The Fiddler in the Subway

The Fiddler in the Subway

The True Story of What Happened When A World-class Violinist Played for Handouts-- and Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature Writer

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
A collection of essays by the nationally syndicated humor columnist includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece, "Pearls Before Breakfast," about a social experiment for which unrecognized world-class violinist Joshua Bell performed in a Washington, D.C. subway station for spare change. Original.

Blackwell Publishing

Simply the best storyteller around, Weingarten describes the world as you think it is before revealing how it actually is—in narratives that are by turns hilarious, heartwarming, and provocative, but always memorable.

Millions of people know the title piece about violinist Joshua Bell, which originally began as a stunt: What would happen if you put a world-class musician outside a Washington, D.C., subway station to play for spare change? Would anyone even notice? The answer was no. Weingarten’s story went viral, becoming a widely referenced lesson about life lived too quickly. Other classic stories—the one about “The Great Zucchini,” a wildly popular but personally flawed children’s entertainer; the search for the official “Armpit of America”; a profile of the typical American nonvoter—all of them reveal as much about their readers as they do their subjects.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2010
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781439181591
Characteristics: xvii, 361 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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May 06, 2014

Amazing, concise writing. Interesting stories. A must-read!

Jan 29, 2013

I really enjoyed the writing style in this book! Some really great stories, and some really disturbing ones with topics that were hard to read about, but overall, loved this book and would recommend.

Jan 11, 2013

I thought that I would end up skipping around but I didn't. I enjoyed this collection of essays. There were some that I didn't like much and some that were hard to read because of their subject manner but all in all I found this a very enjoyable book.

Jan 02, 2013

I enjoyed most of these articles. Weingarten is a very lucid writer, and much of the time I was willing to follow where he wanted to take me. There were a few pieces that I thought were too long, or that didn't interest me very much, and one (about a small town in Alaska) that I didn't finish because it was too distressing and depressing. My favorites were the articles about the ghost-writer for the Hardy Boys mysteries, Bill Clinton's father, Weingarten's father and daughter, and about those who live with the terrorism in Jerusalem.


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Mar 11, 2012

One biographically intriguing fact about Bell is that he got his first music lessons when he was a four-year-old in Bloomington, Indiana. His parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their son had strung rubber bands across his dresser drawers and was replicating classical tunes by ear, plucking the strings and moving the drawers in and out to vary the pitch.


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