Cover image for Camaro City
Camaro City
Sternberg, Alan.
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First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harcourt Brace, 1994.
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The economic blight that has devastated southeastern Connecticut's old industrial towns forms the backdrop for this debut collection about the problems of blue-collar workers in hard times. Sternberg's direct prose slowly reveals his characters' dilemmas while subtly acknowledging the emotional ramifications of those dilemmas. Most of his protagonists are middle-aged white men caught in the backwash of sudden layoffs, business failures and the effects of a bad economy on those around them. The title story concerns Brunet, an assistant manager of a trucking fleet who loses his house to a fire and his car to the thieves whose specialty gives the town its unique moniker. ``Moose'' probes the problems of a trash inspector at the local landfill who gets shot by one of his customers, who's caught trying to dump out-of-town garbage. Different emotional ground is explored in ``Broken Violin,'' about an investment banker whose mother's local concert performance forces her to confront her own limitations. While Sternberg's style vaguely recalls such blue-collar heroes as Raymond Carver and Larry Brown, his distinctive voice and approach make this a noteworthy debut. First serial to the New Yorker. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

With his first book-a collection of ten stories featuring blue-collar workers in a small Connecticut city-Sternberg has carved a niche and marked it as his own. Most of his stories are about men who build and fix things, who "might have worked in the factories if the factories hadn't closed." These men are concerned with keeping their jobs and their often better-educated and better-employed wives while dealing with problems from unruly kids to house fires. There is some diversity of character here in the occasional professional worker or person of color, but it is the beefy white blue-collar worker in a grittily realistic milieu who is so keenly, almost lovingly, portrayed. Sternberg's prose seems choppy at first, but it puts the reader smack in the middle of "Camaro City," as named by car thieves and populated by people who can't afford Corvettes. For most public libraries.-Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.