OTHER'S KISSES by Bruce Jay Friedman


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Bruce Jey Friedman has not lost his touch. And this should please some of the enthusiastic readers of his novel Stern and his short stories so aptly labeled Far From the City of Class. They'll know the henna-haired, mammoth breasted mother. They'll recognize Joseph, the 17-year-old son in whose life she keeps turning up. They may even condone the picaresque plot which grabs him up from Bensonhurst and drops him down -- for want of a better college -- in Kansas Land Grant Agricultural, where he meets some scrappy White American Protestants, engages in some scatological badinage, and finally renounces his mother, kisses and all. But other Bruce Friedman admirers will be profoundly disappointed in his second novel. He is a writer who has not grown. Though still brilliant with the antic phrase: Joseph to Mother, ""Why do I have to be brought in on your girdle wearing?""; still deft with the kinesthetic adjective, ""Her walk was loose-necked and puppetry""; and inimitable in his pop art allusions: ""Her eyes startled as though invisible Cyril Ritchard, were fawning along side of her, whispering delicious courtroom gossip in her ear"" -- what once amused, may now begin to cloy. Mr. Friedman obviously cossets the Yiddish understatement, and the wildness of the monumentally gauche. Though this breeds a sense of familiarity, it seldom goes deep enough for a shock of recognition.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1964
Publisher: Simon & Schuster