I enjoyed this book - to quote from the book blurbs" Malamud weaves a story of crime and punishment, love and redemption that is startling and timeless"
A Jew writing a novel about an Italo-American is rather neoteric. Wait! He goes to work for immigrants who are trying to run a grocery in a run down neighborhood. Their grammar reminds me of Shelly Berman relating his upbringing in New York. Italo is a down and outer who in a prior life must have been a tomcat for he seems to have as many lives in this one. First he abets a holdup of the grocery then, feeling guilt, he repays them by working there for room and board. Despite his profession of honesty he eventually ups his hand in the till on a regular basis. He falls in love with the grocers daughter, but has a strange way of showing it by climbing up the dumbwaiter to spy on her in the bathroom. Before it ends he pulls several more gaffs. This goy is a real piece of work! While I did not like the ending, this is my favorite of Malamuds novels.
Well written book with a good story and some thought
provoking outcomes. Evocative of an earlier time - the
old wood floored local family owned grocery, and of the
struggles to survive with a small business in changing
times. I read it in one sitting.