired librarian.