Alan Sternberg Camaro City

ISBN 13: 9780151153732

Camaro City

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9780151153732: Camaro City
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A collection of stories tells of life in a factory city after the factories have all closed down, and the cultural turmoil in a surviving, working-class community that refuses to believe it has become a relic.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

In his first collection of short stories, award-winning journalist Sternberg writes with unsentimental understanding about working-class life in Connecticut. These ten stories evoke a world filled with good, hard-working people who merely get by and teenagers doomed to repeat the failures of their parents. The factories have been closed, so there is little work, and the work that can be found is purposeless and degrading. In ``Airport Beach,'' Zanske the school attendance officer continues to pursue persistent truants although he knows it does no good; and in ``Moose,'' Bruce Barmusch is shot while attempting to fine someone for illegally dumping garbage. Both Zanske and Barmusch find joy in unusual occurrences, even pedestrian ones, that break the monotony of their routine. Bill Stankowski derives his pleasure from avoiding disaster, as he narrowly does in ``Splat,'' and in keeping his family together, while in ``Bilt-Rite,'' Ralph Correggio can't manage to hold his extended family of employees together when he is forced to close his construction business. If the adults are all slightly disappointed, the teenagers in the book have adopted that disappointment, in addition to being typically self-destructive: In ``Blazer,'' Rudy D`Angelo watches his best friend, golden boy Jeff Fontaine, literally self-combust. Although his characters are victims of circumstance, Sternberg also points out that the circumstances are often of their own making. In ``Teena,'' a 14- year-old girl has learned all about birth control but won't ask her 28-year-old boyfriend to use condoms; in the title story, although Brunet's Camaro is the 56th stolen since January (in a town with a population of 60,000), he will not consider buying another kind of car. While Sternberg makes no attempt to justify his protagonists' behavior, he does not make it seem ridiculous, and the reader leaves with a better understanding of a sadder world. Simple and affecting. Sternberg proves that ordinary people can have extraordinary characters. (First serial to the New Yorker) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The economic blight that has devastated southeastern Connecticut's old industrial towns forms the backdrop for this debut collection about the problems of blue-collar workers in hard times. Sternberg's direct prose slowly reveals his characters' dilemmas while subtly acknowledging the emotional ramifications of those dilemmas. Most of his protagonists are middle-aged white men caught in the backwash of sudden layoffs, business failures and the effects of a bad economy on those around them. The title story concerns Brunet, an assistant manager of a trucking fleet who loses his house to a fire and his car to the thieves whose specialty gives the town its unique moniker. "Moose" probes the problems of a trash inspector at the local landfill who gets shot by one of his customers, who's caught trying to dump out-of-town garbage. Different emotional ground is explored in "Broken Violin," about an investment banker whose mother's local concert performance forces her to confront her own limitations. While Sternberg's style vaguely recalls such blue-collar heroes as Raymond Carver and Larry Brown, his distinctive voice and approach make this a noteworthy debut. First serial to the New Yorker.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780517155882: Camaro City

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ISBN 10:  0517155885 ISBN 13:  9780517155882
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, 1995
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