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The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue: A Child of the Fifties Looks Back Paperback – June 5, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Since then I have become a comedian myself, and whenever asked who my favorite comedian is I answer "Robert Klein" without hesitation. I was thrilled to discover his memoir and am excited to be the first customer reviewer.
Klein once again displays the unique intelligence fans have valued for years by writing a detailed and touching memoir rather than a joke book. This book is rich with detailed memories. As an avid fan I was amazed and intrigued by how closely the routines I remember so fondly reflect Klein's real life. This confirms the theory that the best humor, and Klein is the very best, must come from the truth.
In a his classic routine about Alfred University ("people clap with one hand for Alfred") Klein recounted his shock upon discovering a dormitory neighbor with a swastika mobile and his frantic phone call home ("Mama, the boy next door..."). The book contains an in depth telling of the tale, which includes a brawl with the boy who insisted the shape wasn't actually a swastika.
In another old favorite routine Klein asked, "do you really have to wait an hour after you eat before you go swimming?" He went on to explain that his father claimed that you waited different times for different foods ("jello - five minutes, franks and beans - you can't go in till NEXT YEAR.") The book tells this true story in great detail.Read more ›
His parents were children of immigrant Jews who were "careful, cautious, wary people" and passed on their concerns to Klein and his sister. His bedroom was a Castro convertable ottoman in the living room of their small 6th floor apartment.
The first four chapters cover his life in junior high and high school in the Bronx. Having grown up in the Bronx myself during this time, I found these very well written and full of delightful details.
The next five chapters are about his life at Alfred University in rural upstate New York. Here he confronts anti-Semitism and develops a love of acting and comedy. He also works summers in the Catskill Mountain resorts made famous in the movie "Dirty Dancing." He is no Patrick Swayze, and his amorous nature is mostly unfulfilled.
The last six chapters tell the story of his breaking into show business. His first success in Chicago's Second City and his friendship with Rodney Dangerfield are highlights of this section.
One of the recurring themes of the work is his sexual relations over time. Beginning with his losing his virginity to a 112th Street prostitute, Klein reminisces about the women in his life and the sexual and sometimes loving relations he had with them. Although he is not very graphic in his descriptions, this male oriented portrayal of sex in the 50s and early 60s may seem insensitive by modern standards.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Genius. Wish he'd come for dinner. And have him read some to us. Fans gotta have it.Published 8 months ago by C. goldberg
Klein's ribald and raucous recollections about his early life and career make for amusing and entertaining reading. Read morePublished 18 months ago by D. Lippert
Wonderful .iwent to school with Robert Klein,and this book brought back a lot of memories.also I met Robert and he signed the book..iwent to ps94and jha80 which is in the book.Published 24 months ago by Ted Skir
I guess Klein's sex life was the driving force in his young life so the book got pretty boring in a hurry. Read morePublished on October 5, 2013 by SoCalGal
After reading a number of chapters, I didn't know if I was reading about the life or Robert Klein or Alexander Portnoy. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by John Aquilegia
I love the humor of Robert Klein, but in written text, it does not translate well. Sorry, but It was so-soPublished on April 11, 2013 by CONCHEM