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Jun 29, 2009 Upom rated it really liked it
First of all, what a great title for a book. The juxtaposition of the cerebral and the aesthetic always brings warmth to my heart, which made me notice the book in the first place. Second Lombardo's short story collection is a really charming and wonderful account of life for adolescents in a working-class neighborhood in 1970's Chicago. The vivid description of characters and places brought Bridgeport and Petey Bellapani's childhood to life. Full of moments that define childhood and show pain, ...more
This look at growing up through the eyes of a boy in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood recalls a bygone era, but is not overly sentimental. It's a group of short stories that could easily have taken place in any one of a dozen Italian American enclaves, but is more about growing up than a specific neighborhood or culture. Its characters are known to us, painted with love, but not cliched. Whether the events are happy or tragic, the boy's discoveries of life are filled with that wonder of observa ...more
I officially have a new favorite author: Billy Lombardo! Both of his books (this and How to Hold a Woman) are beautifully written. Had they not been library books, I would have been highlighting passages like mad: "It is fair to say that Rain had a crush on the world." and "She was never far from a broken heart because of the things she loved, but it was worth the crush of them.:
PLEASE WRITE MORE, BILLY!!!
PLEASE WRITE MORE, BILLY!!!
So well done. Besides artfully painting a classic Chicago neighborhood and it's relationships, this book captures the process of growing up, showing a boy's mind develop from carefree to the time he makes considerations for those around him. It captures the process, life, with such a sensitive consideration for each detail that you want to share the book with everyone else you know that would appreciate stories so well told.
Thanks, Betsy for suggesting this! My rating is really 4-1/2 but not quiiite a 5. This is a set of short stories set in Bridgeport, most of them from the perspective of an italian-american boy coming of age in the early 70s. It was sweet and very familiar, even though I grew up in the 'burbs about 10 years later. I want to recommend it to all my tough city-raised sport fan guy pals but they may be too chicken to take the tender parts. The writing is just lovely.
Lombardo has a great ear for dialogue -- I can hear his characters as easily as I heard the shouting match outside my window at 3:00 a.m. this morning (also in Bridgeport). The first-person narration by preadolescent Petey Bellapani was vivid and convincing, even during moments that I thought verged on a maudlin reconstruction of child-like thinking.
Petey Bellapani grew up in Bridgeport, Chicago were at a very young age begna to be exposed to different scenerios that has altered his growth mentally. There were a series of events that occured leading petey to basically fall to the point in which it took something significant to change him again.