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Coney (Paperback)

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Coney (Paperback)

Amram Ducovny

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ISBN 13: 978-1-58567-199-1
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A darkly brilliant debut novel that is part noir thriller, part coming-of-age novel, part irresistible chronicle of 1930's Coney Island.

Coney Island, 1939: On the eve of World War II, fifteen-year-old Harry Catzker spends his after-school hours on his bike, picking up betting slips from Coney Island carnival freaks for the local bookie and racing his imaginary sworn enemy, German Captain Ziegenbaum, whose ship menaces the coastline. His parents are in their own world: his father writes a serial novel for the local Yiddish newspaper by day and hangs out with other intellectuals at the Cafe Royal by night; his beautiful mother grows increasingly bitter, yearning for a glamorous life that is certain to be denied to the wife of a writer.

As the lights of the Cyclone and Luna Park glow in the Coney Island night, Harry finds a surrogate family in the freaks and low-lifes. A premature victim of Weltschmerz, lovingly applied by loved ones, ignorant of its toxicity on the young, Harry ponders life, art, and philosophy, and politics with Aba, a Yiddish poet who boards with his family, yet he is unable to shake the dark foreboding of a disaster that finally materializes, changing his life utterly.

Coney, soaked through with atmosphere and guided by an uncommon comic touch, captures the essence of a young man s coming of age in an extraordinary place and time. Depicting Coney Island in all its garish and gritty human spectacle, Amram Ducovny s dark and brilliant first novel suggests the stark intensity of a Weegee photograph, the heart of E. L. Doctorow s Ragtime, and the soul of an Isaac Bashevis Singer novel.

Coney is the first novel of Amram Ducovny, the author of ten nonfiction books including David Ben-Gurion: In His Own Words, The Catalog of Fantastic Things, The Billion Dollar Swindle: Frauds Against the Elderly, and How to Shoot a Jewish Western. His writing credits include the Broadway play The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, which was adapted for an award-winning TV movie. He has lived mainly in New York City and Boston, where he was Vice President of Public Affairs for Brandeis University; as a journalist, he wrote a column for Boston Magazine. He now lives in Paris.

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