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Hollywood via Orchard Street

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Deciding that the hopelessness he sees around him on New York’s squalid Lower East Side during the Great Depression isn’t for him, a young man invents an alter ego with the chutzpah he hopes will make a name for himself. In the process he accidentally ignites a war between the Irish mob and a Chinese tong, learns to drink and finds love for the first time. Will he and his ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published July 2nd 2018 by Wayne Clark YUL/NYC
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I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A kid in New York tries to get a better life by hanging around gangsters.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway and tried to do the right thing. My intention was to read and review the gift I was given. It wasn’t until 19%, and what felt like at least 20 content error submissions, before I realized I was taking my good intentions too far. I wasn’t getting paid to proofread!

How can an author not know that you have to use end quotes...or have a basic grasp of commas...or invest in a qualified proofreader? When my reading became more about seeking out the next typo th
Guy Wheatley
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People tell you to “be yourself.” That didn’t work out so well for Charles Czerny. “i am nothing,” he declares with a little “i” to emphasize the point. He will eventually capitalize the "I" as his self esteem grows. This nobody has dreams and ambitions. He decided to become somebody and invents a persona with the grit and chutzpah to escape the squalid life of Orchard Street.
This a depression era story involving gangs with a feel of the musical “Gangs of New York.” Charles becomes “Bulldog,” an
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘The Depression was forcing people without jobs to take to the streets to sell what little they owned.’

Canadian author Wayne Clark has been around - as a journalist, a reporter, and editor, a freelance writer and translator, a copywriter, and an astute observer of life in all its permutations. He travels (all over Canada, across the pond to Germany and Holland, and down in the third American level of Mexico), he sees, probably fantasizes a lot. Stir that pot and out comes a novelist who takes ri
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charles Czerny from England used to live in Orchard Street with his mother and uncle. He depicts the importance of contorting to pursue a satisfied life. He had a typewriter as a memory from the street of Mangin and there was an analogy between the typewriter and working of his heart and mind. Due to depression those days, people wanted jobs so Charles was unable to express writing as his interest. In contrast to other boys of the same age, Charles’ addiction was newsprint. At the young age, he ...more
Payal Sinha
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hollywood via Orchard Street is a coming of age story in the times of depression. Here the protagonist Charles Chuck is a school dropout with no skills or abilities to make it big in the times of depression. However, he has a determined mind and he is ready to do anything with hook or crook to rise above his level. The boy's initial life is filled with loneliness, depravity, and misery. Even as a young child he is burdened with the responsibility to look after his ungrateful mother who scolds hi ...more
Diane Robinson
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The goal,” young Charles Czerny scribbled in pencil, “was to become someone else.”—The opening line of Hollywood via Orchard Street instantly sets the pace of this story about a young man’s ambitions to leave the lackluster life of Orchard Street, to do something more with his life than to sell newspapers on the street.

Charles Czerny is a meek young man, a grade-seven dropout who can memorize poetry. He needs to create a persona that is tougher and bolder, a persona that will get him out of the
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title “Hollywood via Orchard Street” acts as an instant jerk to your attention, with expectancy of bright lights and dazzle. I however think that the grit and grovel – the Great Depression – acts as a very stark contrast to the reality of the main character Charles Czerny. Charles has ambition and is very aware of his current impoverished situation but he actively plans for a better future as a journalist. Such an ambition at that time was really unusual when the average person was happy wit ...more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
During the great depression, a young man named Charles Czerny decides to reinvent himself as someone who is tougher and would get him out of his dead-end job as a newspaper delivery boy. Even though most people would be immensely grateful to have a job in those times, Charles is a dreamer, he wants to be someone, so he will contort himself as he says to lift himself out of the poverty he lives in. This decision leads him into the arms of the Mob and as “Bulldog”, he starts working for them. On t ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a treat this book is. The thing that blew me away is the atmosphere that the author created, that is hands down the best part. It is so much like some old Hollywood movie, with the setting and characters, gangs, criminals, dialogues, everything is so spot on and just dripping in atmosphere. I could roll around in ti, seriously. The author takes his time with developing plot and characters, and it pays off. Charles is excellent main character, likable, interesting, crafty, you just root for ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review-2019
Hollywood Via Orchard Street in a Depression Era novel that follows Charles Czerny from boyhood. We watch Charles, an aspiring writer, reinvent himself rather dramatically in his quest for a different life for himself. All does not go smoothly though as he finds himself intertwined with mob bosses and gangsters along the way. Wayne Clark masterfully creates the scenes in a way that pulls the reader in with realistic dialogue littered with appropriate lingo and artfully describing each setting. T ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hollywood via Orchard Street by Wayne Clark is such a great story about one guy named Charles, and the challenges he faces during the Great Depression. This is a well thought out story, and Charles is an interesting character as we get to know him first as a young kid and then into adulthood. He aspires to be a writer, but leaving school in the 7th grade may not bode well for him. Instead, he has taught himself things he needs to know, not the least of which is how to survive. He ends up support ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read one review before I bought this book that really made an impression on me and I have to say that I agree with him this is like an old James Cagney movie. It has that wonderful feel to it being sent during the Great Depression and The Gangs of New York or a big part of that time I'm always going to be no the main character in the book Charlie believes he's nothing even in the sizes this by using the little i instead of an uppercase I. So he decides to become someone else to escape the life ...more
Christine Lough
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful, I was able to relate to it on so many levels it was scary, and I think most people who read it will do the same. What really stuck out to me was the fact that the storyline was based on a man’s alter ego. He does things throughout the novel that he wouldn’t do as himself, basically, he was living a double life. In a sense, we all live a double life, we all have skeletons in our closets, and do or think things that we wouldn’t want anyone else to know about.

