The Bookie's Son by Andrew Goldstein –– A Your Shelf Life Review

24 May

A 100% Satisfying Read––Two Thumbs Enthusiastically Up!

The Bookie's Son by Andrew Goldstein

I was charmed by this book before opening it. First, the title: The Bookie’s Son.  Titillating and a bit shocking. Who has a bookie for a dad? I must have been fated to read this book because the couple on the cover look quite a bit like my parents in the early 1960s. I was positively inclined toward it from the start. The book delivers on its promise.

The story unfolds as twelve-year-old Ricky Davis comes home, goes into his parents’ bedroom and begins taking bets for his father’s bookmaking business. His whacky grandmother wanders around, with and without her teeth and bowl of Jell-O.

The scene was so bizarre that I thought, This is going to be an hysterically funny family drama, sort of like Leave It to Beaver, but with betting on the ponies on the side. Not quite.

Very soon, the forces behind the gambling enterprise appear. Mafioso-like gangsters run betting. In this case, it’s the Jewish Mafia. Thugs as scary as you’ll encounter in literature show up. Ricky’s dad is in big trouble. The author leads the reader by the hand as the family struggles to save itself. Goldstein’s writing is so good, it’s like being with this incredibly disturbed, dysfunctional group of people. The Davis family would drive phalanxes of marriage and family counselors to their knees.

Yet they love each other. These people care about each other and are bonded. I loved this book. I’m not going to add more about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Mr. Goldstein’s writing is marvelous. He delivers very disturbing, terrifying material very well, as well as the funniest scenes you’ll ever read. I sat in my family room with my dogs staring at me because I was laughing so hard. Goldstein’s story and characters show great emotional depth and range. His weird and very empathetic characters are developed with perfectly paced and very well written prose. The author packs his work with great imagination and verve. Highly recommended!

Andrew Goldstein, author of The Bookie's Son

I noted “Two Thumbs Enthusiastically Up!” in this review’s title. I have a new practice. If I receive a book to review and I really like it, I pass it on to my husband. He is a very bright, well-educated, and articulate man. (Of course he is, I married him.) He represents the market for the books I  review. He loved this book. Listening to him laughing, practically rolling off the sofa, was delightful.  [This is about to become a Three Thumbs Up! review. We handed the book to our daughter, who is reading it as enthusiastically as we did. This one’s a winner!]

Mr. Goldstein, roll out your next work. We’re ready.

Reviewed by Sandy Nathan. I received a complementary copy to read and review.

One Response to “The Bookie's Son by Andrew Goldstein –– A Your Shelf Life Review”

  1. John@self-publishing June 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Good summary, simple and straightforward. You have a done good job Sandy I’m working on something and would also like your input in the near future.