Regular price: $24.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

"[A] fascinating X-ray of the city…Venkatesh's engrossing narrative dissects the intricacies of illegal commerce." (Publishers Weekly)

New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York's underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city.

Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University and author of Gang Leader for a Day, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York's divergent economic worlds - and crack the code of the city's underground economy. Based on Venkatesh's interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, high end drug bosses and street-level dealers, Floating City exposes the underground as the city's true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity - revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York.

A memoir of sociological investigation, Floating City draws from Venkatesh's decade of research within the affluent communities of Upper East Side socialites and Midtown businessmen; the drug gangs of Harlem and the sex workers of Brooklyn; the artists of Tribeca and the escort services of Hell's Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived in the city after his groundbreaking research in Chicago, where crime remained stubbornly local: gangs stuck to their housing projects and criminals stayed on their corners. But in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York's underground economy unites instead of divides inhabitants: a vast network of "off the books" transactions linking the high and low worlds of the city.

©2013 Sudhir Venkatesh (P)2013 Penguin Audio

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    61
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rich, poor, drugs, and escorts

Great read. Love the part when Shine tells Sudhir to use change in place of the word fail. Blue bloods have many options.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Floating storyteller

Fascinating depiction of how the under economies are tied top and supported by white collar business. Venkatesh is a great storyteller. Perhaps the most compelling story he tells in floating city is his own. The central theme and idea of floating really captures each story he tells.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

I'm a curious person by nature, and this book, like Gang Leader for a Day, gave me a glimpse into a world I'll never know firsthand. It's well-written, and I love finding audiobooks narrated by the author because I feel they're as they're intended to be read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Hit Pause

Would you listen to Floating City again? Why?

I would probably listen to Floating City again if there was a connection in future books if Sudhir would write.

Who was your favorite character and why?

New York was my favorite character. I have only been to New York twice after 2010 so I do not know how New York really was before Giuliani became the Mayor. I have heard of Hell's Kitchen but I am assuming it is not what Sudhir experienced back in 2003.

Have you listened to any of Sudhir Venkatesh’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I read his first book years ago and have enjoyed his ethnography since! It feels like I am a fly on the wall while he talks about what he has observed in the communities he has observed.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did not have any extreme reactions to the book. I did feel bad about Sudhir's personal life.

Any additional comments?

Great book! I finished it in less than a week!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful