from the block
winner, best fiction, l.a. indie book festival

Fast, Funny, Furious!

"The Book Reader"- Summer/Spring 2001 "...a wonderful work of literature by a brilliant writer."

This is not just a slice of life, but a loaf. Schindler's writing is rich with descriptions and characters and compelling dialogue. Jerry Pellicano is a young man almost graduated from college flailing about in his Bronx neighborhood where he grew up. Looming over all the bar scenes and the police investigations and the old buddies from the old neighborhood is the suicide of "Charlie the Chinaman," only it's not a suicide and, in uncovering the truth, Jerry comes to a greater realization. All of New York City is here, from the East Village to the crazy subways to ballgames and Second Avenue ("If you go fifty miles an hour, you're pretty much assured of getting six to ten lights green lights in a row.") There's an enormous attention to detail here, whether of [his girlfriend] Berta's hesitations or of the biographies of the neighborhood people- and there's a touching scene in front of Charlie's grave- "I instinctively knelt in the snow and made the sign of the cross." Jerry works at several jobs, trying to figure out his life, throwing up, crying, and just shooting the bull. The dialogue is very lively and often quite funny. Schindler has a true sympathy with the characters. There's Uncle Eugene, and Stubby and Noel and Merrill, and countless more. Plus, Library of Congress cards and shooting videos and, all the while, somehow, coming of age. This is a wonderful work of literature by a brilliant writer.