The Open Doorby Floyd Skloot
It is the late 1930s when Myron Adler and Faye Raskin - the most mismatched couple imaginable - meet and marry. Myron owns a live poultry market in the Brooklyn Battery and Faye, the haughty and pretentious daughter of a well-to-do Manhattan jeweler, leads a fantasy life filled with high-class suitors. Through the 40s and 50s, as the Adlers raise two sons, their… See more details below
It is the late 1930s when Myron Adler and Faye Raskin - the most mismatched couple imaginable - meet and marry. Myron owns a live poultry market in the Brooklyn Battery and Faye, the haughty and pretentious daughter of a well-to-do Manhattan jeweler, leads a fantasy life filled with high-class suitors. Through the 40s and 50s, as the Adlers raise two sons, their difficulties erupt in troubling, sometimes violent ways. The Open Door, Floyd Skloot's powerful third novel, traces how Richard and Daniel Adler respond to a home environment of physical and emotional abuse and grow up to become radically different men. With candor and precision, Skloot captures the nuances of second-generation Jewish immigrant life. He skillfully presents the pulse of mid-century Brooklyn - where the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Mad Bomber, Mafia heavies and two-bit boxers populate a world the Adler brothers struggle to comprehend.
Myron Adler and Faye Raskin are a terribly mismatched couple. He's the crude, vulgar owner of a live poultry market, suffering the aftereffects of his parents' refusal to let him marry a Catholic. She's a would-be artist on the rebound from a series of relationships with men she considered worthy of her pretensions. Such a union could only have disastrous resultsand it does. Unwilling to take out his frustrations on his wife, Myron belts his sons, Richard and Daniel, regularly. Equally frustrated by her status in life, Faye does likewise. Richard grows up to be a self-absorbed compulsive overeater who feels cheated by the world. Daniel, by contrast, is perfection itself, a terrific athlete and excellent student who becomes a successful architect and loving father. Skloot recounts this tale in an apparent profusion of voices, a dense thicket of points of view made problematical by his inability to differentiate among them. Everything comes out in tedious faux Brooklyn Jewish dialect seemingly out of sitcom-land. And his people are astonishingly crude stereotypes that only a Roth or Bellow could breathe life into. While Skloot makes some effort to mitigate the parents' behavior, the book breaks down into a highly schematic (and unconvincing) set of heroes and villains. A final transformation of Faye from ogress to lovable, wacky older temptress is particularly embarrassing.
Filled with sloppy writing and a transparently manipulated castand further burdened by cartoonish violence that seems to exist only to give a cheap jolt of energy to an otherwise lifeless story.
- Story Line Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.98(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.60(d)
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