ONCE UPON A DROSHKY by Jerome Charyn


Email this review


Yankel Rabinowitz, anachronism from the Second Avenue borscht circuit, lets bygones become his story--the golden days of New York's Yiddish theater when he was an actor (second-rate) and neighborhood character (first-class). Fifty years have moved between, the apartment house is condemned by Farbstein (villainous landlord), who in turn is condoned by son Irving (boy traitor) in his electioneering for assembly-man. Benya, formerly ""The Torch"", has turned from gangstering to Schwartz of the Blue chips, but life among the Brobdingbergs goes on. ""Schimmel's"" still serves the neighborhood borscht and gossip, and friend Fishbein winds up in jail for bucking the landlords that be. Poor old Yankel, he can't win the day for his pals and the feeling is that of an overdrawn and of an era long dead. In dialect and homily, the Jewish world of the Lower East Side takes disjointed shape. In Yankel's own idiom: A book should be so boring--this we never heard. Only for the old-timers.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill