Debasements of Brooklyn

Ira Gold. Permanent, $29 (256p) ISBN 978-1-57962-443-9
In Gold’s arresting debut, Howie “Windows” Fenster, a low-level member of Vinnie Five-Five’s Brooklyn gang, meets the lovely Ariel while avoiding the henchmen of Vlad the Impaler, head of the local Russian mob, who’s trying to eliminate Vinnie’s crew and take over their little patch of south Brooklyn. Ariel falls for this tall, muscular man of few words, most of them obscene. In contrast, Howie engages in interior monologues full of philosophical insights that could belong to a college literature professor, a result of his love for a shelf of Penguin classic paperbacks left to him by his father. In Howie’s world, verbalizing such erudition would get him mocked, or possibly killed. Howie hides out with Ariel, who reawakens his dormant lust. But before he can work out his feelings for Ariel, he must concentrate on sliding along the thin line between Vlad’s lads and the members of his own gang, who he fears may believe he’s less than loyal. Readers who appreciate well-honed imagery and refreshingly original turns of phrase will find a lot to like. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-1823-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-1821-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-1822-6
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-1-57962-503-0
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