Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue: A Novel of Pastry, Guilt, and Music

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Ballantine Books, 2005 - Fiction - 319 pages
12 Reviews
In his eagerly awaited debut novel, critically acclaimed author Mark Kurlansky entertains readers with a brilliant story bursting with the vivid events and culinary delights–even recipes–that made bestsellers out of his nonfiction works Cod, Salt, and 1968.

Nathan woke up on a Friday morning with the unshakable sense that during this day he would commit a catastrophic error in judgment. Something had been written by the gods, and Nathan Seltzer knew this was one Friday that he would regret. . . .

It’s the boom years of the 1980s, and life is closing in on Nathan Seltzer, who rarely travels beyond his suddenly gentrifying Lower East Side neighborhood. Between paralyzing bouts of claustrophobia, Nathan wonders whether he should cheat on his wife with Karoline, a German pastry maker whose parents may or may not have been Nazis. His father, Harry, is plotting with the 1960s boogaloo star Chow Mein Vega for the comeback of this dance craze. Meanwhile, a homicidal drug addict is terrorizing the neighborhood.

With its cast of unforgettable characters, Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue is a comedy of cultures, of the old and the new, of Latinos, Jews, Sicilians, and Germans. It’s about struggling to hold on to life in a rapidly changing world, about food and sex, and about how our lives are shaped by love and guilt.
  

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Review: Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue

User Review  - Mom - Goodreads

Set in the 1980's , the story follows the everyday lives of a divergent group of residents in a neighborhood of NYC's Lower East Side. Populated by Jewish immigrants from Germany, Puerto Ricans ... Read full review

Review: Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue

User Review  - Alex Goodison - Goodreads

Set in the Lower East Side of New York City in the 1980's, Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue upon first encounter seems like your stereotypical “ethnic” story - You have your immigrant Germans, Jews, Puerto ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER ONE A Quick End in FourFour Time
3
CHAPTER THREE Talmudic Shortcomings
23
CHAPTER FOUR Calamity in Disguise
37
CHAPTER SEVEN The Worn Garment
64
CHAPTER EIGHT Pink Martinis
79
CHAPTER ELEVEN Chocolate Buttercream
106
CHAPTER TWELVE Not Easy to Be Puerto Rican
115
CHAPTER THIRTEEN No Going Back
127
CHAPTER FOURTEEN The Edge of the Planet 745
145
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN A Ratlike Cunning 797
197
CHAPTER TWENTYONE Fresh Kills
254
CHAPTER TWENTYTWO Calamity in Running Shoes
264
CHAPTER TWENTYTHREE Tears
273
CHAPTER TWENTYFOUR The Millionaires of the Loisaida
282
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About the author (2005)

MARK KURLANSKY is the New York Times bestselling and James A. Beard Award—winning author of 1968: The Year That Rocked the World, Salt: A World History, The Basque History of the World, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, The White Man in the Tree (a collection of short stories), and several other books. He lives in New York City.

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