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A Boardwalk Story [Kindle Edition]

J. Louis Yampolsky
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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"Yampolsky conjures the Atlantic City of yesterday - the one that’s been bulldozed over to make way for glittering casinos and towering cement parking lots. An impressive debut."
— Bryant Simon, author, Boardwalk of Dreams

1939. The tenth year of the Great Depression in America. Europe teeters on the brink of war. In Atlantic City, New Jersey - a seashore resort town that springs to life every summer - Jack Laurel comes of age.

At 15, Jack’s life is turned upside down by an almost magical convergence of people and events. A mysterious boardwalk entertainer inspires a love of literature, a feud with neighborhood bullies escalates, and innocence is lost. Jack stumbles into commodities trading with two men: one a reclusive mystic, the other a charismatic pitchman and mathematical savant. The musings of a boardwalk fortuneteller set the three partners up to reap unimagined profits - but a house of cards is about to come down around them and, with it, the wrath of an iron-fisted crime boss.

In his first novel, J. Louis Yampolsky evokes the days when Atlantic City was the "Playground of the World" - the home of gilded Arabesque hotels, parades, pageants, and the famous Steel Pier. A Boardwalk Story is a startling debut from a remarkable new voice in American fiction.

“A rich, detailed visit to an Atlantic City that now exists only in memory. ... A Boardwalk Story tells a coming-of-age tale of equal parts charm and excitement, with a generous helping of danger that takes you by surprise.”
—Jim Waltzer, co-author, Tales of South Jersey, and author, Sound of Mind

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Yampolsky conjures the Atlantic City of yesterday - the one that s been bulldozed over to make way for glittering casinos and towering cement parking lots. An impressive debut." --Bryant Simon, author, Boardwalk of Dreams "A rich, detailed visit to an Atlantic City that now exists only in memory. ...A Boardwalk Story tells a coming-of-age tale of equal parts charm and excitement, with a generous helping of danger that takes you by surprise. --Jim Waltzer, coauthor, Tales of South Jersey, and author, Sound of Mind

A rich, detailed visit to an Atlantic City that now exists only in memory. ...A Boardwalk Story tells a coming-of-age tale of equal parts charm and excitement, with a generous helping of danger that takes you by surprise. --Jim Waltzer, coauthor, Tales of South Jersey, and author, Sound of Mind

"He writes with the wisdom of an older person but tells the story with excitement and danger looming at the end of every page forcing you to continue turning the page to "find out what happens next." (I read the book in two nights--and found myself crying and wanting more). --Marguerite Regina Belger, margueritananfara.blogspot.com

About the Author

J. Louis Yampolsky is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He practiced public accounting for 40 years before retiring from public practice to become a financial manager of trusts and investment partnerships. Mr. Yampolsky lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and in Margate, New Jersey, with his wife, Judith. They have five children, nine grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. A Boardwalk Story is Mr. Yampolsky s first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1611 KB
  • Print Length: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing, Inc. (September 7, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y0XO14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,498 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Super Reading Experience February 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This author's first novel is riveting. It graphically, and skillfully, describes Atlantic City before the Casino Era. Things in those bygone days were very different than the current scene, but there was certainly no lack of intrigue, adventure, and human interest. Read it and learn about boardwalk hucksters, commodity market opportunities and lurking danger, and the influence of the classic "bosses" of old. Throw in a dash of sex and politics and you have a terrific reading experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that would make a great movie! March 2, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I swear if this book had some marketing dollars behind it or was published by a major company like Random House, it would be a #1 best seller. The author wrote the book using an easy conversational style making it an easy read. He fully developed each character so that I had a perfect idea of Jack, Zena, Roland, etc... in my mind. I read some web chatter that this could be made into a movie...fingers crossed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Welcome to Atlantic City circa 1939, the recreation capital of the Jersey Shore, a wondrous place lined with amusement arcades, elegant hotels, and antique shops. Here men and women stroll along the boardwalk in their best leisure suits and fancy dresses, pitchmen hawk products to eager tourists, and permanent residents move to basement apartments to make room for the summer crowd. In this tenth year of the Great Depression, money's tight and war looms on the horizon. But as the days get longer, fifteen-year-old Jack Laurel is preoccupied with his new job at Krilow's Kitchen Gadgets, his neighbor Rhoda's sexy figure, and avoiding the wrath of neighborhood bullies.

