- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted August 12, 2007
Ostensibly, Brooklyn Story would appear to be a garden variety urban fiction tale of gangsters, drug dealers, and glamorized street life, chronicling the perils of fast lives and even faster deaths - but, at its heart, Robert Batista's narrative is a touching treatise of love, true life pain, and the consequences of the psychological scarring left behind in the wake of homes crushed under the weight of societal indifference. The action in Brooklyn Story is centered on young David - affectionately known as Davey - who learns much about life in the often unforgiving streets of New York City. An accomplished athlete with a good head on his shoulders, Davey has a promising future - but one that is threatened by his de facto affiliation with the likes of Diamond, the local drug kingpin. Davey idolizes Diamond, who serves as his ready protector, and pledges his loyalty to him, come what may. Not your typical cold, ruthless killer, Diamond actually helps Davey wend his way through life with helpful advice about women, crooked cops, and his general outlook on how the world really works, apart from what you'd read in the papers or see on the news. As they make their way through a series of intriguing - and often dangerous - encounters, Davey bonds with Diamond in ways he only wishes he could with his own father, Tank, who has always avoided establishing a substantive relationship with his son. The hostility between Davey and Tank continues to escalate until, directly following a violent altercation, Davey swears to kill his father. Only after a surprisingly cathartic tale from Diamond regarding his own childhood is Davey deterred from following through with his plans. Make no mistake, Brooklyn Story contains many more gems about life in the New York streets of the late 1960's, including many references to popular music, real-time reactions to the deaths of Martin Luther King & Bobby Kennedy, and reminiscings on love gone both good and bad. The underlying subtext of it all, though, is the importance of the father-son dynamic, most especially the often desperate moves made by sons in attempts to fill the voids left by their father's continued lack of involvement. Davey's personification of this issue is evident not only in his involvement with Diamond, but also in the decisions he makes in his personal life. Having found true love with the regal Sunny, one can only assume that Davey would be less likely to cheat on her with her 'friend,' the disarmingly beautiful and deceptive Princess, if a strong, wise father figure were available to help advise him on his conflicted feelings. Likewise, in light of Diamond's tragic death, Davey would not find himself in the perilous position of seeking retribution if a more calming, steady influence readily helped him process his guilt and grief in a more healthy fashion. By inspiring such musings in the reader, Brooklyn Story is more the anti-urban fiction tale: a refreshing departure from superficial glamorizations of sensationalized street life, instead focusing on the root causes of precisely how that life came to be. Batista's tale is guaranteed to tug at your heart strings and awaken within you the same sense of higher consciousness that comes to Davey in the end - and almost too late. By sharing Brooklyn Story with the world, though, one can only hope that Batista will help prevent thousands of others just like Davey from reaching the same tragic fate to which they seem inexorably bound.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.