ACE HITS THE BIG TIME by Barbara Beasley & Judie Wolkoff Murphy


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Unlike grimmer treatments of the subject, and unlike Murphy's own No Place to Run (1977) or Wolkoff's Where the Elf King Sings (1981), this story of a new kid's experiences with city gangs is one of those desperate-but-never-serious adventures that doesn't pretend to be realistic. On the first day of high school in Manhattan's East 20s, Horace (soon to be Ace) Hobart, just moved from New Jersey, can't find his denim jacket--so he grabs a red satin one with a dragon on the back, sent from Japan by an uncle. And, as he's developed an ugly sty overnight, he borrows an eye patch from his younger sister's disguise kit. This tough-looking getup wins him instant membership in the school's feared gang, the Purple Falcons, the admiration of the Falcons' sexy, honor-student girl sidekick, and a featured role in Bound and Gagged, a movie about teen violence whose producer and director are scouting the street. Soon all the Falcons are acting in the movie's gang scenes, riding high except that the city's other gangs get jealous and lay for them after shooting sessions. This results in a wild multi-gang war near the waterfront, with the Falcons--who turn out to be bluffers and not so tough after all--hiding in smelly garbage cans and then escaping through the back door of Ace's mobster uncle's fortuitously located warehouse. TV and newspapers play their separate roles in magnifying Ace's image and in achieving an ironic peace, based on misunderstanding, among the gangs. It's all inconsequential and never hilarious in its specific developments, yet alertly, entertainingly plotted.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1982
ISBN: 0865344078
Publisher: Delacorte