BLUE NOTES UNDER A GREEN FELT HAT by David  Ritz

BLUE NOTES UNDER A GREEN FELT HAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Once again, as in his The Man Who Moved The Dodgers Back to Brooklyn (1981), Ritz takes on a heavily sentimentalized, nostalgic trip--this one back to the bustling 1940's. Oh, what a time to be young. It's 1947, New York City, and Danny Klein has it made. Heir to a hat fortune, he's got a penthouse in Manhattan, a beautiful blonde for a girlfriend, and he loves hitting the jazz spots all along 52nd Street. In one of them, he meets the hip black piano-player Clifford Summers, and the two become friends right away--Danny doesn't even mind when his name gets mentioned in a tabloid article after Clifford gets two fingers shot off in a gangland dispute. In fact, Danny is so bitten by the jazz bug that he quits the family business--to his father's dismay--and starts selling records and hats in a store on 125th Street. Against all odds, the places is a success. In the end, Danny dumps his blonde for a sexy schoolteacher, while Clifford winds up with Danny's sister, Peggy. Danny likes all the right low-brow things so much--jazz, the Dodgers, Joe louis, gambling, "a belt or two," bimbos with hearts of gold--that he exists less as a character than a treasury of 40's arcana. So, unfortunately, does the novel.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1989
ISBN: 1-55611-130-4
Publisher: Donald Fine
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