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Shepherd Avenue [Kindle Edition]

Charlie Carillo , Tony Carillo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

First published in 1986. Named one of the Best Books of that year by the American Library Association.

After his mother's death, a shy 10-year-old boy from the suburbs must find a place for himself with his grandmother's boisterous Italian-American family in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood in the summer of 1961.

"Shepherd Avenue...has terrific force" - The New York Times

"Shepherd Avenue is a remarkably rich first novel, filled with marvelous and memorable scenes - Joey's first stickball game, his first hilarious and poignant brush with sex, his first fight, his first infatuations...What makes these scenes so marvelous is that they are informed always with a sure and true sense of exactly what it is like to be a 10-year-old boy who is trying to make sense of a world that often makes no sense."
- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"This first novel is most effective in capturing the idiosyncrasies of Italian-Americans..."
-Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

After his mother's death, Joey Ambrosio is left to live with his grandparents by his father, Sal. Sal needs to take time off to cope with his wife's death. Joey has a great deal to cope with, too: working through his grief and anger; forging a relationship with his grandparents and his uncle, people he hardly knows; and adjusting to the customs and habits of life in the Italian enclave in which his grandparents live. This first novel is most effective in capturing the idiosyncrasies of Italian-Americans and in depicting the secondary characters who live on Sherman Avenue. Recommended for collections with a demand for books on ethnic experiences; optional for other collections. Michael J. Esposito, formerly with Special Libraries Assn., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Charlie Carillo (Born in New York City, 1955) was a reporter and a columnist for the New York Post before becoming a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition." His first published novel, "Shepherd Avenue," was named one of the best books of the year by the American Library Association in 1986. His subsequent novels are "My Ride With Gus," "Raising Jake," "One Hit Wonder," "Found Money," "God Plays Favorites" and "The Man Who Killed Santa Claus."Charlie is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and his website is

Product Details

  • File Size: 407 KB
  • Print Length: 299 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, I hasten to mention that I truly appreciate Mr Carillo's work, overall. I have read some of his other books, and consider him an excellent author. But this one left me with a sour taste in my mouth, and a sense of oppression. I would NEVER recommend this book as a "coming of age" story. I cannot say it produced a single chuckle from me, and did little but make me feel sense of futility, hopelessness and even anger. Mind you...the writing itself is amazing. Charlie Carillo is a wordsmith who really knows how to make a story vivid and dynamic and how to elicit strong emotions. For his talent as an author in crafting this tale he should get at least 5 stars. However, the story itself drags the rating down. If it were not for the sheer power of the writing...I'd have been hard put to give this miserable yarn one star. It's a dirge celebrating misery. Certainly it's very "realistic". But it's far and away too grim. Relentless. The scene in the garage might have been humorous, but came off as embarrassing and was tainted by a sense of being mean spirited and even violent. The only characters in the book that I felt any sympathy for was the boy, the junk man and the man who bought the empty bottles from him. The father was an irresponsible loser who threw away his talent and ultimately his own son. The uncle was weak and a quitter. The grandfather was an enabler and seemed to keep himself aloof from reality. The neighbors and the church people were mostly cruel and sadistic. And the grandmother? That woman made me feel pure unadulterated hatred. She disgusted to a level that still leaves me with a sick feeling inside. Her psychosis, cruelty and selfishness were over the top. The only reason for her existence, perhaps, was to illustrate how destructive ignorance can be. Read more ›
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but some foul language February 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the book. Few books are so good that I stay up WAY later than I should reading them. This was one of them. I would let my kids read it, but the F-Bombs!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coming of age story March 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of Joey Ambrosio moving from the suburbs into a gritty blue collar neighbor hood of Brooklyn in the 1960's is a wonderful, funny and touching story of a boy thrust into a family he never knew and how he becomes a man in spite of all the misfortunes that come his way. You come to love this "fish out of water" and how he manages to make friends, learn to love and deal with a lot of family drama in a racially changing neighborhood with all of the 60's culture thrown in. How this emotionally needy young boy finds his way in this strange world will take your heart away and you will laugh all the way to the end. Great read don't miss.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Yawk, New Yawk January 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Joey is a 10 yr. old boy from Roslyn LI, NY, sent to live with his Grandparents (whom he doesn't know), in Brooklyn NY, for the summer. Having lived, to this point, a sheltered and protected life under the watchful eyes of his mother in the Long Island suburb, he is often awe struck in his new surroundings as he comes to terms with his mothers death and the realization that the world isn't all that he thought it was.

Forget the stereotypes you know from the movies. Carillo tells a tale of a true Italian-American family and neighborhood who bust balls relentlessly as they hand you the shirts off their backs. I related so well to these characters, I felt I knew them.

My one complaint would be in regards to the Kindle edition specifically. A bunch of typos throughout. (i.e. in one paragraph in particular, "he" was written "be" in two back to back sentences.) There were also a plethora of hyph-onated words through-out for no appar-ent reason as well. Made reading somewhat less enjoyable.

All in all however I enjoyed the book. No blockbuster here. Just a good story and a fun read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "real" great book-Shepherd Avenue February 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Shepherd Avenue is a wonderful book! The main character, Joey, draws you in with his innocence and increasing sass. The relationships between the characters are special and real-you feel like Carillo based it on his real life family experiences. It is charming, humorous and heartfelt!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD March 13, 2000
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read. September 1, 1999
By A Customer
Wonderful, endearing tale of a boy's summer in Brooklyn in the 1960's. Authentic, witty dialogue, characters, and settings make it exciting - and the action is as real as "Taxi Driver" or "Goodfellas". A highly dramatic story, left me wishing it'd never end. If this book is ever printed again, it's well worth reading.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE PLEASE November 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I was never more pleased than when I discovered two more books by Charlie Carillo.
He quickly has come to be one of my favorite authors. I will read anything he writes. I hope there is another story in the making.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shepherd Avenue
The story reminded me of people I've known who had basiclly good qualities but did not know how to communicate so that things come out wrong and misunderstood and tragic.
Published 11 days ago by Phyllis
5.0 out of 5 stars Shepherd Avenue
Really enjoyed this book. It was the first I have read by this author. Characters were strong and consistent. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Crates Excavating
2.0 out of 5 stars A Twisted Tale
A very odd story of crazy family dysfunction. The publisher did a. lousy job of proofreading ... spelling errors abound.
Published 12 days ago by AuntiYoyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I received this book for free, but I would have happily bought it for more than what it is currently priced at and I confess I am a cheapskate. Read more
Published 22 days ago by bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing tale about a little boy's Summer
Though I applaud the author's story-telling efforts, I found myself looking forward to finishing the book because it was just so sad. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Skybluespirit
5.0 out of 5 stars completely enjoyable reas
Kept my attention from beginning to end. Think it would be a great movie. Will look for more books from the author.
Published 2 months ago by cheryl irving
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Perspective
This is a well written look at another life style, another part of America, and written from the perspective of a young boy, whose life has been torn apart. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sirde
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story about a lonley boy growing up in NY NY
Very interesting and believable charters. Grew up in late 40's and 50's in Midwest but still could place myself in the locations and situations. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James B. Kuminecz
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most favorite books ever.
This was one of the first few books I got for my Kindle. And it was free. No, it's not a literary masterpiece by any means but I am so glad I discovered it because it's one of the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Susan Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Spun Tale!!
The author takes you right into Brooklyn, specifically Shepherd Avenue. You are soon hooked into the family's trials and tribulations and feel a part of the story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Peter Putt
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