Title: Billy Bathgate
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1989
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good +
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +
323 clean and tight pages. PO name and date inside front cover. Like an urban Tom Sawyer in a world of horrors, Billy has come down from the tenement streets of the East Bronx to live in the glamorously evil Depression underworld that Schultz has created. It is a world of storm-tossed tugboar rides through the dark night of New York Harbor as a gang member is about to be ceremonially drowned, his feet in a bucket of setting cement. Engaging text to say the least as usual for Doctorow. Bookseller Inventory # 008720
Synopsis: In 1930's New York, Billy Bathgate, a fifteen-year-old high-school dropout, has captured the attention of infamous gangster Dutch Schultz, who lures the boy into his world of racketeering. The product of an East Bronx upbringing by his half-crazy Irish Catholic mother, after his Jewish father left them long ago, Billy is captivated by the world of money, sex, and high society the charismatic Schultz has to offer. But it is also a world of extortion, brutality, and murder, where Billy finds himself involved in a dangerous affair with Schultz's girlfriend. Relive this story through the title character's driving narrative, a child's thoughts and feelings filtered through the sensibilities of an adult, and the result is E.L. Doctorow's most convincing and appealing portrayal of a young boy's life. Converging mythology and history, one of America's most admired authors has captured the romance of gangsters and criminal enterprise that continues to fascinate the American psyche today.
Review: In the Bronx of the 1930s, 15-year-old Billy Bathgate hooks up with a legendary mobster, Dutch Schultz. Schultz becomes an unlikely surrogate parent to the boy, introducing him to the ways of the world and training Billy to follow in his footsteps. After Billy falls for Schulz's latest girlfriend, he begins to question the actions of the mob he was so eager to join. As he seeks to protect the young woman, he gains strength in following his own heart and makes a courageous passage from boyhood to adulthood. E.L Doctorow won the 1990 PEN/Faulkner Award for this novel.
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