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In 1969, an eighteen-year-old college freshman is offered a free ride into Boston's Combat Zone, the most bizarre neighborhood the city has ever known, to manage a flophouse renting rooms by the week to the purveyors of the neighborhood sex trade. Within a very short time he discovers the ride is anything but free. The seedy marquees of Boston's notorious adult entertainment district, along with its strip clubs, triple-X peep shows and adult bookstores have passed into history. Dancers, musicians, drug dealers, ...
In 1969, an eighteen-year-old college freshman is offered a free ride into Boston's Combat Zone, the most bizarre neighborhood the city has ever known, to manage a flophouse renting rooms by the week to the purveyors of the neighborhood sex trade. Within a very short time he discovers the ride is anything but free. The seedy marquees of Boston's notorious adult entertainment district, along with its strip clubs, triple-X peep shows and adult bookstores have passed into history. Dancers, musicians, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes that once dominated these streets return to the scene to join a boy surrounded by a man's world. Lovers, Muggers & Thieves – a Boston Memoir brings you through a convergence of extraordinary events inside one of America’s most infamous neighborhoods in this entertaining journey of friendship flirting with the dark side.
Posted October 7, 2009
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.
Posted January 14, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.