Having ordered this book from Amazon, I did not clue in that it was a large format, paperback, glossy book. I had expected the typical nonfiction book print treatment. This is not a negative just a heads up - it does lend itself to the photographs, maps and plans provided. It is an extremely interesting subterranean history but I would recommend it only for those who are fascinated with New York and/or tunnels and below ground architecture. The author's love of the subject and associated explorations shines throughout the book and that enthusiasm is passed to the reader.
I am a huge fan of the history of New York and this took my interest in a new direction...down. Solis takes us on journeys through the subway and train systems, underground passageways and the immense and sometime interlocking building foundations. The amazing stories that she "digs up" along the way hold interest and the accompanying photographs do not rob one's imagings of what it is like underground New York - they enhance the whole experience. It is also a history of the growth of New York and how strains on fresh water, transportation, electricity, and communications drove the need to tunnel and burrow. As well, it ably proves that 'progress is mostly the product of rogues' by telling the stories of the rich and the entrepreneurial who headed many of the large capital projects underground.
The opulence of some of the now abandoned or destroyed work is awesome. This includes City Hall Station closed since 1945, McAdoo station's vaulted ceilings, the incredible Pennsylvania Station (sad that it is gone), and Grand Central. The Chapter, The Lost Tunnel of Atlantic Avenue, reads like an Indiana Jones movie. Because of reading the book, I may now have to book a private dinner in the restaurant Philip Marie which has a long buried living room beyond its basement which must have resulted when Manhattan was leveled for planned urban development. A very interesting contribution to the incredible history of New York and an area where much more is waiting to be discovered.