After I read the jacket blurb I immediately disagreed with Olivia's take on being in NYC alone. Personally, I would have loved to be in NYC by myself! Yes, it was an unfortunate scenario of her breakup after moving to another country to be with that person, and yes we did not hear too much about it after the introduction, but I was amazed at the artists that she did research on. Never have I ever heard of most of these people, except Andy Warhol, and I barely knew anything about him except that he was a bit eccentric, and now I know a bit more about how he came to be that way.
The Lonely City started me on the Olivia Laing (mini) odyssey. I have one more book of hers to read (The Trip to Echo Springs). The Lonely City is recommendable to anyone who likes or wants to learn about NYC and it's art scene first and foremost, and to anyone who likes biographies.