Mr. Boardwalk/Louis Greenstein: An Announcement

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

As per usual here in the Kephart Fortification, the books are piled high and low, sent this way from places far and near. So many books and so many apparently good ones, but I've got a time management problem. A novel due in less than six months. Hardly any time most work-a-day days. Still, I want to help my friends, and I am anxious, failing, flailing, and so here is one solution, this morning.

It concerns the recent release Mr. Boardwalk, a first novel by the playwright Louis Greenstein (perhaps you met him while he was writing scripts for Rugrats; perhaps you saw his musical One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro). I received my copy from New Door Books, a publishing initiative overseen by the wonderful writer and literary enthusiast (and my friend), Douglas Gordon. I've heard wonderful things from the uber-smart and discerning, Ellen Trachtenberg. The summary itself is alluring:
At the age of seven, Jason Benson first experiences the wonders of Atlantic City—carnival rides, fortune-tellers, fudge shops, arcades and Miss America. Smitten, he decides to live there forever. But when we meet him as an adult in New York, he's been keeping his youth a secret from his wife and daughter. What happened? This dual coming-of-age tale traces the excitement and perils of the young Jason and the moral growth of the adult who must confront his past.
When I myself picked up the book just this very morning and began to read, I found this opening passage, and I thought: Durn. This sounds fine indeed.
The casinos are more ostentatious than I expected, but the souvenir shops and frozen custard stands look the same as when I was a kid: reliably, comfortably tacky.

The air is so blustery my ears prickle. I hitch my jacket collar to staunch the chill. Gripping the boardwalk railing, I study the beach. Four shaggy teenage boys toss a football. A middle-aged couple walks a shepherd collie, straining on its leash, barking into the wind. Beyond the shoreline the water's choppy, the tide's low. A hundred yards out, whitecaps flash like static. In the distance an ocean liner glides across the horizon.
I can't wait until I find the time to actually sit and read this story through. But I didn't want you all to have to wait that long to hear about it.

You have heard about it. Do what you must do.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Beth! Your comments make the book sound alluring indeed. Good luck with your impossible schedule!

Unknown said...

So far, my favorite read of the summer. Wish I was reading it on any BEACH, cause it sure is a PERFECT Beach Book. Make me missing going "down the shore!" for sure. If this is what we can expect from the Rookie Author, I can't wait for MO!

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