In this novel of superbly stylized fragments of memory, Sorrentino captures the grit of golden-era Brooklyn. Each episode, affectingly textured with naked detail, is followed by the narrator’s deeper, more subjective climb down to the very bones of pure, poetic recollection. The reader, as though privy to a penetrating psychological confession, accompanies the narrator, ferreting out the gristle and unconventional beauty found among the scrappy immigrant boys, hard-drinking blue-collar stiffs, and poor, sexy, and magenta-lipped women who inhabit the novel.
2003 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
“Each of the novel’s 52 chapters can stand as an individual (albeit fleeting) narrative, and when taken as such, the parts become more than the whole. By themselves, the chapters are easily digestible morsels of delicious prose self-contained stories that offer sometimes dreamy, sometimes gritty glimpses into ordinary lives.” —Publishers Weekly