A gentle, mellow tale of past-the-turn-of-the-century Brooklyn in which nobility triumphs and the bad get their comeuppance. Prime cotterpin as the world turns for schoolboy Yankel is his uncle Herschel, newly arrived from Russia to establish himself. Uncle Herschel is a felsher, i.e. a medical practitioner without a doctor's or pharmacist's license -- ingenious and supremely knowledgeable with a stern and unyielding humanistic ethic. This is the story of Uncle's awesome impact: on Yankel's parents stunned by Herschel's refusal to eat meat (""Animals eat other animals""), his enjoyment of alcohol, constant cigarette smoking and unsettling theology; on Callahan the cop, impressed by Herschel's entirely logical plans for operating a remedy store in the twilight zone between licensed physician and pharmacist; on the irascible Dr. Padilsky, with whom Herschel carries on an uneasy alliance; on a pair of protectionist hoods, tripped up by a dialectic blitz and a punishing physical rout; and on Yankel, his friends and the neighbors thrilled by Herschel's intellectual and sartorial attributes and his ability to part dray horse traffic like the Red Sea merely by raising his cane. Herschel's fortunes begin to prosper until a distraught gift claims he killed her mother with an evil eye; and the book closes with a battle of addled-to-sharp wits in Borough Hall. Simple, sweet entertainment rated G.