Cover image for El Bronx
El Bronx
Charyn, Jerome.
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Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 22 cm
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In his ninth outing, the celebrated author of Little Angel Street turns New York mayor Isaac Sidel loose in a richly imagined, colorful tapestry of blackmail, murder, kidnapping, and baseball strikes.

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 2

Booklist Review

The Yanks threaten to leave the Bronx, baseball owners tussle with players over an agreement, New York's mayor and New York State's governor play a treacherous game of one-on-one hardball, and gangs fight their turf wars to the death. This is fiction? In Charyn's phantasmagoric portrait of the Big Apple, it is and it isn't. Mayor Isaac Sidel--the "big Jew," "El Caballo," a man "born to make trouble, not to govern" --is back. This time he's dogged by his own creations: the players' rep he weaned from youthful adoration of Marx and Ho Chi Minh, the gypsy cops who wipe out the gangs with Sidel's tacit approval, the gang member Sidel redeemed only to see him terrorize, then bed, the mayor's ex. It's all too cynical and painful, save for a precocious girl who bakes cookies and her Hispanic male counterpart whose murals to fallen gang members offer Sidel a certain grace amid his despair. Recommended for Charyn loyalists and other tough-minded readers. --Alan Moores

Publisher's Weekly Review

The ninth‘and very possibly the best‘in Charyn's amazing series about mythical New York Mayor Isaac Sidel features a strange, angry and wonderful Children's Crusade against corporate greed, drugs and violent crime. Sidel is a commanding figure, an intellectual ex-cop and police commissioner in his late 50s who roams his city alone (though armed with a Glock), wearing secondhand clothes and trying hard to hold it all together. His adult cohorts‘his daughter, the much-married Marilyn the Wild; her current husband, rogue cop Joe Barbarossa; and the many other policemen and prosecutors whom Sidel has mentored over his long career‘are also strong characters. But it's the children who quickly take and hold center stage here. Angel Carpenteros, aka Alyosha (after the character in The Brothers Karamazov, which he claims to have not understood a line of, but we soon know better) is a 12-year-old graffiti muralist who memorializes the gang dead on the walls of the Bronx. Marianna Storm is also 12. She's the daughter of a power-mad lawyer who, during a baseball strike, threatens to bury the Bronx by forcing the Yankees' owner to move the team out of the borough. Marianna bakes cookies for the mayor and fights with a wooden akido sword to keep Alyosha alive. Other children surround and pursue them, including the armed teenaged girls who serve as bodyguards for a brutal Dominican drug lord. Charyn (The Good Policeman; Montezuma's Man; etc.) tells his complicated story with touches of magic realism, bursts of pulp lyricism and a level of energy and imagination as high as anyone writing today. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved