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Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories Hardcover – June 1, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“A borough native wrestles with con men, gangsters and the biggest villain of all―Robert Moses…. One is left with no doubt that Jerome Charyn’s shriek, his war cry, his own peculiar music, was born [in the Bronx].”
- Abraham Socher, Wall Street Journal

“[Jerome Charyn] is to the Bronx what Saul Bellow, early in his career, was to Upper Broadway―bard, celebrant, mythologizer.”
- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

“It is no small achievement to be the Babel of the Bronx.”
- Leslie Epstein, New York Times Book Review

“Sharp-edged short stories…Charyn’s narrative sleight of hand is wonderfully at play…. Despite the hard edges, and there are many, a rich sweetness flows just below the surface of Bitter Bronx.”
- Wendell Jamieson, New York Times Book Review

“[T]here are certain constants in Charyn’s work: an energetic, urbane prose, a playful approach to narrative, a fascination with history, and a downbeat, noir-ish perspective. This fatalistic outlook coexists comfortably with the ebullient verve and propulsion of his prose…. Whether writing about Yiddish theatre or silent film or movie palaces or old Bronx neighborhoods, Charyn is the curator, celebrant, and mourner of lost worlds…. The prose impresses with its accumulation of apt details, fresh diction, and serpentine syntax…. Is Charyn truly a romantic or a trickster? Hard to say on the basis of these entertaining stories: probably both. They are written with confidence, fluidity, mischievous aplomb, and a lifetime’s worth of acquired literary skill. A light ironic touch peeps through these tales of doomed passion, as though the septuagenarian Charyn were mocking his own former searching for a movie-type love, his previous ‘constant adolescence’ of hungering for dream women.”
- Phillip Lopate, New York Review of Books

“In this collection of stories, Charyn’s characters leave blighted streets only to boomerang back to a part of New York ‘in permanent recession.’ With echoes of Walt Whitman’s fantastical city and the hard-broiled territory of Mickey Spillane, Bitter Bronx elevates the borough’s stoops and sidewalks into the realm of myth.”
- O Magazine

“Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature.”
- Michael Chabon

“Jerome Charyn is merely one of our finest writers, with a polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing. Whatever milieu he chooses to inhabit, his characters sizzle with life, and his sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable.”
- Jonathan Lethem

“Memories and imagination mingle to particularly edgy and bewitching effect in [Charyn’s] Bronx fables, which echo the Jewish gangster stories in The Odessa Tales by Isaac Babel…. Charyn’s dark, sexy, droll, and lacerating urban folktales of gangster tyranny, thwarted desire, and desperate measures are wizardly and bittersweet.”
- Donna Seaman, Booklist, Starred review

“Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer―so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible.”
- Tom Bissell

About the Author

Jerome Charyn's stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Paris Review, American Scholar, Epoch, Narrative, Ellery Queen, and other magazines. His most recent novel is I Am Abraham. He lived for many years in Paris and currently resides in Manhattan.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
  • Hardcover : 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0871404893
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0871404893
  • Dimensions : 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Publisher : Liveright (June 1, 2015)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 24 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
24 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

L Hoffmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Stories!
Reviewed in Germany on August 31, 2016
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