What drives t
Julius Blitzy
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are so many hidden stories like this one scattered around all known ages of this world, who could tell this didn’t happen in reality? There is such an exquisite quality provided here that gives me a mix of emotions while reading, and that’s not an easy feat by any means.
The best version of yourself is probably not enough to face the depression of your time, but for Charles that’s just a mere obstacle to overcome, and when he succeeds he will overcome any sorrow in his life, but this new al
Jimmy Jefferson
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great depression creates life changing opportunity

Hollywood via orchard street is a well written story about the great depression era and a man who takes the opportunity to create himself in a whole new light. He is no longer a timid shy shadow. The new ego makes him desirable, tough, and strong. Of course he may have started a mob war in the process of his newly found courage. The characters are well developed and the descriptions of the time and era make you feel like you are right there in t
Charlie Latham
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gripping, exciting and unpredictable, I really enjoyed this book, the storylines great, all about a guy who makes an alter ego for himself and then starts living that life in order to achieve great things in a difficult time.

The character development is done brilliantly and the way that the two versions of the same self are intertwined is very clever.

There’s loads of mobs and gangsters and stuff in it which I always find interesting and exciting.

It made me question how we construct our own pe
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hollywood via Orchard Street is the story of Charles, a writer trying to scrape together a decent life for himself during the Great Depression era in New York City. Mr. Clark does a marvelous job of conjuring up that time-period and makes the characters and atmosphere feel authentic to the period, or at least authentic to our current romanticized version of that period through books and movies.

The plot involves a lot of twists and turns, difficult decisions in working with various crime lords, a
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Ambition and Challenges!
The story is a journey of a young man who has a goal to be someone else, who is stronger with hope to find a way to move ahead. In his journey he is able to transform himself, join mobs life, connects with Hollywood and falls in love. The plot that has a variety of characters from the newspaper business, Hollywood, gangster that connects well and overall based on an ambitious man who wants to go after his goal regardless of all challenges and obstacles.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully written book about a man and his alter ego. I love the fact that the reason behind the alter ego developing is almost left up to you to decide. Personally, I feel that it is a survival instinct. The time of the great depression was rough to say the least, and this guys alter ego kept him going in a sense. At first I wondered whether or not it would be confusing to follow, but I had no issues. Hooked from the beginning, highly recommend.
I won a Kindle version of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

This book reminded me of many gangster "streets of NYC" type movies. There's action, there are dames (sorry), there are thugs, warring gangs, and the grittiness of NYC during the 1930s. While I liked the overall idea, at times it seemed like the author threw more in because he could make it "even more" like those movies. An interesting idea, but it didn't always work for this reader.
Anishella Jb
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hollywood via Orchard Street is the story of a young man named Charles who lived in New York’s Lower East Side during the Great Depression. I highly recommended this book. I couldn’t put it down. This book is for anyone who loves well-written historical novels, ones that are funny and full of gangsters and people who triumph against all odds.
Kimberley Michelle
Wayne Clark an author's name to remember!

How inventive, creative, scene setting, encaptivating and beautiful. This book felt like watching a movie from the 1920s. There is drama, dreams, tension, emotion but not too much emotion or flowery language.
Jennifer Hunt
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: give-away-wins
I'm a fan of gangster stories but this goes beyond your run-of-the-mill mob. Love story, coming of age, finding friendship and finding ones self all rolled in to one. ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Won this Ebook on Goodreads and loved it. It had everything I loved in it. A good son, a good mob story, Broadway drama and the underdog hero. Would love to see a sequel, miss Bulldog already!
rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2020
Need a movie about this

The battle between Charlie and his other persona is very entertaining. The whole story was SO fun to read I could picture it so vividly in my mind and everything! I could see this being a magical movie. Loved it so much, from beginning to end!
Melissa Cheresnick
rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2019
Beth Long
rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2019
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Wayne Clark is the author of general fiction novel Hollywood via Orchard Street, historical fiction novel That Woman: Beating the odds in Colonial New York, and literary-fiction novel he & She.

Award-winning author Wayne Clark was born in 1946 in Ottawa, Ont., but has called Montreal home since 1968. Woven through that time frame in no particular order have been interludes in Halifax, Toron

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