THE BLOCK by Ralph Schoenstein


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The Block"" is the nickname of a group of eight young boys living in the same area of New York, around West 78th Street, shortly before the second World War -- a group of boys who lived, played, fought, and grew up together, each one with his own characteristics, each one very, much a part of this tightly knit whole. The story is one of their childhood, written by one member of the gang, and it ends with his realization that though another Block no longer exists around the remodeled West 78th Street, it exists still in other parts of the city -- a group for which the author will always have a soft spot in his heart. The excessive detail and repetition of the same sort of activity -- pranks and pastimes of the Block in their efforts to reach adolescence -- though authentic and humorous at first, grow wearisome even to the most interested and familiar reader. Short in pages, but long in wind, this book's appeal would seem to be localized to the reader who is acquainted with that part of New York from which a group such as the Block springs, and with the sort of background of the author and his contemporaries.

Publisher: Random House