sewer balls
steven schindler's debut novel

"Probably the best novel produced by the small presses in 1999" - Small Press Review

No balls? No money? No problem. Just have your buddy hold you by the ankles and lower you into a sewer, armed with a bent coat hanger. There are plenty of balls down there for ready for scooping. And odds are, a couple of them are perfectly good for stick-ball or king-queen. So what if they're sewer balls. Oh, and one more thing: You better trust the guy who's holding you. I mean really trust him. JFK was shot dead. Oswald was shot "live" on TV. Girls were screaming like idiots over guys from England with long hair going "wooooh." And Sister Fidelis called the girls "tramps" right in front of the whole class. After seven torturous years at Presentation Grammar School, eighth grade was turning out to be more exciting than anyone ever thought it could be. For best friends Whitey and Vinny, every day was an adventure into a new, forbidden world of hidden kisses, stolen beer, and songs sung by guys with Moe Howard bangs that made the girls get weird. Little did they know that each of those adventures would take them a little bit deeper into a fast, unpredictable world where fun can turn into tragedy in a New York minute. Set against the backdrop of the Bronx in the early 1960s, Sewer Balls is a blunt, smart, quirky novel of how city kids with no money but lots of imagination make the most out of what they have. Was it fun? Was it scary? Was it the best time of their lives? Fuhgedahbowdit!

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"Sewer Balls" is about growing up in the Bronx, NY, in the sixties, and Schindler writes with a style that reflects the best of Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint." Every kid who grew up in the East knows what sewer balls are: those prized rubber balls that were always going down the corner sewers and retrieved by daring poor kids. Schindler brings the '60s alive with images as clear as if the were photographed his sentences are deceptively simple but full of euphony. It won't be surprising if someone in the next millennium writes that this was probably the best novel produced by the small presses in 1999.---The Small Press Review (March /April 2000)

The Bronx has an allure. Maybe it has a muse. "The Wanderers", "Marty", and "A Bronx Tale" quickly come to mind when contemplating the presence of the Bronx in the arts...Steven Schindler's novel "Sewer Balls" adds to this fine lineage of the artistic depiction of the borough and its

Brazen Adolescence in the Big Apple! SEWER BALLS is a fast, funny reminiscence of boys and girls growing up on the neighborhood streets of New York City during the 1960s. The events related by Vinny, the book's 13-year-old narrator, showcase Steve Schindler's singular storytelling style, one that reveals a documentarian's eye and ear for sights and sounds and a beat-poet's gift for the slanguage of the streets. Within just a few pages, SEWER BALLS boldly establishes itself as a compelling, contemporary coming-of-age story, evocative of Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN and Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS, while staking a unique claim to the hilarity and brutality of the rock 'n' roll urban jungle that was Schindler's native Bronx borough. SEWER BALLS is a colorful story of tortured friendships and family dysfunction that's rough, tough and thoroughly authentic. For anyone raised living and loving Soupy Sales and the Mouse, Murray the K and the Beatles, Mickey Mantle and the Yankees, Coney Island, the New York World's Fair, Rockaway Beach, Mad Magazine, Brylcreem, pizza slices served on wax paper and endless searches for spaldeens in the city's sewage system...SEWER BALLS has all the impact of a shotgun-blast to the heart.

-Mike Valerio (Director, "Carlo's Wake" , "King B: A Life in the Movies")