Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Triburbia” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,388 ratings  ·  220 reviews
Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of the acclaimed memoir Boy Alone, delivers a stylish first novel about a group of families in a fashionable Manhattan neighborhood wrestling with the dark realities of their lives.

A book reminiscent of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Greenfeld’s Triburbia is a bold literary tour de force in wh
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Harper (first published September 13th 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Triburbia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Triburbia

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,388 ratings  ·  220 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Larry H
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: us
This is an episodic novel about thirty-something inhabitants of Tribeca, men representing the better-earning end of the American creative class - mostly affluent, sometimes successful, invariably deluding themselves.

This was not a pleasant book to read, but mostly due to content, not any technical deficiencies. Greenfeld may be to some degree sympathetic towards his characters, but mostly he shows them tough love, exposing their weaknessess with reporter's precision, looking at them from angles
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
Ilyssa Wesche
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked it for all the reasons Melissa knew I would!
Gail Cooke
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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
William Brandon III
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Lorri Steinbacher
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Janet Berkman
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Remy Kothe
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.

Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Jean Brown
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars..loved this book..wonderful writing. The way the stories of the characters were woven together was excellent.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very knowledgeable writer, fine storyteller. I am interested in the neighborhoods of Manhattan so I found it very revealing and contemporary.
Benyakir Horowitz
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I’ve decided to start my book reviews with basically a summary of the book (in flattering or not terms). The book is told from various points of view (I’m not gonna get into it, but it starts first person, goes to third person, back, then finishes in third person for the last third). They are a group of dads at Tribeca in Manhattan right before the financial collapse (spoilers, kinda). They all have little adventures, but almost all of the stories revolve around wealth, the petit bourgeois and i ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very meh. The description of the novel is that a group of men living with their wives and children in Tribeca meet over breakfast every day after dropping the kids off at school; it is there that they discuss their lives, loves, businesses, etc.

That would have been interesting. That is not what this book is. Until the final chapter, not one scene is set inside a restaurant where the men are having breakfast. We learn about the men, their wives and children, and their lives through episodes abou
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Although apparently not meant to be satirical, the book reads like a satire of life in Tribeca in New York City in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century. A group of dads gathers for coffee after dropping their children off for school. Each dad has a story, and they're all interconnected, though the dads don't necessarily know it. All are veteran pot smokers, all are good liberals but have the best of material things, and most are up to something no good. Come the Great Recessio ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
I love how Karl Taro Greenfeld writes. The character development and the connection between them all was very entertaining and the chapter titles being the address of their lofts was very clever. I love that the story was emotional with no fluff and no HEA and that it was still an okay result. I will read more books from this author.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the way that this book was pieced together with individual stories that connected together periodically. The backstories were interesting, and I especially enjoyed the 2 chapters from the kids perspectives. I did get a few characters confused and had to backtrack a little.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Proof that the author of "Speed Tribes" & his work are aging badly.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this. I felt like the story was all over the place.
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it
“Triburbia” was meant to be a palate cleanser. Books, blerg. My attention span was rotting at the edges and I needed something, but the something was undefinable so I didn’t know where to look. Then Amazon recommended Karl Taro Greenfeld’s debut novel and a copy from the library just happened to be on the kitchen table, my boyfriend’s spontaneous nab from a few weeks earlier.

And, whoa. There are few pleasures as great as going into a book cold, save for the plot summary inside the cover. Especi
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Paolo Jose
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
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Lisa Hura
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I think I’m over the whole “novel told in stories” idea. I tried not to let that influence me when I read Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld. It’s a decent novel. It meanders a bit, tells the stories of the lives of a group of Tribeca residents. The stories are identified by address, with a lot of overlap and some surprising revelations about their residents.

The novel starts with a group of fathers, an informal breakfast club that meets after walking their kids to school. There has been a incident
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Motherland
  • The Art Fair
  • A Big Enough Lie
  • When We Argued All Night
  • Ménage
  • Dance with Snakes
  • Atomik Aztex
  • Alternadad
  • Driver's Education
  • The Same River Twice
  • DMZ The Deluxe Edition Book Two
  • [SIC]
  • Wild Girls
  • Girl Talk
  • Mr. Spaceman
  • The Collective
  • The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s
  • Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood
See similar books…
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“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.” 21 likes
“That took the view that every misbehavior, every cruelty perpetuated by one kid on another should be let slide in the name of letting kids be kids? (Let them be kids, really let them, and you will end up with a tribe of bulimic eugenicists with huge amounts of credit card debt.)” 0 likes
More quotes…