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Triburbia

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3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  1,048 ratings  ·  195 reviews
Thrown together by circumstance, a group of fathers—a sound engineer, a sculptor, a film producer, a chef, a memoirist, a gangster—meets each morning at a local Tribeca coffee shop after walking their children to their exclusive school.

The sound engineer looks uncomfortably like the guy on the sex offender posters strewn around the neighborhood; the memoirist is on the ver...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Harper
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Community Reviews

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Jill
It almost takes an act of courage to write about very rich characters these days – particularly when they’re not only rich but also vapid. Any author who tries runs the risk of having his or her characters labeled “unlikeable.”

And indeed, these Tribeca neighbors – a sound engineer, a sculptor, a top chef and so on -- are not the most likeable characters in the world. In one of the stories, a group of friends twirls up “the best stoner munchie in the history of the world: pasta with caviar and tr...more
Larry Hoffer
Sometimes if I see a crowd of seemingly disparate people together at a restaurant, a sporting event, or other group function, I try to imagine their connections to each other, even invent backstories for them. It's an entertaining way to pass the time, and it often proves how what you perceive is often far from reality.

Karl Taro Greenfeld's Triburbia is a literary version of the same exercise. This book of linked stories examines a group of residents of the Tribeca neighborhood in New York City,...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out


Just a week or so ago I reviewed Motherland, a satirical exploration of parenthood and relationships in upper class Brooklyn. Triburbia is set just across the East River in Manhattan with a near identical premise and unfortunately I didn't enjoy this novel any more than I did the other.

Loosely connected by business, relationships or simply the school run, the men of Triburbia, whose creative professions allow them some flexibility, meet casually over breakfast to discuss film, sports and politic...more
Lorri Steinbacher
I went into this book figuring I could nod like an insider (granted a B&T insider, but still) about locations in and around Tribeca while simultaneously loathing Greenfeld's characters, his book, and possibly Greenfeld himself. I did dislike all-- literally ALL--of the characters, but I was so drawn in to most of their stories that the dislike didn't really matter, and it did not extend to Greenfeld either. Greenfeld spot-on captured the essence of a particular neighborhood, at a particular...more
Gail Cooke

It’s not often that I’m truly saddened by reaching the last page of a book, but that was the case with Triburbia. Karl Taro Greenfeld has so winningly introduced me to the well-to-do residents of Tribeca, made me privy to their private thoughts, hopes and aspirations that I’m reluctant to let them go. I’ve spent just a brief time with them - the space of a school year.

These folks are a photograph album of Tribeca once it becamee one if not the most fashionable neighborhood in New York City. It’s...more
Ikebukuro
Un livre chorale qui met en scène une galerie de portrait de new yorkais habitant le quartier de Tribeca, plutôt aisés par rapport à la moyenne, ils se croisent devant l'école de leurs enfants et se retrouvent pour certains autour d'un café. Plus qu'un roman, cela pourrait être plutôt un recueil de nouvelles puisque chaque chapitre met en scène l'un des personnages du livre, soit à travers sa jeunesse, soit à travers son métier ou son quotidien. Beaucoup de points communs entre ces hommes, la ré...more
Janet Berkman
A group of Tribeca fathers that have breakfast together after dropping their kids off at an elementary school makes up the cast of characters in this novel. Triburbia is built like a set of merging short stories and depicts these rather unlikeable (for the most part) men and their problems with relationships, families, and their careers, layered over with the changes happening in the neighbourhood.

Karl Taro Greenfeld has hit a high mark with this first novel. It is engaging and hits some import...more
Jody
I'm not abandoning this one because it's bad; it's not. I'm just not feeling compelled to keep going and I have a stack of others I'd rather get to.
Remy Kothe
This book was a Vanity Fair article turned into a book, so it was good in that kind of way (you have to like celebrity/lifestyles of the rich and almost famous). Ultimately, it was like eating too much Halloween candy, kind of gross and not very satisfying.

