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Blue Eyes (Isaac Sidel #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Set in a shocking New York underworld populated by a constellation of punks, low lifes, thugs, nymphs, vice lords and bag men, Blue Eyes is the second book in Jerome Charyn's classic Isaac Quartet. Manfred 'Blue Eyes' Coen is a cop on loan to the First Deputy's office, sent to the mean streets of his old Bronx neighbourhood to do some very dirty business. Child brides are ...more
Published July 1st 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1975)
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Lenore Webb
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading the most unpolicitally correct book ever! And loving it. Blue Eyes by Jerome Charyn is on tour with Tribute Books and stopped by to see me. Now I am a fan of Jerome's but it is because his writing is so varied. Every time I open a new book of his I see a new writing style and that intrigues me. Blue Eyes is the first book in a series that Jerome did some years ago. We are revisiting the series since it is working hard on becoming Hard Apple, an adult animated series. With the ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Συμπαθέστατη τετραλογία, με κάποιος ιδιαίτερους χαρακτήρες.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Detective Manfred Coen is a product of the streets. Raised in the '40's in New York City in the Bronx, he grows up with Jewish gangsters, con men, policemen and politicians. Most guys gravitated either to the police or the gangs, and Coen ends up in the police. He is the protege of Captain Issac Sidel and is disliked by the rank and file both for his mentor and for his blond hair, blue-eyed Hollywood handsome good looks.

But times change. Sidel is now out of the force, disgraced in a bribery scan
Lenore Webb
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading the most unpolicitally correct book ever! And loving it. Blue Eyes by Jerome Charyn is on tour with Tribute Books and stopped by to see me. Now I am a fan of Jerome's but it is because his writing is so varied. Every time I open a new book of his I see a new writing style and that intrigues me. Blue Eyes is the first book in a series that Jerome did some years ago. We are revisiting the series since it is working hard on becoming Hard Apple, an adult animated series. With the ...more
Tia Bach
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Eyes reads like a gritty exposé of New York City in the 1970s. Corruption, greed, family ties, and questionable loyalties abound. Manfred Coen is loyal to his mentor, Isaac Sidel, and weakened by the town whore, Odile. But where others' loyalties lie is constantly evolving.

Coen, through a series of twist and turns and changing family allegiances, is thrust into the dirty world of ping-pong hustling and human trafficking. Young girls are being sold, but even that storyline isn't as black and
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
If you're a fan of classic noir pulp fiction, Jerome Charyn's Blue Eyes would be a great place to indulge your interest. The first book in a series of four, Blue Eyes has a lot in common with other great pulp fiction published in the early seventies, although the author reminds me most of Ross MacDonald (if MacDonald was writing about New York).

The main character, Manfred Coen, is a detective caught up in a feud between his mentor Isaac Sidel and a group of pickpockets. The story takes us on a j
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I'm going to be honest from the start, I didn't finish this book. I am pretty open minded when it comes to books. Since I have been blogging reviews, I have expanded my reading horizons significantly. The synopsis for Blue Eyes looked very interesting, so I thought I would give it a shot. About 3 chapters in, I was so confused that I was struggling to keep up my interest in the book. I found myself searching the internet to read more about the synopsis to figure out what was going on. This is ne ...more
Carol Evans
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, for-review
Like most vintage mysteries, there’s some racism and sexism that needs overlooked, and some jargon I was unfamiliar with. But the characters were amazing. They were all nuts, from the Chinaman who wore a red wig and couldn’t work in Chinatown to Coen’s Spanish stoolie who he actually seemed to have a good relationship with. There’s a young porn star/prostitute, who in her real life prefers the company of women, but of course falls for Coen none the less. There’s the old man who runs numbers, and ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
può un romanzo grottesco, surreale e divertente essere anche malinconico al punto di commuovere? può un libro seguire la storia di un uomo e delle persone che gravitano intorno a lui rivelandoti solo nel finale quanto fossero tutti burattini manovrati dal personaggio apparentemente più marginale del libro? quanto storie si potranno ambientare ancora a new york riuscendo -come fa questo libro- a non cadere nei peggiori cliché e perchè nessuno riesce mai a dipingerla in questo modo, concreta e al ...more
Wendy Hines
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the first Jerome Charyn novel I have had the pleasure to read. I don't know why I've never heard of him before - his writing is phenomenal. From page one, I was pulled into his world of crime and multi-faceted characters. Sidel and Coen aren't your average detectives and it is that uniqueness that makes them shine. From the shady corners of the seventies in New York comes a pulp fiction sort of novel that will leave you waiting for the next installment. Blue Eyes was originally published ...more
Fabio Tassi
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Scrittura funambolica, ma troppo declinato sul registro grottesco e a tratti surreale per essere coinvolgente ed emozionante fino in fondo (quarta stella stirata - tendente a tre stelle nella mia classifica di gradimento). Raccomandato per appassionati dell'Autore Charyn (o del genere alla Pennac), anche se tanti squarci metropolitani rendono bene le atmosfere dei quartieri della grande mela... nulla a che vedere pero' con il Bronx ancora piu' nero e iper-realistico di Chester Himes! Incuriosisc ...more
Otto Penzler
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even if you don't generally read mysteries, author Jerome Charyn may be the author to change your mind. Probably best known for such historical fiction as The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, he has created a unique mystery series, beginning with Blue Eyes, about Isaac Sidel, the complicated detective whose bad decisions set off a chain reaction for blue - eyed cadet Manfred Coen. A surprise twist catches you off guard and keeps the prose exciting as Coen is pushed into the investigation of a hum ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Extraordinary and strange tale of a blue-eyed Jewish New York detective, abandoned by his mentor, Isaac Sidel, tossed from department to department, loathed as a spy by his fellow cops, he is thrust into the dealings of the Guzmann family from his old Bronx neighbourhood to shut down the delivery of young girls to Mexico. Surrounded by enemies, Coen is tough but vulnerable, and only has time for ping-pong. Told in lovely, lyrical prose that packs more info and character and sights and sounds in ...more
Michael Lussier
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jerome Charyn has written a beautiful elegy to crime and punishment in the five boroughs. Charyn isn't your typical genre writer. He tells character-driven shaggy dog stories, much like Dickens did. 1970s New York is depicted in the Isaac novels exactly as I remember it - crumbling, dangerous and incongruously multicultural; full of misdirected frustration, bitter truths and unhealthy romance.

