Monday, June 29, 2015

Bronx Gothic

Bitter Bronx by Jerome Charyn is written in Gothic Bronx style.  I don’t know if there such a thing. 
Look at the tail on Jerome Charyn's cat.
Isn't she beautiful?  You gotta love a man
who loves cats.
If not, then give Jerome Charyn credit for creating a new genre. I call Charyn’s book of short stories, “Gothic” because his thirteen stories tell of weird, comic characters involved in melodramatic situations that will raise your eyebrows, or twist your lips into a smirk.  I think I might have even guffawed at one of the “Silk” stories.

Charyn’s stories bring you to a “mecca of middle-class Jews,” “Mafioso restaurants”, and up to the Grand Concourse.  A grifter gigolo named Howell is surprised to find love in Lorelei.  Another gigolo whose modeling name was Adonis is good at dining widows. The kids at Music and Art had a cockroach who writes poetry and a companion, alley cat, who thought she was Cleopatra.  They are named Archy and Mehitabel. Then there’s the bisexual in The Cat Lady’s Kiss.  My favorite stories were the three stories about the Silk family: Silk & Silk, Little Sister, and Marla. The reader gets drawn into this melodramatic soap opera life of the Silks.  The characterization must have reminded me of some people I know because these stories are my favorite.

Then we continue with Dee who tried to help the gentle giant, Eddie.  There was a homeless man in love with Princess Hannah.  A poetry teacher who made me wonder if the author was projecting himself in  Milo’s Last Chance.  An orphan who lucked out in Alice’s Eyes.  A New York Yankees’ twenty-fifth man, who became the secret lover of a hospital administrator, in Major Leaguer.  Lastly, a dangerous female ex-con in White Trash, who exhibited psychopathic behavior.

These thirteen stories will hold you tight and then release you to breathe.  And think.  You’ll be wondering and thinking of the Silks, and crazy characters, and colorful situations, for quite a while.  Jerome Charyn’s Bitter Bronx is quite a tour.  I enjoyed it.  I think you will, too. I received a free copy of Bitter Bronx by Jerome Charyn from Tribute Book, but no other compensation was received, and my review is my honest evaluation.

About the Author:

Jerome Charyn's stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, Narrative, Ellery Queen, and other magazines.  His most recent novel is I Am Abraham. He lived for many years in Paris and currently resides in Manhattan.


Bitter Bronx can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $9.99-$12.49 ebook, $24.95 hardcover
Genre: Short Stories
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780871404893
Publisher: Liveright



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About the Author

Jerome Charyn's stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The American Scholar, Epoch, Narrative, Ellery Queen, and other magazines. His most recent novel is I Am Abraham. He lived for many years in Paris and currently resides in Manhattan. 

 
Links to connect with Jerome:

2 comments:

Tribute Books said...

Faith, thanks for the wonderful review! :)

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson said...

I loved this and more importantly, so did the author. Bronx Gothic, indeed. Thanks. -- Lenore