Anittah
Solid 3. Totally fun, well written, familiar characters for anyone who has spent time in NYC (esp. 2007-9). I could easily see this as an HBO miniseries or a movie. Not deep or especially literary, but certainly an enjoyable read.
Tomjo
Very knowledgeable writer, fine storyteller. I am interested in the neighborhoods of Manhattan so I found it very revealing and contemporary.
Jean Brown
4.5 stars..loved this book..wonderful writing. The way the stories of the characters were woven together was excellent.
Elaine
A very quick read, Triburbia presents the kind of social milieu that makes anyone struggling to make it creatively quite jealous: here are the artists/writers/chefs who can afford to live in TriBeCA, the ones who dress well, whose kids dress even better, who live in multimillion dollar lofts, who congregate at breakfast spots on weekdays as if they don't have jobs. Who are these people?

It turns out they're not that interesting. Triburbia is somewhat funny, somewhat fleshed out, not particularly...more
cheryl
Another advance read from the folks at Harper, this book straddles the increasingly fuzzy line between novel and short-stories. Like a few other books I've read in the past year, each chapter focuses on a different character who is connected to other chapter narrators. Most of the main characters are men, although women and even a child do take center stage in some pieces. All of the characters live in Tribeca, an area that had boasted an artistic vibe but grew ever-more exclusive and expensive...more
Toni
Triburbia is another one of those novels set in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of New York City where the incoming hipster set sometimes clashes with the "natives". Usually they feature latte-sipping, stroller-pushing, organic food-eating mothers lamenting the loss of their youth, careers, and independence. All of that appears here also, except the main characters are men.

A group of men with seemingly nothing in common form a sort of bond when they see each other everyday dropping off the...more
Molly
3.75 stars, truth be told. I loved this book. I don't give 4 or 5 stars to many books. They have to sweep me away to get those. They have to leave me missing them to get those. 3 stars is too low, but 4 is too high for me. There were moments when it felt contrived, and that was mostly due to word choice, so it's subjective, but thus was an entertaining read.

Triburbia was great; the characters were so richly developed I felt I could pick them out if a line-up. And I loved and hated them all.

The...more
William III
This is my fist time reading Karl Taro Greenfield; in all honesty, I chose this book by it's cover (meaning the cover art as well as the dust jacket synopsis) during a very lucrative trip to the library. I have to say that Athens-Clarke County Library kills LA Central when it comes to new fiction, although it pales in comparison when it comes to fiction more than ten years old: pity and revelation at the same time.

Triburbia is a rapid read, definitely not brain surgery, but in spite of being ve...more
Rachel Reynolds
With the glut of "chick-lit" out there and so many female-focused stories about moms raising their families, struggling with relationships, and tempted by desire, I thought it might be refreshing to get a "guy's point of view". The book started off with a promising premise. The book revolves around six fathers whose only common threads seem to be that they live in Tribeca at the height of the gentrification and rebirth of the neighborhood, they have gobs of money at their disposal, and their chi...more
Michael Armijo
TRIBURBIA, a novel by Karl Taro Greenfeld

This book was a gift from an International friend. She lived in Tribeca. I also lived there and this book offers a soap-opera type look at the downtown New York City area known as Tribeca. It is its own suburb of unique types and the stories seem quite real. It’s as if the names were changed by the author to protect the innocent. I enjoyed the intrigue.

Reading this book was like peering into a window of a town and watching the relationships evolve. The a...more
Katie
I'm a sucker for novels set in NYC. I'm also a sucker for novels that are basically a group of interconnected short stories. Unfortunately, something about this one left me with a "meh" feeling. The writing is really quite good. The characters are believable, and everything connects pretty nicely.

