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The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories Paperback – June 1, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Every male writer writing about growing up in Chicago, from John McNally to Adam Langer, does so in the shadow of Stuart Dybek, the celebrated author of I Sailed with Magellan (2003). Happily, first-time author Lombardo manages to be inspired by Dybek while refining his own voice in this sweetly soulful coming-of-age short story collection. Preternaturally observant, young Petey lives in an Italian enclave in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood in the early 1970s. This is a working-class world, and Lombardo lovingly describes everything from how to mop a floor to how to fill a cannoli, but he is also aware of nature's power, the source of his stories' vivid metaphors and exaltation. As Petey's family struggles to survive and he heads into adolescence and learns how to navigate his home turf, Lombardo gets everything right, from a sensitive boy's struggle to say and do the right thing in delicate situations to Chicago's impossible weather, as he celebrates the marvels of boyhood and everyday life. Donna Seaman
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Review

The Logic of a Rose...shows that the Chicago literary tradition continues to grow in fruitful new directions. -- Chicago Tribune, July 3, 2005

Lombardo lived here and turned his Bridgeport [neighborhood] into the stuff of lyrical, lovely art. -- Chicago Sun-Times, July 24, 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: BkMk Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886157502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886157507
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,075,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This collection of short stories balances perfectly between the perspective of its child protagonist, Petey Bellapani, and the wisdom and understanding that comes of age. Lombardo portrays Petey with tenderness and understanding without ever sentimentalizing or idealizing him. In other hands, Petey's evolution might have led to disillusionment, but Lombardo brilliantly captures Petey's internal voice, a voice that never loses its wonder even as he learns the codes of Bridgeport, his tough neighborhood. Lombardo's collection defies the flat characterization of masculinity too common in contemporary popular culture. Petey, his father, and even the punks of Bridgeport are three dimensional, outwardly posturing but inwardly real, devoted to the toughness expected of them while holding within extraordinary loyalty, affection, courage, and their own brand of honor.
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Format: Paperback
With the vibrating echo of memory, Billy Lombardo re-imagines coming of age in Bridgeport in Chicago. Raucous, demotic and spontaneous, Lombaro's characters swing and sing with a hard human pulse. We see the world through the wide-open eyes of 8 year old Petey, worrying through a first day of work, falling for a first love and fearing the first fight with a neighborhood punk. Reading stories that stand up clear and clean, we again experience the first flex of youth, and remember when our lives were just beginning...a time when our favorite moments were right now...and our favorite songs were still unwritten. With controlled rhythm and emotional rhyme, Lombardo describes the wince and wait of youth, living in a neighborhood suspended in the unfulfilled possibility of the past. Each chapter stands on its own, but the reader is rewarded by further reading as characters and story arcs carry through the entire novel. Lombardo writes with a leveling wind that fans the flames of youth, raising the quotidian experience of the corner sandlot to an image burned clearly and sharply on the material of memory. These stories burn like a coal fire, with plenty of draft, and cling to your clothes, and your thoughts for days. These stories leave a mark.
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Format: Paperback
The Logic of a Rose is a wonderful read. Lombardo weaves together stories that are not only entertaining but also beautifully written. He describes his characters and environment so simply yet manages to capture every moment with such detail that the reader feels that he is a part of the story, standing right next to Petey in the Wallace Playlot or watching Petey's father load the bakery's delivery truck. Lombardo is a gifted writer, and the only way to better experience his narrative is to hear him read his marvelous work aloud.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many passages of beauty in this brilliant first book. A "Winesburg Ohio" of the Italian working class enclave of Bridgeport on the south side of Chicago, Lombardo's book is written with tenderness, humor, and deep affection for people he knows well and a city he loves. Lombardo recalls the work of Stuart Dybek, but he is not as relentless, objective and hard-edged. This is gentler fiction, but it is very fine on its own terms. Funny and touching passages about his moralistic and loving father (not unlike the bus driver father in "A Bronx Tale") ,about his father's emotional reaction to a Tony Bennett recording, about Italian working people, and about a chance meeting with a first love in a laundromat are haunting. There is a sense of wonder to these terrific stories.--David Evanier is the author of "Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin," "The One-Star Jew," winner of the Aga Khan Fiction Prize, and a former senior editor of The Paris Review.
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