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Broadway Baby Paperback – January 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565129830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565129832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,612,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Shapiro is the author of ten volumes of poetry and two memoirs, one of which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, among other honors. He currently teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Find him online at www.alanshapiro.org.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Frauenglas VINE VOICE on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Shapiro is the author of 10 books of poetry & two memoirs. I think this is his first novel. In short, this is the fictional biography of Miriam Bluestein, from childhood to her 80's & living in an adult care facility. Miriam is raised by her grandparents, as her own Mom is rarely present in her pre-teenage years. Miriam's dream, since she was 10, was to be a Broadway star. Her mother always thwarted her desires & when she got old enough, she worked in her mother's clothing store. Her dreams always seem to get thwarted. She marries at an early age to a very handsome man who never becomes as successful as he promised her he would become. She also discovers she strongly dislikes sex. She has three children, but none seem close to her. She chooses one son to constantly nag into being a song & dance actor, once she discovers he has a fine voice. The reader doesn't root for Miriam to win in the end, because she's not a likable character. I also wasn't all that thrilled with this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Penelope on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
This story is depressing and negative. The characters are empty and lack warmth... I never cared much about them. Don't waste your time on this one!
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Broadway Baby - wonderful book. The rhythm and pace were just right - slow when it needed to be slow and succinct when that was called for. The transformation of the relationships over time was very moving to me - particularly the relationship of the men to Miriam and Miriam to them. The poignancy of Miriam's awakening in the nursing home to her missing Curly despite a life-time of her resentment and the transformation of Sam's relationship to Miriam - letting go of the childhood angst - were very relevant to my life and I'm sure to many others. With our aging can come healing, wisdom and a certain perspective all of which you capture so eloquently and seamlessly.

The sense of humor and double entendre added a special flavor (cultural, sophisticated, caustic, and fun). There is also a sadness, and loss that comes through - lost opportunity for meaningful intimacy and lost opportunity to experience a loving connection free of or at least with the fetters of family somewhat in perspective.

Thanks for the lessons and the pleasure of a good read. I am going to recommend the book to my 92 year old mother for her book club - oy vey!!!

Can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed this. I thought it would be about classic stage mother, like in Gypsy, but really, the mother's hangups went way beyond that and, in fact, the object of the stage mothering was not even the most interesting of the children. So I don't think the book was well-served by the title, Broadway Baby, because it was much more universal than "Broadway Baby" suggests. All of which is to say that whether or not you're interested in mothers that drive their kids to auditions, you should read it because its more about mothers who drive their kids to distraction, a metaphorical stage mother who, yes, vicariously lives out her theatrical dreams through one of her kids, but also a judgmental narcisstic woman who so needs validation she never got from her own mother that she cannot accept anyone for who they are unless they are a mirror image of her. Depressing, yes, as one other reviewer says, but well worth the read.
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