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Killing Williamsburg

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1999, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg is hit by an epidemic of suicide. The burgeoning hipster enclave rapidly becomes a macabre spectacle, witnessed and deftly described by Benson, a reflexively cynical Gen-Xer and New York transplant. As his friends kill themselves off and the “Bug” spreads to Manhattan, Benson forms a crew to clean up the mess of his ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Le Chat Noir (first published April 29th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 09, 2013 Oriana marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-soon
I will probably read every "90s Williamsburg" book that comes out, and I will probably have the same reaction to them all that I had to Anasi's The Last Bohemia : despaired nostalgia for a place that is mine but also was never mine, and is now totally beyond my (or anyone's) reach.

Also this one, which it seems is about artists committing suicide, had a book launch where ?uestlove DJ'd, spinning only songs by artists who had killed themselves. On National Suicide Prevention Day. *chills*
Terrell Sanzone
Apr 07, 2015 Terrell Sanzone rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned, won
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Initially I was attracted to the book simply for the name. Being a transplanted Brooklyn girl I could not resist finding out what this book was all about. I was intrigued by the premise and delighted with the characters. Oddly enough I found myself feeling quite nostalgic over a period of time in which I had already been gone from my hometown. Had I not had so much going on in my own life, I would have finished this in two days at most. Killin
May 30, 2014 Philip rated it really liked it
Cool, Hip, Fresh
Elizabeth Moeller
I received this book as a giveaway from Goodreads.

For the first fifty pages of this book, I hated it. I wasn't sure if the author was trying to parody the late '90s Williamsburg, Brooklyn hipster culture that the main character was swimming in, but it was all just too much disaffected cool for me. I felt like the author was trying to copy the style of writers like Jay McInerney or Bret Easton Ellis and not doing a very good job.
After those first fifty or so pages, however, the story took a tur
Oct 29, 2013 Denise rated it liked it
I received this an advanced reader copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

The abstract of the book, that a virus was causing people to kill themselves in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York, sounded interesting to me. However, once I started to read it I wondered why I had bothered to enter the giveaway. I just could not relate...not to the characters, not to the setting, not to their predicaments. The book is about 20-something hipsters, drugs, sex and rock&roll in an urban en
Jun 02, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
In Killing Williamsburg, author Bradley Spinelli imagines a fin-de-twentieth-siècle New York, in which a mysterious epidemic develops, threatening to destroy the entire city. Though set before 9/11, it nevertheless presages those days following the event, when New Yorkers pulled together in a show of solidarity that gave the lie to the stereotype of the unsympathetic New Yorker. Acts of human kindness abounded in those days, as they do in this page-turner, though the form that "kindness" takes m ...more
Kerry Anderson
Nov 18, 2013 Kerry Anderson rated it really liked it
In the beginning of the novel, Williamsburg is portrayed as a hipster's paradise. The characters embrace a lifestyle full of drugs and casual sex and are for the most part free of responsibility and full time commitment. Then the Bug arrives and people start killing themselves. The novel quickly and effortlessly transforms into an apocalyptic masterpiece. Where once there was no sense of responsibility, the surviving characters begin pulling together to take care of each other and their ...more
Apr 23, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it
Killing Williamsburg is a book reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse, without the zombies. It is about a "bug" that causes scores of New Yorkers to commit suicide by any means available. The characters are nihilistic and often cynical of their situation, but the author manages to portray them in a way that you still find yourself rooting for them. There is plenty of drugs, sex and violence, so it's not for everyone, but it is not pervasive enough to detract from the story or the ability to relate ...more
Sep 02, 2014 Kristina rated it liked it
It was really great to read about my old neighborhood. I enjoyed the book but some of it was really over the top. Quick read just not really prepared to dive into the deeper meaning. Happy for the trip down memory lane
Jul 23, 2013 Holly rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun to read. Looking forward to more from this author.
Jan 02, 2016 Anne rated it liked it
Spinelli can write--a sentence; a beautiful, heartbreaking scene; a description of love that has stuck with me for years. The first half of the book was breathtaking. I thought his story idea was exciting and ambitious, but I was ultimately disappointed because I felt the ending was improbable, and, after slogging through this journey with mostly narcissistic and unappealing characters, I was hoping for a payoff of some kind. I will keep an eye on this promising talent, because if he can deliver ...more
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Bradley Spinelli has lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since 1999, when the neighborhood was rife with grit and promise. Killing Williamsburg was the winner of the 2013 Naked Girls Reading Literary Honors. One of Spinelli's other novels was a semifinalist for the Faulkner (Pirate’s Alley) Competition. His short fiction has previously been published by Sparkle Street Press, Le Chat Noir (We Live for ...more
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