Peep Show [NOOK Book]

Overview

David Arbus will be graduating from high school in the spring of 1975. His divorced parents offer two options: embrace his mother’s Hasidic sect or go into his father’s line of work, running a porn theater in the heart of New York’s Times Square. He joins the family business. What else would a healthy seventeen-year-old with an interest in photography do? But he didn’t think it would mean giving up his mother and sister altogether.

Peep Show ...
See more details below
Peep Show

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$13.95 List Price

Overview

David Arbus will be graduating from high school in the spring of 1975. His divorced parents offer two options: embrace his mother’s Hasidic sect or go into his father’s line of work, running a porn theater in the heart of New York’s Times Square. He joins the family business. What else would a healthy seventeen-year-old with an interest in photography do? But he didn’t think it would mean giving up his mother and sister altogether.

Peep Show is the bittersweet story of a young man torn between a mother trying to erase her past and a father struggling to maintain his dignity in a less-than-savory business. As David peeps through the spaces in the screen that divides the men and the women in Hasidic homes, we can’t help but think of his father’s Imperial Theatre, where other men are looking at other women through the peepholes.

As entertaining as it is moving, Peep Show looks at the elaborate ensembles, rituals, assumed names, and fierce loyalties of two secret worlds, stripping away the curtains of both.


Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Braff’s second novel (after The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green) is a straightforward family drama set amidst an extreme clash of cultures. In the mid 1970s, 16-year-old David Arbus is caught between his mother, whose Hasidic faith is becoming more and more central to her life, and his father, who runs a Times Square porn theatre. A seemingly modest act of rebellion makes David’s choice for him, and he quickly finds himself enmeshed in the business of adult entertainment. While his increasingly ill father resists innovations like peep booths and in-house blue movies, David takes photography gigs and tends to his dad. His attempts to maintain a relationship with his sister bring David into sporadic contact with his mother, but rather than reconciling, mother and son only grow further apart. Braff brings together two very different cultures with sympathy for both, but the slim novel leaves little room to adequately develop each member of the family, and, as a result, the story doesn’t quite sing. Nevertheless, David and his parents present an intriguing contrast in the struggle to uphold a set of values and the painful necessity of compromise. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
A New Jersey family breaks up, and an unhappy teenager finds his vocation amid Times Square sleaze in the mid-1970s. The Arbuses used to be the kind of affluent, assimilated suburban Jews that Braff anatomized in his brutally funny debut, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green (2004)-except that Martin made a living running burlesque joints, and wife Miriam was one of the strippers before she had two kids. Now, in the spring of 1975, she and 15-year-old Debra are about to become baalai teshuva, converts to a Hasidic sect, while Martin and 17-year-old David seethe in disbelief. David's narration shows him struggling with his mother, who wants him to "embrace the life I've found." He can't, but he's not happy living with his father in Manhattan, where burlesque is giving way to hardcore peep shows and sex-toy shops. Martin refuses to adapt to changes he finds repulsive, though business associates are making unheard-of profits and the old ways are money-losers. Miriam wants to keep her daughter away from her secular ex-husband and son, and David's efforts to stay in touch lead to a disastrous Atlantic City jaunt with Debra, a Hasidic school friend, Martin and his stripper girlfriend, who puts makeup on the two girls. Miriam, enraged, won't forgive David even at Martin's hospital bedside after he's diagnosed with cancer. Flash forward to 1977, when live peep shows are being squeezed out by video porn, and David's photos of Times Square hang in the Sixty-Niner Diner: "an actual museum inside a dildo shop." He's still pining for his mother, and it's one of Braff's great achievements that we understand this. Miriam is often cruel as she clings to reassuring rules, but she's also miserable andconflicted, not knowing how to integrate her love for her son with the life she's chosen. The novel ends on the day of 17-year-old Debra's wedding, with the rabbi brokering a detente that readers will hope grows into lasting reconciliation for these touchingly vulnerable, painfully recognizable characters. Humane, compassionate and very moving.
People Magazine
"Braff skillfully illuminates the failures and charms of a broken family . . . Haunts long after the final page."

People

San Francisco Chronicle
"Braff skillfully illuminates the failures and charms of a broken family . . . Haunts long after the final page."

People

BookPage
"A tumultuous family drama . . . the glimpse [Braff] offers of these strange and usually closed institutions makes for interesting and enlightened reading." —San Francisco Chronicle
From the Publisher
"Although Peep Show could be a heavy-handed family drama, Braff chooses to keep the story light, sketching several funny but poignant scenes . . . The comic thrust, however, never detracts from the novel's intimate peek into a divided family." —BookPage
Library Journal
The lurid red cover and title might lead readers to expect a smutty novel driven by shock value, but instead Braff (The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green) delivers a sensitive coming-of-age story. It's 1975, and readers are peeping into the private lives of high school grad David Arbus and younger sister Debra. They're the subjects of a tug-of-war between two parents they need and two parental lifestyles they can't completely embrace. Mom is a convert to Hasidic Judaism, and Dad is co-owner of an aging Times Square burlesque theater transitioning into peep shows and hard-core pornography. Neither parent can compromise, so the kids will be forced into hard choices. Capturing time, cultures, and place, Braff finds both the absurd humor and sad costs of two worlds that, despite their polar opposition, share the traits of extremism. David is a likable, believable protagonist, and even the dueling parents are empathetic. Pages fly by as family secrets unspool. VERDICT Only a slightly rushed ending detracts from a deeply affecting book. Highly recommended.—Neil Hollands, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616200107
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Joshua Braff
Joshua Braff the author of The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, lives in California with his wife and two children. 
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 BN.com 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

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com 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 BN.com. 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
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    The cover of this book stood out for me and I rarely purchase without research. However, I'm happy I discovered this great story! It is very difficult to write a novel with such hilarious prose and not overshadow the emotional heart of the characters involved. I laughed out loud throughout, while simultaneously aching for the familial trauma each individual suffered. I am not one to read a book quickly, as I don't have the time. I finished this in a little over one night. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)