Humans of New York, commonly known as HONY started off as a blog and a Facebook fan page by Brandon Stanton. Within no time, it has become a sensation on Facebook. The young man roams countless miles, meet different people, belonging to different cultures on the streets of New York, recording their stories and sharing it on social media. After he gained a huge amount of fan following, he also visited Central Africa, Asia and Middle East and published those stories in the form of book.
This book is a beautiful composition of Brandson’s best set of stories along with the colorful pictures. Personal pictures give us an idea to actually picture about a person and connects us all in a different way. The illustrations and anecdotes are so moving and endearing.
The most interesting part of this book is, that Brandon started this project single handed. His primary profession is photography, which were accompanied by the short interviews he took from different people. It’s his absorbing writing style that has helped him grew from a few hundred followers to over eighteen million followers. He has created a whole new range of experiences and different perspectives of life. Another brilliant part about this book is that the subject vary in terms of demographics, nationality, religion, age and their individual stories. Every individual’s story reflects and depicts different facets on human life experience. Be it their personal or professional life, from their struggles to heartbreak to inspiration. The pictures attached with every story will make you feel human. The different experiences and situations leaves you with an awe statement.
Description of this book in one word is: FEEL. The book is a combination of humor, ideas, experiences which hits all the right spots. It has a lot of inspirational. Especially, one will feel highly motivated, happy, and full of life after reading the entire book. The whole idea of HONY is very innovative. There are one-line or one-paragraph short, heart-warming and soul-crashing stories. With just a simple idea, Brandon created a marvel out it. Some of the heart touching stories include his Iraqi and Syrian refugee stories. One of the heartening story about a young girl fleeing rebels in South Sudan, losing her voice and somehow managing to heal and making her way back from all the trauma. Some of my favorite quotes from the book are as follows:
- “I’m trying to write a book based on myself, but I keep changing.”
- “I worry that one day she’ll get separated from me, and nobody will understand that she’s deaf.”
- “If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”
The above three quotes describe three different situations that different people are dealing with. It is the writers explicit and straightforward way of questioning that has made the book an interesting read. The stories can be used in many ways. For example, it could be used for fiction students, as a case study and to understand human psychology. Every youngster must read this book as it will give them a picture of reality of life and how to deal with different situations at different times.
Overall, Humans of New York: Stories is an emotionally compelling and thought provoking book. The best part about the book is that it will keep the reader absorbed throughout. There might be one story that you will not find it interesting, but the next story will surely grasp your mind. The stories will make you wander that how humans are such unique creatures and how everyone is fighting a different battle in life and coping up with it beautifully.
What are your thoughts about it?