BRUNO THE PRETZEL MAN by Edward E. Davis

BRUNO THE PRETZEL MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A cozy plug for the small operator, a slight dig at big-success thinking. Bruno sells pretzels from a pushcart on New York's 57th Street, a calling he came to after false starts as tailor, shoemaker, and barber in ""a country far across the ocean,"" as taxi driver in New York (misguided, in the latter case, by his success as an Army chauffeur). But in the course of comparative-shopping for pretzels, he met up with Esmerelda, a whiz at baking pretzels but a dud at selling them. There follows: Bruno's pushcart, their happy marriage, a comfortable living and satisfying life; even local fame--neighbors who wait at the door for breakfast pretzels, customers who stop at the pushcart every day. This idyll is queered, however, by Bruno's most-admired customer, the man ""in the fine gray suit""--who tells Bruno his sign should read plain ""BRUNO"" (""it is obvious"" he's ""the pretzel man""), who wants Bruno to raise his prices (""It's a dog-eat-dog world""), who gets him to feeling ashamed, not ""important."" A classified ad brings fellow-pretzel-maven David to take over the pushcart at noontime--but without his pushcart, Bruno discovers, he's really nobody: lunch with the man-in-the-gray-suit and his confreres is a disaster; other customers are oblivious or preoccupied. Esmerelda comes to the rescue, then, by not baking pretzels--thus showing Bruno all the people he's important to, beginning with her. Lovable and snappy--including the Simont drawings--for all that it's a crusty urban fairy tale.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row