Cover image for Citizen Sidel
Citizen Sidel
Charyn, Jerome.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
218 pages ; 24 cm
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Mayor Isaac Sidel is the Democrats' darling, the front-runner for the vice-presidential nomination. His running mate's checkered past includes baseball czardom and student radicalism at Columbia that is now causing some concern. But Sidel has his own worries as two police captains are at each other's throats, a supposedly dead cop may be prowling the Lower East Side, the ex-mayor is in the madhouse, and the Latin Jokers gang is shooting people on the street. For Isaac Sidel, the road to Pennsylvania Avenue is exceedingly treacherous.

Author Notes

Jerome Charyn was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1937. An author who primarily writes detective stories, Charyn's novels contain a wide array of characters ranging form a gorgeous, headstrong double agent to a greedy, corrupt lawyer. Charyn chronicles the life of Isaac Sidel El Caballo, the Mayor of New York City, in over half a dozen books, including El Bronx, Little Angel Street, Marilyn the Wild, and The Good Policeman. Among his latest novels is The Secret Life of emily Dickinson. The story is told from her point of view and incorporates both historical and fictional characters to tell what she may have been like. His next work was entitled Under the Eye of God.

Widely translated, Charyn's novels have broad readership in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Japan, as well as the United States. Charyn lives in Paris where he teaches cinema at the American University of Paris.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Charyn's latest crackles with energy as it strikes a delicate balance between noirish surrealism and down-and-dirty reality. Charyn's quixotic hero, New York mayor and former police commissioner Isaac Sidel, has entered national politics. Running against popular Republican and incumbent president Calder Cottonwood, "Citizen" Sidel is the veep candidate on the Democratic ticket. Sidel knows his party will have an uphill battle, but he doesn't expect to become the target of an assassination. Surrounded by a motley crew of politicos, cops, and gangsters, any one of whom could be the hitman, Sidel finds his only trustworthy friends are a killer rat named Raskolnikov and President Cottonwood's precocious prepubescent daughter, Marianna. Charyn's latest is a truly wild combination of stream-of-consciousness fantasy, burning political satire, societal indictment, Greek tragedy, and Marx Brothers comedy. It is wacky, brilliant, provocative, and disturbing, and like much of Charyn's work, readers are likely to love it or hate it. --Emily Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

In contrast to the bleak and poignant atmosphere of his most recent Isaac Sidel book, 1997's El Bronx, Charyn offers knockabout farce in this latest adventure of the gun-toting New York mayor. It may take readers a few pages to get into the surprising mood, but by the third or fourth time Sidel gets knocked on his keister they'll will be ready for anything‘even a vision of Sidel tucking his ever-present Glock into a pair of orange pants in order to impersonate an Isaac Babel character named Benya Krik. The novel is full of smart jokes: a luxurious nursing home is called Riverrun and a trained rat is named Raskolnikov. Mayor Sidel has been chosen as the vice-presidential candidate by the Democrats, to add muscle to the ticket headed by J. Michael Storm, baseball czar and former student radical. Up against Isaac and Storm are ruthless Republicans, crooked cops and corrupt FBI agents, deadly Bronx gangsters, kamikaze assassins and an 85-year-old Romanian once known as the Butcher of Bucharest. " `A period in the right place is like a hammer in the heart.' That's what Babel said," a literature teacher tells Sidel. Charyn proves once again‘with energy, imagination and perfect periods galore‘that he knows how to swing a hammer like nobody's business. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Charyn follows up his last Sidel fable (El Bronx) with this tale of New York City Mayor Sidel's run for the vice presidency. Charyn has triumphed recently with two titles: a literary novel (Death of a Tango King, LJ 4/1/98) and a memoir (The Dark Lady from Belorusse, LJ 9/15/97). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.