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Mean Streets: Confessions of a Nighttime Taxi Driver [Paperback]

Peter McSherry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2002 1550024027 978-1550024029

Short-listed for the 2003 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction

A world exists on the nighttime streets that the average person cannot envision. Taxi driver Peter McSherry recounts tales of his thirty years of experience driving cabs at night on the hard-bitten streets of Canada's largest city. Drunks, punks, con artists, hookers, pimps, drug addicts, drug pushers, thugs, nymphomaniacs, snakes, politicians, celebrities . . . he's experienced them all. McSherry serves up his stories with forthrightness, humour, and the occasional dash of cynicism. In this well-written and street-smart book, the author tells the rest of us about a world we can only imagine - if we dare.


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Product Description

Review

Short-listed for the 2003 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction

A world exists on the nighttime streets that the average person cannot envision. Taxi driver Peter McSherry recounts tales of his thirty years of experience driving cabs at night on the hard-bitten streets of Canada's largest city. Drunks, punks, con artists, hookers, pimps, drug addicts, drug pushers, thugs, nymphomaniacs, snakes, politicians, celebrities . . . he's experienced them all. McSherry serves up his stories with forthrightness, humour, and the occasional dash of cynicism. In this well-written and street-smart book, the author tells the rest of us about a world we can only imagine - if we dare.



Will entertain while showing the seeder, darker side of town and human nature.

A 30-year veteran of the streets, McSherry covers the territory with a savvy but largely sympathetic eye, introducing us to a rich and memorable cast of characters.

the stories (McSherry) tells present an array of bizarre and wonderful and sad people and happenings. And he tells his stories well, with humour, sympathy, candour and, refreshingly, not a smidgen of political correctness.

About the Author

Peter McSherry has worked as a high school teacher, a truck driver, a labourer, and a freelance writer, but mostly he's been a taxi driver - and that's how he wants to be known. His first book, The Big Red Fox, about notorious criminal Norman Ryan, was an amazingly detailed work of history.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening peek into a whole other world Sept. 13 2013
Format:Paperback
Peter McSherry, in his own uniquely eloquent voice, shares personal stories and thoughts from a lifetime of driving cab. Reading this book was like spending time with a new and interesting friend; you know, where the hours slip by unnoticed as you listen to stories and experiences most of us could never imagine.

Peter lifts a corner of the curtain to expose, briefly, the little-known-little-appreciated life of a cab driver; stories from a world of complex connections to humanity that could come from no other source. Peter capably and succinctly moves from one experience to another with skill and ease and tells it like it is -- the good, the bad, the ugly, and especially the heart-warming respect and admiration he shows for long-term cabbies and friends he has learned from and who have left an indelible mark on his life.

Mean Streets left a feeling, a knowing, perhaps, that cab drivers probably have one of the most direct connections with humanity in all its forms and, as such, an unparalleled understanding of the human condition. Life on the streets is hard, and the monetary rewards slim; certainly many try and fail under the weight of hardships in this business. In my opinion, the dedicated few that come through decades of this hard work rightly deserve the highest degree of respect and admiration.

Throughout the book some of Peter's antidotes made me laugh right out loud. Loved the vignettes and could have read a whole book of those alone!

This book is highly recommended for everyone, including cab drivers at all levels, and especially those considering entering this barely recognized and little-understood profession.

Thanks for the ride, Peter!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff Nov. 13 2003
Format:Paperback
A street smart book that educated me and amused me. Good Stuff. This guy knows a lot and can write
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff Nov. 13 2003
By Donald Heeney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A street smart book that educated me and amused me. Good Stuff. This guy knows a lot and can write
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! Sept. 13 2013
By C. Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter McSherry, in his own uniquely eloquent voice, shares personal stories and thoughts from a lifetime of driving cab. Reading this book was like spending time with a new and interesting friend; you know, where the hours slip by unnoticed as you listen to stories and experiences most of us could never imagine.

Peter lifts a corner of the curtain to expose, briefly, the little-known-little-appreciated life of a cab driver; stories from a world of complex connections to humanity that could come from no other source. Peter capably and succinctly moves from one experience to another with skill and ease and tells it like it is -- the good, the bad, the ugly, and especially the heart-warming respect and admiration he shows for long-term cabbies and friends he has learned from and who have left an indelible mark on his life.

Mean Streets left a feeling, a knowing, perhaps, that cab drivers probably have one of the most direct connections with humanity in all its forms and, as such, an unparalleled understanding of the human condition. Life on the streets is hard, and the monetary rewards slim; certainly many try and fail under the weight of hardships in this business. In my opinion, the dedicated few that come through decades of this hard work rightly deserve the highest degree of respect and admiration.

Throughout the book some of Peter's antidotes made me laugh right out loud. Loved the vignettes and could have read a whole book of those alone!

This book is highly recommended for everyone, including cab drivers at all levels, and especially those considering entering this barely recognized and little-understood profession.

Thanks for the ride, Peter!
4.0 out of 5 stars Taxi Driver... Oct. 13 2012
By Hieronymus Utter Bosch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fascinating and at times chilling account of what it's like to drive a cab overnight in a big city (in this case, Toronto). The author in one chapter, offers a list of the various kinds of "eccentric" people one tends to meet when running the meter on a graveyard shift.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read! April 9 2012
By Toronto416 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a lone desk clerk at the YWCA Residence in Downtown Duluth, Minnesota; I have a deep appreciation for others who, like myself, have witnessed the unthinkable during late night shifts for very little pay. Like McSherry, the lessons I learned at the Y, the only building open in all of downtown, often brought me in contact with women and sometimes men in despair, mental breakdowns, running from failed scam-pulling, prostitutes, bag ladies, etc. in a way, it's refreshing to read how he deals with whatever kind of customer he gets. I have always known that cab drivers know virtually everything that happens in any city. I felt the bond I had with the author was not our types of jobs, but what the people we came into contact with teach us: you NEVER know how or why some people fall into the pitfalls of life. What looks like hell to us is paradise to someone just regaining their lives. I am much more inspired by the people I met at that YWCA who survived terrible injustices than I am by reading about corporate executives. And that's why I was so determined to find this book, ten years after it came out.

I've fallen in love with my new city of downtown Toronto. I love his stories of old Toronto, before the million dollar condos and trendy restaurants that serve twenty dollar hamburgers. His style of writing is real - he holds nothing back and has no agenda. Anyone who has always wanted to know about Toronto's gritty '70's will love this book. As well, you will discover just how complicated and competitive the taxicab industry is. I read Mean Streets (Kindle for iPad) and it was a joy to read in this format.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He was my cab driver Aug. 16 2005
By Andrew byer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Two nights ago, coming home late from a party in Toronto, I flagged a cab and hopped in. The cab driver and I got to talking and discovered we were both novelists, he somewhat more ahead of the game.

He was enthusiastic about his work, as a successful writer must be, and introduced himself as Peter McSherry. Being a fellow writer, I of course had to purchase a copy he just happened to have with him and have been reading it since.

Worth its weight in cab fare

-Andrew Byer (If you read this Peter McSherry, I was the inebrated ethusiastic guy with his girl you took to Sherbourne on August 15th 2005. Told you I would not regret buying a copy.)
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