This is a good read for anyone who enjoys Raymond Chandler and J. G. Ballard. Charyn isn't so much inte
Debbie Darwine
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Debbie by: Michael
I had read a later book in the series, which I liked well enough that I decided to start from the beginning. Charyn has a unique style that I really enjoy, and find myself re-reading sentences just because I like the images he's created, or the odd mix of words. The story is interesting in a surreal way, which I'm beginning to see is a trademark, and it certainly goes places I wouldn't have expected if I hadn't already read the later book. If you're a hard-boiled procedural fan who enjoys wordpl ...more
Paula Ratcliffe
This book was written in 1977, while reading that much was evident in the story. We meet Manfred Coen who sets out to find out who kidnapped the daughter of a porn director. This book while very good, I found myself having to look up some things as I wasn’t around in the early 70′s and didn’t know certain things, like Orange O’s. This book would be great for mystery buffs who love reading about New York in the 70′s, and about the Police in that time frame. Full of adventure, and tons of mystery! ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. A Jewish detective in New York? Right in my wheelhouse. And there were many interesting aspects of it: the
Marrano elements in particular. But overall, I didn't like it. The language was hard to penetrate: trying too hard to capture the lingo and slang of the underworld and police. I need a character to root for in a novel, someone to believe in or respect. But these characters were either weird, unsympathetic, evil, or uninteresting. The storytelling itself ju
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Eyes is an extra hard-boiled tale of a disgraced detective and his protégé. Coen, the young cadet, is pulled into a human slavery/trafficking investigation by Isaac Sidel. Sidel and Coen live in a world filled with crime, unsavory characters, and wicked twists of fate. Mr. Charyn keeps you guessing via rich descriptions and gritty language. The first in a series about Detective Isaac Sidel, Blue Eyes is a wild ride through the darkest of noir.
Διαβάζοντάς αυτό το βιβλίο μετά το τελευταίο της τετραλογίας μπορώ να δω πολλές διαφορές στη γραφή του Charyn. Το βιβλίο είναι άναρχο και απρόσμενο. Όχι στη γραφή αλλά στα συναισθήματα και τις συμπεριφορές των προσώπων του. Και πάλι σε μαγνητίζει, μην μπορώντας βέβαια πολλές φορές να καταλάβεις τη ψυχοσύνθεσή τους, όσο και αν προσπαθήσεις.
Paul Boger
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A very literary crime novel, as if Chester Himes had written "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold." While the plot is loose, at best, and lacking any real tension, themes of family and tribe mingle with scenes of tabloid NYC. This is the first of a quartet featuring Issac Sidel and Manfred Coen, but I don't know if I'll read the others. An interesting experiment, but certainly not a page-turner.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Received this book as a gift and enjoyed it. The dialog was a little difficult to follow because of the New York City Jewish characters but at the same time it portrayed a different culture than I am familiar with.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reread
A reread. Curious voice, bleak tone, no women except caricatures, smell and taste only used to disgust, narration & storyline entirely relegated to background. very strange - cannot make up my mind about this.
Bridget Weller
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
Some patches of really nice prose, but the relentless misogyny is tedious.
rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2009
Avi Alany
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2012
Phil Dyess-Nugent
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2009
Lenore Riegel
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2010
rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2009
rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2010
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Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With more than 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature." New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac," and the L
More about Jerome Charyn...

Other Books in the Series

Isaac Sidel (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Marilyn the Wild (Isaac Quartet, #2)
  • The Education of Patrick Silver (Isaac Quartet, #3)
  • Secret Isaac (Isaac Quartet, #4)
  • The Good Policeman (Isaac Sidel #5)
  • Maria's Girls (Isaac Sidel #6)
  • Montezuma's Man (Isaac Sidel #7)
  • Little Angel Street (Isaac Sidel #8)
  • El Bronx (Isaac Sidel #9)
  • Citizen Sidel (Isaac Sidel #10)
  • Under the Eye of God (Isaac Sidel #11)

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