When Life Falls, It Falls Upside Down

Lou Myers, Author Grove/Atlantic $17.95 (193p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1177-7
Beginning in 1924, this autobiographical novel takes an unsentimental and sometimes acidic look at growing up Jewish and impoverished in the Bronx. After Leon Mehler's father drowned in a freak accident in the Bronx reservoir, his mother Rose supported her three young children by peddling a variety of goods and taking in questionable boarders. Leon chronicles his turbulent adolescence in a series of sharply etched vignettes, hilariously detailing graphic, highly erotic dreams. We see his City College classmates, burning idealists who make a mish-mash of leftist ideology, learn of his uneven career, ranging from freight-hopping across the nation to pick crops, to a love-smitten year at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. In painful and bleakly comic detail, he traces, through his twice-weekly visits, his mother's decline into delusion and paranoia at an old age home. Leon's recollections are evocative, unblinking and absorbing. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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