by Ed Brodow
Didn’t know what to expect from this novel as its set in the turn of century NYC at the time of Mayor La Guardia. However the main character seemed interesting; the son of a Jewish refugee from the wrong side of the tracks. I learned a few things about the history of NYC from this tale as I enjoyed the tale.
Brodow cleverly mixes fact and fiction into quite a taut read. I managed to read it in one evening as it was not one of those novels that is easy to put down. Its concise length and lack of fluff add to the flow of this fine novel. The author and his publisher were very careful to produce a quality book. They even include a bookmark.
The story is about a bloke named Harry and his path from polio afflicted child to power broker and good samaritan for the entire city. Not blinded by prejudice the man finds the ability to help some of the most anti-semitic people possible, the Irish Catholics. When younger he is constantly under-threat of anti-semitic violence, but does not let this embitter him towards anyone. This attitude allows him to take down, in an official position, some vicious anti-semities who wish to rile up New Yorkers in their version of brown shirts.
Along the way the author provides the reader with mini-bios of those important characters that Harry encounters, real or fictional. The key quality of this book is that Harry is believable enough to have existed. There are times when its hard to determine what part is historical and what part is fiction.
I will let you discover the ins & outs of this excellent tale of success by hard work and a driven attitude. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to do it justice. Its a perfect airplane or train book.