One long robust aria bel canto from the heart of the Bronx and the throbbing throat of Moe Gross, a 56-year-old house...

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One long robust aria bel canto from the heart of the Bronx and the throbbing throat of Moe Gross, a 56-year-old house painter surrounded by drop cloths and dreck -- mainly familial. There's wife Charlotte (""Madame Poison"") who will later flesh out the title, one man-eating daughter, and those wealthy relatives upstate: ""Bulldog Harry Schwarzman, his mad consort Tillie, their 40-year-old pups Sneering Sheldon and the Royal Fatness Howie."" But then there's nice little daughter Liz whose round-the-clock toil enriches and finances the unclouded life of her freeloading husband George Young the Chinese-American Dud(e). But into the drear of Gross-in-a-box comes widow Ruth, rescued by Gross from suicide. Ruth is too good to be true, but gradually Gross realizes he's in love and the two rally to outwit and outpace the no-goodniks, who are feuding like jangling coat hangers (""So with Tillie set in the west, Charlotte was rising on East Eighty-Fourth Street""). Gross and Ruth do their little deeds of kindness and love to the losers with one hand while laying about with the other. And they make it to that home in the country where (God is good) Liz has come after getting rid of George. The patois is of virtuoso range and frequency -- in all, it's a pleasure.

Pub Date: April 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: T. Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974