Lead Us Not Into Penn Station

Bruce Ducker, Author Permanent Press (NY) $24 (224p) ISBN 978-1-877946-36-3
Exploring the interplay between fathers and sons and the gradual demythologization of adulthood, this evocative bildungsroman chronicles the summer adventures of three teenagers on the cusp of manhood in 1950s Brooklyn. At the center of the tale is Danny Meadoff, a student of both Dante and the Dodgers, who, due to family financial difficulties, forgoes a summer literature course to work as a Fuller Brush salesman. Meanwhile Danny's father, an underwear importer, shows increasingly worrisome signs of buckling under the stress of job-related pressures. Danny, noticing his parents' frailties for the first time, wants to help but cannot yet fully understand. Ducker ( Rule by Proxy ) maintains a difficult balance in his narrative, penetrating characters' complex thoughts and emotions while never losing the feeling of a summer break in a simpler time, pregnant with youthful possibilities. Although the events leading up to the novel's resolution are a bit less credible than its earlier portions, Danny's many moments of discovery en route to that resolution are genuine and often moving. Ducker makes his underlying theme--uncompromising youth refreshing world-worn adulthood--absorbing and compelling. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 172 pages - 978-0-7592-4164-0
Ebook - 172 pages - 978-1-4976-3399-5
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