to brooklyn with love Author:Gerald Green As in Gerald Green's memorable The Last Angry Man, the setting is Brownsville, a decaying yet stubbornly vital neighborhood of old two-story homes and crumbling tenements. The time is the Depression, that era of murdered hopes and betrayed promises, and the action takes place on a single breathless day in July, 1934. — The Ulysses of Mr. Green's... more » narrative is Albert Abrams, twelve - nearsighted, undersized, cursed with weak ankles and flabby muscles, the last man to be chosen for the ringalevio teams even though he boasts the highest IQ in the history of Public School 133. Scorned by the athletes and wildmen, Albert finds strength in Kipling, Conrad and Jack London. Moreover, he is the greatest scorekeeper in the annals of Longview Avenue sporting events with punchball, stickball and indoor baseball.
Albert's father is a doctor, and the Depression casts its shadow over Dr. Abrams life; he is tortured with fears of a sickening fall from sanity, a total loss of confidence.
The book abounds in the rich vigorous characters for which Mr. Green is noted: Hannah Abrams, the doctor's dignified wife, serenely reading Gissing and listening to Caruso records amid the slum clamor and stink, Benny Otzenberger, legendary political boss of Brownsville; Teddy Ochab, Achilles and Hector in one skinny Polish boy; the mystical Yussel Melnick, teacher of the Word, who harboars a Biblical secret in the synagogue basement.« less