I think my "meh" feeling comes from the same distaste I have for the fact that New York City has been very quickly becoming a city only for the rich - a diverse cultural sampling of the rich, but the r...more
Paolo Jose Cruz
Triburbia is structured like a narrative mosaic; its intersecting pieces are tinted with various hues of ethical grey, dollar green, and mostly Caucasian. The novel’s perspective shifts among a loose-knit coterie of neighbors in New York's gentrified Tribeca area. Most of them are young(ish) parents, belonging to what sociologist Richard Florida calls the “creative class”: a sculptor, a photographer, and a sound engineer, among others. On paper, they’ve got it made – some earn handsome professio...more
Kelli
Many of the reviews of this book state “I wanted to like this book but I couldn't.” My response was the opposite. I wanted to hate and dismiss this book but I couldn't put it down. The story captures a specific place, time and mindset. The characters and events are at times objectionable. While their circumstances were far from my experiences, their humanity and emotions were often familiar. The characters were painted in “slice of life” scenes in a way that reminded me of some of my favorite An...more
Leeswammes
The book is about a group of men in Tribeca, an area in Lower Manhattan, New York. They regularly drop their kids off at school and then meet up for breakfast. They are all thirty or forty-somethings, most with a background in a creative job, such as a sculptor, a film producer, a memoir writer, and also, a gangster. They used to be well-known in their fields of work, but nowadays their fame has faded and they either work in a lower-status job, derived from their previous jobs, or pretend to be...more
Ami
I got this book from the Goodreads Book Giveaway recently. Based on the reviews, I was curious about the theme and what this book promised.

While Greenfeld has the potential for great prose, I felt this book fell flat with character development. Sure, the point is that they are all vacuous and pernicious, having found wealth through undeserving means. Yet, a distasteful character almost BEGS complexity and an underlying back story. The multiple, inter-woven stories were generally an easy and nice...more
Jackie
My blog for Book Reviews!

I was really excited when I won this book from GoodReads courtesy of the firstreads giveaways. The description had me intrigued, and I am happy to have ended my summer reading with this pick.

Triburbia introduces us to a group of fathers who have coffee together each morning after dropping their kids off at their shared NYC primary school. They are all pretty well-off with their families, jobs, and lives. They have the most wanted real estate - lofts in the bohemian are...more
Jason
As a NY'er I try to add a local author to my summer reading list and this year that author was Karl Taro Greenfeld. I wonder how much of this book is autobiographical and how much is straight fiction. One character, the recording studio head, Mark, is of the same ethnic background as the author and the author seems to hand this character the greatest leniency, in that, he is not as "destroyed" as the other characters are. He is able to overcome and create a "true" life outside the narrow confine...more
Kate
Like many books these days, Triburbia is written in what I like to call Welcome to the Good Squad style. It reads less like a linear narrative and more like a collection of interwoven short stories. And the stories revolve around a group of fathers whose only common thread is the school their kids attend. They are men who, for the most part, consider themselves a bit cooler than the general population, among their ranks are a sound engineer, a sculptor, a playwright and a photographer. So they c...more
Deborah
"What happened? It wasn't the life I had dreamed of, it wasn't even the life I wanted now, but it was a life I could live. My dreams had receded into the quotidian banality of feeding and clothing a child. Into paying bills. Into trying to keep a marriage going."

This stream of consciousness from one of the characters in Triburbia could be true for most of them. And that is part of the book's charm. Although the writing doesn't sparkle and sometimes is downright slow going, you keep reading becau...more
Cathy

I picked this up because I loved quirky the front cover. This novel, or loosely connected group of short stories, charts the rise and fall of a group of somewhat affluent TriBeCa dads who meet up for breakfast every morning after dropping their kids off at the same public school. I could only work up empathy for one guy, and only because of his son's Autism, not his literary shenanigans. Some of the characters were despicable, like famous chef Giancarlo who is cheating on his wife, Ava who is in...more
Leizbeth Vallejo-sanders

Mr. Greenfeld has such candour and power of observation, not common in writers of today. You feel like these people exist and Greenfeld met them and spend time with them closely, observing and getting to know them deeply. He describes them in such way, and leaves you with the feeling that you have met these characters common in other suburbs of the upper class. Even more, you feel the loneliness, and sadness , Yes, there is a lot of loneliness and a feeling that many of these characters feel ou...more
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I'm the author of six books, including the recent novel Triburbia, the story collection NowTrends, the memoir Boy Alone and the Japanese youth culture collection Speed Tribes
More about Karl Taro Greenfeld...
Speed Tribes: Days and Night's with Japan's Next Generation Boy Alone: A Brother's Memoir China Syndrome: The True Story of the 21st Century's First Great Epidemic Standard Deviations: Growing Up and Coming Down in the New Asia Nowtrends

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“the harsh truth of every relationship, even between those who love each other, like fathers and sons and daughters, or husbands and wives, is that the love is always unequal.” 12 likes
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