Sharkey's Kid: A Memoir

LeRoy Ostransky, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (221p) ISBN 978-0-688-10325-5
In the Jewish ghetto of Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1920s, Ostransky's father was an anomaly. An illiterate ex-boxer, a former small-time associate of gangsters, and a quasi-irreligious Jew who horrified his neighbors by choosing not to observe the Sabbath, Sharkey ran a saloon on Rutgers Street throughout the Prohibition era. And, to make matters yet more unusual, almost all of his patrons were gentile dockworkers, who thought of him as an ``all-right Jew'' since he was a self-satisfied, cocky, aspiring roughneck. To his son, now a retired professor of music theory, the man was instead a tyrant because of his insistence that good teachers, lots of practice and plenty of whippings could convert the boy into a violin virtuoso--a dream that was never realized. The story of Sharkey and the world he inhabited is a delightful bit of nostalgia. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10880-2
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