Synopses & Reviews
Nine Salingeresque stories about New Yorkers and their marvelous eccentricities.
This brilliantly inventive first collection captures the disparate lives of the residents of Manhattan's West 89th Street. Five stories are set in one apartment building, where young Davie Birnbaum watches his neighbors' lives unfold. The title story reworks F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," whose hero is born as an old man and ages in reverse; Brownstein's Button lives on the third floor, fading away toward infancy. In apartment 7E, a lawyer named Zauberman reenacts the life of Hawthorne's Wakefield: he abandons his family so that he can spy on them. Meanwhile, the proctologist in the penthouse plays Icarus and Daedalus with his misfit son.
These are tales of literary voyeurism, as the narrators look in on other people's everyday victories and misfortunes marriages, car accidents, love affairs, and adoptions and make sense of what they see by thinking about the stories they know best.
In this brilliantly inventive collection of stories, the author captures the disparate lives of the residents of Manhattan's West 89th Street from marriages, car accidents, love affairs, and adoptions.