The Tenants of Moonbloom
Norman Moonbloom is a loser, a drop-out who can't even make it as a deadbeat. His brother, a slumlord, hires him to collect rent in the buildings he owns in Manhattan. Making his rounds from apartment to apartment, Moonbloom confronts a wildly varied assortment of brilliantly described urban characters, among them a gay jazz musician with a sideline as a gigolo, a Holocaus...more
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Norman Moonbloom is in his thirties and very much alone. he has been a student for years and now works for his brother Irwin; a strong character who orders Norman around. Irwin owns a number of delapidated apartment blocks and Norman is employed to collect the rent and in theory to keep them in repair, but has not enough budget to do so.
The novel follows Norman as he ...more
But I felt that the author was keen that it go somewhere.
I was enjoying the ride! That was enough!
"the favorite fantasy was only another soporific, one that parted the curtains of sleep for him. Like a boy's night story, it made him smile in the dark. He put himself into the huge form of his father and imagined the world as his playground."
"'By the time I got her to a supine position, I almost didn't care.'
'L'amour,' Norman said, writing out the receipt."
"'I'd appreciate it,' she said. ...more
This is a fantastic novel, one that should have received a great deal of recognition from critics and readers alike – but somehow fell into the dustbin of forgotten books. Edward Lewis Wallant (1926-1962) had published two novels before his death in 1962 from an aneuryism, “The Human Season,” and “The Pawnbroker.” Two other novels, including this one, were published posthumously. “The Pawnbroker,” of course, was adapted into an unfor ...more
Yeah this is that off-shoot and it remains profound and side-splitting.
Moonbloom is a ren ...more
Wallant, who also penned "The Pawnbroker", visits the life of Norman Moonbloom, a Building Agent for his slumlord brother. Moonbloom collects rent weekly from all the tenants of his brother's 4 buildings, thereby becoming a part of their lives, and he takes the brunt of their complaints regarding tenement conditions.
- Basellecci: The dignified man with the swollen toilet wall
- Jerry Wung: The Asian playboy hipster
- Beeler and his daughter Sheryl: Retired pha ...more
but where the characters Orwell meets effuse love and rage and seem to pass through like the quirky travel story you tell as a lark, Moonbloom's tenants have a fragile vulnerability that aches for something better than the decrepit buildi ...more
The tenants of Moonbloom Realty Corp are the poor, the dissolute, the forgotten and the forgetting. Several have blue numbers tattooed on their forearms. Norman Moonbloom, "New York's most educated rent-collector" now works for his slum landlord brother, Irwin, after decades spent as a feckless student, hopping from discipline to discipline. Norman, small, thin, with a " gambler-white face", wears a suit and oversized fedora which make him look like a child dressed as a gangster, and spends his ...more
En general, me gustan estas historias de perdedores, de gente que no encuentra su lugar en la sociedad, y esta nov ...more
Wallant projevuje nesporný talent v popisu postav, nezvěřitelně rozmanité charaktery dokáže popisovat k ležérní dokonalostí. Vlastně se nicmoc velkého neděje, ale ti lidé vám připadají čím dál zajímavější - nebo spíš ty jemné či hrubší rozdíly mezi jejich konkrétní nezajímavostí. Perfekt ...more
Norman Moonbloom is all of us. He wavers between dedication and stagnation. Moonbloom is a great character, in every way. He's a mystery, yet I felt like I've known him forever.
If the last pages of this book don't make you want to run out of your hou ...more
An indefinite frumplepuss parade marches laterally beside dimly lit vitrines that cradle some absentee landlord's indifferent objets d'art: almost-too-neat characterizations dealt in comic-strip serialism. Suddenly, a man with no qualities gets tenderhearted, and tenderheartedness leads to lightheadedness, then blunt trauma, then a shitstorm (literally!) of grace.
It's really good.
It's been less than two months since I read it, and already I'm tempted to go back and start again.
Wallant died of an aneurysm at the age of 36.
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Lazily soaping himself, he gave examples.
When he was five and Irwin eight, their father had breezed into town with a snowstorm and come to see them where they lived with their grandparents in the small Connecticut city. Their father had been a vagabond salesman and was considered a bum by people who should know. But he had come into the closed, heated house with all the gimcrack and untouchable junk behind glass and he had smelled of cold air and had had snow in his curly black hair. He had raved about the world he lived in, while the old people, his father and mother, had clucked sadly in the shadows. And then he had wakened the boys in the night and forced them out into the yard to worship the swirling wet flakes, to dance around with their hands joined, shrieking at the snow-laden branches. Later, they had gone in to sleep with hearts slowly returning to bearable beatings. Great flowering things had opened and closed in Norman's head, and the resonance of the wild man's voice had squeezed a sweet, tart juice through his heart. But then he had wakened to a gray day with his father gone and the world walking gingerly over the somber crust of dead-looking snow. It had taken him some time to get back to his usual equanimity.
He slid down in the warm, foamy water until just his face and his knobby white knees were exposed.
Once he had read Wuthering Heights over a weekend and gone to school susceptible to any heroine, only to have the girl who sat in front of him, whom he had admired for some months, emit a loud fart which had murdered him in a small way and kept him from speaking a word to anyone the whole week following. He had laughed at a very funny joke about a Negro when Irwin told it at a party, and then the following day had seen some white men lightly kicking a Negro man in the pants, and temporarily he had questioned laughter altogether. He had gone to several universities with the vague exaltation of Old Man Axelrod and had found only curves and credits. He had become drunk on the idea of God and found only theology. He had risen several times on the subtle and powerful wings of lust, expectant of magnificence, achieving only discharge. A few times he had extended friendship with palpitating hope, only to find that no one quite knew what he had in mind. His solitude now was the result of his metabolism, that constant breathing in of joy and exhalation of sadness. He had come to take shallower breaths, and the two had become mercifully mixed into melancholy contentment. He wondered how pain would breach that low-level strength. "I'm a small man of definite limitations," he declared to himself, and relaxed in the admission.”