Customer Reviews for

The Bookie's Son

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Drama and Humor

    The Bookie's Son by Andrew Gold­stein is a com­ing of age novel set in the 1960s. This is the author’s debut novel and I hope he will pen a few more.

    Ricky Davis is the son of a col­lec­tor agent to a Jew­ish crime lord, gam­bler and, of course, a bookie. Grow­ing up to a poor fam­ily in the Bronx dur­ing the 1960s is tough and the reader is intro­duce to many col­or­ful char­ac­ters, hap­pi­ness and tragedy dur­ing Ricky’s teenage years.

    The Davis fam­ily is also in the dire straits due to Mr. Davis’ addic­tion, but young Ricky has a plan. He will help his fam­ily out of the dire sit­u­a­tion to a bet­ter life.

    The Bookie’s Son by Andrew Gold­stein is an intel­li­gent and funny novel about a some­what dys­func­tional, yet lov­ing fam­ily in the 60s. Part a fam­ily story, part a com­ing of age story, the book grabs the reader’s atten­tion on almost every page.

    The strength of the novel is on its use of dia­logue, the author man­ages to cap­ture the style of the Bronx and the rhythm of the lan­guage with a few Yid­dish words to spice it all up. The author man­ages to cap­ture the sounds of the streets and fam­i­lies in a very human sense. I admired the way Mr. Gold­stein encap­su­lated how kids talk dif­fer­ently on the street than they do at home.

    Ricky becomes a man dur­ing these tur­bu­lent times. He learns his lim­i­ta­tions but also what can be accom­plished when one puts his mind to a task. The young boy becomes a man while see­ing his father, his hero, being beaten down lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively; dis­cov­er­ing that the world is not black and white and that the bad guys often win.

    The book com­bines humor and drama together in a sen­si­ble way. You never know when one will start and the other will end. The char­ac­ters are writ­ten very well, it’s hard to imag­ine that this is the first book the author has published.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2012

    Ricky Davis is just your average Jewish American boy. At twelve,

    Ricky Davis is just your average Jewish American boy. At twelve, he lives in the Bronx with his mother and father and maternal grandmother. His Bar Mitzvah is coming up. It's important; he's about to become a man. His life is just like every other average American boy's life. Except.

    Except that his father is a bookie who's in Dutch with a loan shark. Except the loan shark has two goons with muscles, guns and real bad attitudes. Except the loan shark is in love with Ricky's mom. Except the loan shark is a repugnant slug who will do anything--and expects anything--for the repayment of this debt.

    So Ricky takes bets for his father, who's gone on the lam, trying his best to keep his whacky grandma from answering the phone. Through Ricky's eyes, author Goldstein introduces a wild, wonderful and reprehensible cast of characters, most of whom no boy should ever know, and leads us through the summer that Ricky Davis became a man.

    Goldstein's writing is nothing short of lyrical. With genuine voice and the rhythmic cadence of dialogue, he has captured this family, this place, with heartbreaking honesty. Sometimes hysterical, sometimes gripping, occasionally horrible, The Bookie's Son is an unforgettable glimpse at a family that's just like everybody else--except.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A 100% Satisfying Read¿¿Two Thumbs Enthusiastically Up!

    I was charmed by this book before opening it. First, the title. The Bookie’s Son. Titillating and a bit shocking. Who has a bookie for a dad? I must have been fated to read this book because the couple on the cover look quite a bit like my parents in the early 1960s. I was positively inclined toward it immediately. The book delivers on its promise.

    The story unfolds as twelve-year-old Ricky Davis comes home, goes into his parents’ bedroom and begins taking bets for his father’s bookmaking business. His whacky grandmother wanders around, with and without her teeth and bowl of Jell-O.

    The scene was so bizarre that I thought, This is going to be an hysterically funny family drama, sort of like Leave It to Beaver, but with betting on the ponies on the side. Not quite.

    Very soon, the forces behind the gambling enterprise appear. Mafioso-like gangsters run betting. In this case, it’s the Jewish Mafia. Thugs as scary as you’ll encounter in literature show up. Ricky’s dad is in big trouble. The author leads the reader by the hand as the family struggles to save itself. Goldstein’s writing is so good, it’s like being with this incredibly disturbed, dysfunctional group of people. The Davis family would drive phalanxes of marriage and family counselors to their knees.

    Yet they love each other. These people care about each other and are bonded. I loved this book. I’m not going to add more about the plot, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

    Mr. Goldstein’s writing is marvelous. He delivers very disturbing, terrifying material very well, as well as the funniest scenes you’ll ever read. I sat in my family room with my dogs staring at me because I was laughing so hard. Goldstein’s story and characters show great emotional depth and range. His weird and very empathetic characters are developed with perfectly paced and very well written prose. The author packs his work with great imagination and verve. Highly recommended!

    I noted “Two Thumbs Enthusiastically Up!” in this review’s title. I have a new practice. If I receive a book to review and I really like it, I pass it on to my husband. He is a very bright, well-educated, and articulate man. (Of course he is, I married him.) He represents the market for the books I accept for review. He loved this book. Listening to him laughing, practically rolling off the sofa, at the same scenes I did was delightful. (This is about to become a 3 thumbs-up review. Our daughter is reading the book and likes it as much as we did.)

    Mr. Goldstein, roll out your next work. We’re ready.

    [I received a complementary copy to read and review.]

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1