THE ROUNDHOUSE, PARADISE AND MR. PICKERING by Dick Perry

THE ROUNDHOUSE, PARADISE AND MR. PICKERING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For those who like a good sentimental sob, this is it. But it's not for the sisters. No, they wouldn't be able to intone a fitting eulogy for ol' ""Beershot"" Pickering..."" the best machinist the New York Central has""... or rather had. This is a story about railroading and in particular, the guys who worked the third trick, who smoothed and fed and cursed and cajoled the giant engines through the small hours of the morning and fitted them on the tracks for the long haul the next day. It's the story of 18-year-old George, based on the author's own experience, who worked with them and grew to love Mr. Pickering...Mr. Pickering who lived a ""beer and a shot"" day up and down Vine Street in Cincinnati...Mr. Pickering who saw everyone as dirty, and sometimes distressingly dirty mouthed angels...Mr. Pickering who sincerely loved Rosalie, the gargantuan railroad man's whore...Mr. Pickering who slept in fireboxes and led the caroling on Christmas Eve and who had once had the roundhouse blessed and who had once driven a locomotive right through the roundhouse wall and who had once tended a sparrow. Yeah, it's sentimental and a bit comic, a bit sad and a bit romantic--most of Rosalie's basic expressions have been respectfully censored--and Mr. Pickering quietly takes his place as a folklore hero. If the appeal is limited, well so is the lonely whistle on a summer's night. Stoke well up there, Mr. Pickering...we hope it's beer and shots.

Publisher: Doubleday