Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-flat

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Spiegel & Grau, 2008 - Fiction - 336 pages
18 Reviews
Clarinetist Ike Morphy, his dog Herbie Mann, and a pair of pigeons who roost on his air conditioner are about to be evicted from their apartment on West 106th Street, also known as Duke Ellington Boulevard. Ike has never had a lease, just a handshake agreement with the recently deceased landlord; and now that landlord’s son stands to make a killing on apartment 2B.

Centering on the fate of one apartment before, during, and after the height of New York’s real estate boom, Ellington Boulevard’s characters include the Tenant and His Dog; the Landlord, a recovered alcoholic and womanizer who has newly found Judaism and a wife half his age; the Broker, an out-of-work actor whose new profession finally allows him to afford theater tickets he has no time to use; the Broker’s New Boyfriend, a second-rate actor who composes a musical about the sale of 2B (“Is there no one I can lien on if this boom goes bust?”). There’s also the Buyer, a trusting young editor at a dying cultural magazine, who falls in love with the Tenant; the Buyer’s Husband, a disaffected graduate student taken to writing bawdy faux-academic papers; and the Buyer’s Husband’s Girlfriend, a children’s book writer with a tragic past.

With the humor and poignancy that made Langer’s first novel, Crossing California, a favorite book of the year among critics across the country, Ellington Boulevard is an ode to New York. It’s the story of why people come to a city they can’t afford, take jobs they despise, sacrifice love, find love, and eventually become the people they never thought they’d be—for better and for worse.

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Review: Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat

User Review  - Bookreaderljh - Goodreads

It took me much longer than usual to read this book as I really didn't like it very much. It started well with One, the musician, and his dog returning to New York after the death of his mother to ... Read full review

Review: Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat

User Review  - Linda Bouley - Goodreads

I had mixed feeling about this book. It jumped around, but in this case it worked...just like busy New York City where it is set. The characters are well-drawn and very interesting. As the connections ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

ADAM LANGER, the author of Crossing California and its sequel The Washington Story, earned his brokerage certification while writing Ellington Boulevard. Born in Chicago, he now lives on Manhattan’s Duke Ellington Boulevard with his wife, daughter, dog, and a pair of pigeons who roost on his air conditioner.

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