Lovers, Muggers & Thieves - A Boston Memoirby Jonathan Alan Tudan
In 1969, an eighteen-year-old college freshman accepted the job of a building superintendent inside Boston's notorious Combat Zone. He believed he had been given a free ride to independence and prosperity, but within a very short time discovered the ride was anything but free. Boston's adult entertainment district's seedy marquees of strip clubs, triple-X peep shows and adult bookstores have passed into history. The dancers, musicians, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes that once dominated these streets come alive again and join a boy surrounded by a man's world. Lovers, Muggers & Thieves - A Boston Memoir brings you through a convergence of extraordinary events inside America's most infamous neighborhood in this entertaining journey of friendship flirting with the dark side.
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Jonathan Tudan was about as green as a blade of grass when, in 1969 at age 18, he found himself the Super of a grimy apartment building in Boston's Combat Zone. The area was notorious for adult entertainment as strip clubs and prostitution were abundant. Tudan had left his comfortable upbringing in Hartford, Connecticut in the summer of 1968 to attend a technical college to study Architecture. While in school, he becomes acquainted with a student whose brother owns a building with rooms rented by the week needing a new manager. Jonathan thinks he's walked into a plum opportunity to live rent free in his own place and has asked another new friend, often referred to only by his surname, Van Helden, to join him. Of course, it turns out to not be what he's hoped for. In one short year, he has a number of experiences including his first sexual encounter which doesn't go quite right and is described with subtle hilarity and saving one of his building's tenants from being stabbed by her crazy boyfriend. Along his journey, he encounters a number of prostitutes, strippers, pimps, and other shady characters. All the while, he stays in school and manages to pass- barely. "Running this show is a mind-blowing business; a bit like being mayor in the Land of Oz on acid." -from Lovers, Muggers & Thieves The really interesting thing about Tudan's story is that he's able to expose the humanity in this cast full of many lost souls. He befriends several prostitutes and strippers as well as lust after most of them. He also manages to maintain his own humanity. He's a great story teller as I had clear images of everything happening. Although, the memoir goes just over 400 pages, it never loses its momentum. Each chapter is a mini adventure but the story is the sum of its parts. Though he lives in a seedy area filled with unsavory types, petty crimes, and grungy living quarters, he never really becomes part of it nor it apart of him. This is where the wisdom he gains from this experience comes into play. In the end, Tudan realizes that he's growing up too fast but he doesn't have to. However, this memoir is not so much about end results as it is about the coming of age of a kid in Boston in 1969. This is an entertaining read that shouldn't be missed and, dare I say it...I hope it makes its way to the silver screen.
Jon's book is thoughtful and packed with unique characters and situations. The growth in the main character is climatic and holds the reader's interest. This story is for adults and not for middle or high school aged students.We look foward to Mr Tudan's next novel.