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The Sky's the Limit
By Steven Gaines
Read by Steven Gaines

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The Sky's the Limit

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The Sky's the Limit
Passion and Property in Manhattan
By Steven Gaines
Read by Steven Gaines
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2005)
An Abridged Recording on 5 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-039-8
Genre: Social History - Current Events

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - July 5, 2005

Written and read by Steven Gaines, the author of Philistines at the Hedgerow; The Sky's the Limit - Passion and Property in Manhattan provides a surprising interesting glimpse into the world of Manhattan real estate. This CD edition of The Sky's the Limit is enhanced by the inclusion of photos of the buildings mentioned in this book, with the celebrities that own or live in them, as well as with photos from the books recording session, the author's bio, and an interview with the author.

In a world unto itself where an efficiency apartment can easily cost a million dollars, Manhattan, and its real estate, is perhaps unlike any other place in the world. In this book, Gaines provides a glimpse behind the scenes, exploring how the real estate game in Manhattan is played and introducing many of the key players from brokers who sell the properties to the celebrities that buy them.

The Sky's the Limit is primarily a social history of Manhattan that concentrates upon one aspect of Manhattans psyche - its real estate. Gaines illustrates how the social registry, condo boards, and the social elite dictate who can live where, and how the cost of a building, condo, or apartment is more often a sign of the exclusivity of the property, rather than its value. As important, Gaines show how this high-class, petty game of real estate was played over time, and the impact that the game had on the development of Manhattan, and New York City as a whole.

A well written, absorbing, and insightful book, The Sky's the Limit shows just how passionate some people are for real estate. It also shows just how shallow and small-minded some people can be when it comes to 'protecting' their space. Perhaps the most eye opening aspect of this book is Gaines' insights into the power of condo boards to pick and choose who can buy a condo in their building - to the point of engaging in down right discrimination - and it's apparently all legal! Throughout, Gaines includes tidbits of information about those high profile individuals who sought entry into some of these buildings and where denied, as well as tidbits of information 'gossip' about those who make Manhattan their home. The Sky's the Limit is an unexpect gem, and one that recommended for everyone's leisure reading list.

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