Picks and Pans Review: The Old Neighborhood

UPDATED 11/03/1980 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/03/1980 at 01:00 AM EST

by Avery Corman

A Jewish boy grows up in the Bronx. He loves sports. He becomes an advertising copy whiz, marries a pretty woman, gets into the big time, moves to suburbia, has two daughters and then—when his wife decides to leave to do her thing—undergoes a midlife crisis. The main character in this novel, by the man who wrote Oh, God! and Kramer vs. Kramer, is a whiner for whom it is impossible to feel any affection. He's a selfish, self-absorbed, boring, shallow jerk. For some reason Corman seems to think his hero is terribly brave, and this story is spoiled by the same kind of sentimentality that permeates Erich Segal novels. It may translate well into movies, but in a book the reader has a sense of too-familiar strings being jerked. The part of the sharp, old, retired bookmaker must have been written with George Burns in mind. (The Linden Press, $10.95)

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