With his best friend away, Jack falls into the company of a motley group of adults. Charming pitchman Benny James amazes him with his ability to attract gorgeous girls, and Morris, a watercolor artist with a secret life as a mechanical man, introduces him to the joys of literature. Then things really get thrown for a loop when a loner with a talent for commodities trading enters the picture. With the help of a fortuneteller who doesn't believe in her own abilities, they stumble into an unlikely business partnership which proves astoundingly successful and attracts the notice of a powerful Italian crime boss. Jack's love life also picks up speed, but growing up brings complications along with new discoveries, and soon he starts to feel like he's leading two separate lives.

This fast-paced coming-of-age tale stands apart from the pack. Jack, writing today, recounts his story while looking back on his youth. His narration, clear and snappy and forthright, switches smoothly between an adolescent's exuberance and an older, more seasoned man's experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars engaging tale of a time long ago March 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the characters fascinating, and the picture of Atlantic City in 1939 so detailed I want to go back in time and experience it myself. I've known the author for most of my life yet this seems to come out of no where, fully formed like a Greek God. A great story, a great ending. Thank you, Jack.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful July 26, 2013
By hug
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book so much that I didn't want it to end! I would love to read a sequel to this book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative. June 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I love historical fiction, love boardwalks, and mainly read to be entertained...so this book met those criteria. I could have managed with FAR less information about the cocoa bean futures transactions, but I did learn a bit about commodities trading. I also did not have to be reminded about certain facts about characters throughout the book. I wondered about all the 5-star reviews, but it appears that most of these came from friends of the author (this was the only book they reviewed).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Richly detailed and engaging January 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heartily agree with the reviewer who said this novel reads like a movie! The details of the old Atlantic City are plentiful and colorful, as are the character descriptions. The plot is interesting and well-paced, with some fun contortions along the way. The highlight for me was actually understanding (after many previous efforts to learn) how the commodities markets work! For whatever reason, the explanations here made complete sense to me. (I still think it's gambling, but at least it's informed gambling.) This story made me deeply miss the old AC. I made several visits as a child in the 60s, long after our story takes place, but well before the invasion of Trump, etc. I remember the old Steel Pier, the arcades, the remains of the carnies and barkers, and the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall, where my parents and I spent a few magical New Year's Eves. This was a very pleasant piece of nostalgia for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like watching a movie December 5, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful ead. It combines Bildunsroman with an exciting trip through sophisticated financial manipulations. The characters staed with me. I can see a slimmer Alec Baldwin as Benny, mentor to the hero, who show helps him on the path to manhood. Although set in 1939, the storey evokes all the glamour of Atlantic city in the forties, before everyone traveled to Europe for vacation.
E.Streit Cohen, an old AC hand
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Broadwalk Story
This is a delightful and educational look at Atlantic City pre WWII. I was lucky enough to go to a book signing and had a chance to meet and talk to the author. Read more
Published on November 17, 2010 by JillS
5.0 out of 5 stars Mid-20th Century Atlantic City
Though this is fiction, there are enough actual sites and events to have meaning for all who remember Atlantic City back then, especially if you grew up there or visited... Read more
Published on November 29, 2009 by booklover
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Boardwalk Story" is an amazing first novel
I was only four years old in 1939, but my parents took me to Atlantic City on many occasions in the ensuing years. Read more
Published on November 25, 2009 by Gary R. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars " A Boardwalk Story" is not just a beach book
"A Boardwalk Story" sends you back to Atlantic City during the years when men wore suits and ladies wore dresses to walk the boards. Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Joseph Marinaro
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the blue!
Like falling into a hole, one is inexorably drawn in to this startling find. The characters are memorable, the plot is a riot, and beneath the surface one is captivated by the way... Read more
Published on November 5, 2009 by William Ditmire
5.0 out of 5 stars A NOSTALGIC GEM - PERFECT FOR A MOVIE!
A BOARDWALK STORY is a nostalgic gem, a perfect description of what it must have been like to grow up in pre-WWII Atlantic City, before the post-war boom. Read more
Published on October 27, 2009 by Alan Trustman
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