The Crazyladies of Pearl Street

The Crazyladies of Pearl Street Legendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet a funny deeply felt often touching autobiographical novel destined to become a classic American coming of age story The place is

  • Title: The Crazyladies of Pearl Street
  • Author: Trevanian
  • ISBN: 9781400080373
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Crazyladies of Pearl Street

    Legendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet a funny, deeply felt, often touching autobiographical novel destined to become a classic American coming of age story.The place is Albany, New York The year is 1936 Six year old Jean Luc LaPointe, his little sister, and their spirited but vulnerable young mother have been abandoned again by his fatherLegendary writer Trevanian brings readers his most personal novel yet a funny, deeply felt, often touching autobiographical novel destined to become a classic American coming of age story.The place is Albany, New York The year is 1936 Six year old Jean Luc LaPointe, his little sister, and their spirited but vulnerable young mother have been abandoned again by his father, a charmer and a con artist With no money and no family willing to take them in, the LaPointes manage to create a fragile nest at 238 North Pearl Street For the next eight years, through the Great Depression and Second World War, they live in the heart of the Irish slum, with its ward heelers, unemployment, and grinding poverty As Jean Luc discovers, it s a neighborhood of crazyladies Miss Cox, the feared and ridiculed teacher who ignites his imagination Mrs Kane, who runs a beauty parlor fortune telling salon in the back of her husband s grocery store Mrs Meehan, the desperate, harried matriarch of a thuggish family across the street lonely Mrs McGivney, who spends every day tending to her catatonic husband, a veteran of the Great War and Jean Luc s own unconventional, vivacious mother.Jean Luc is a voracious reader who never stops dreaming of a way out of the slum He gradually takes on responsibility for the family s survival with a mix of bravery and resentment while his mom turns from spells of illness and depression to eager planning for the day when our ship will come in It s a heartfelt and unforgettable look back at one child s life in the 1930s and 40s, a story that will be remembered long after the last page is turned.Look for these Trevanian classics from Three Rivers Press Shibumi, The Eiger Sanction, The Loo Sanction, The Summer of Katya, and The Main.From the Hardcover edition.

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      Published :2019-01-15T14:03:52+00:00

    One thought on “The Crazyladies of Pearl Street

    1. Marcie

      After reading other reviews of this book on this website, I feel that I must defend it. First of all, no one should read this book UNLESS they are a Trevanian fan.To not know him first as the author of "Shibumi," the greatest spy novel ever written, or to not know of his fights with publishers and refusals to do interviews and publicity signings, or to not know that he wrote in different genre under different pseudonyms (which were often an intriguing connecting puzzle of characters' names in ot [...]

    2. Ayse

      This book is an autobiographical novel about Trevanian's (Rodney William Whitaker (June 12, 1931 – Dec 14, 2005)) childhood (mostly) and also adulthood. His father was a con-man who never took care of his family. He tricked his family and disowned Trevanian and his sister at a very young age. Their mother; a very strong and independent character was inadequate in providing for her children however hard she tried. They lived through the times of depression, WWII and turbulent post-war era. Alwa [...]

    3. Jim

      I return often to a well-worn theory that says "the world is made of two types of people" and then you complete the dichotomy with "people who like X, and people who don't." It most commonly comes to mind when thinking about Japan, but now I think about Trevanian in the same way. I simply can't imagine how one can't read his writing and not think it's as good as anyone can ever write. Despite the off-putting title, this is just as good as any other of his novels, but its effect is multiplied (at [...]

    4. Leslie Reese

      So.when I was young I hazarded asking my father to talk about his life growing up as a boy in Alabama. He kind of looked at me in a distracted way and kept walking right out of the room, muttering "What do you want to know?"- his voice tinged with irritation.Well, this book does just the opposite. Trevanian's story is narrated by a young boy growing up in Albany, New York, on the "Irish slum" block of Pearl Street in the 1930s and 40s. It's quite good, but just so long-winded to me, like someone [...]

    5. Ann Wilcox

      Unfortunate title for a really worthwhile book. The same Trevanian who brought us The Eiger Sanction and The Summer of Katya has written what some say is an autobiographical account of his early years with a less-than-tightly wrapped mother. Great period piece, brilliantly written.

    6. Reid

      Quite a nice book, if a bit snarky, if you know what I mean; which is to say, the author is a bit high on himself, and sometimes his judgments of the world and the people in it are hypercritical, simplistic, and not truly on target. However, I was never less than engaged by this book, and especially relished the background material on the website he published specifically to accompany the book. Don't worry, the book stands alone, but if you want more information on any of the footnotes, the webs [...]

    7. L

      I have many favorite book and this is one of them. Luke's mother is abandoned by her husband, shortly after their marriage. He returns once to father Luke's sister and sends the family a note to meet him in Albany. With no money the family moves into a small apartment in the heart of the Irish slum which happens to be on Pearl Street. For a number of years you follow Luke and his family through the Great Depression and World War II. What Luke discovers is that he lives in a neighborhood of crazy [...]

    8. korey

      Man this one was a struggle. I so wanted to like it since it's a story of a boy growing up in the slums of Albany during the Depression and WWII, but it was a total BORE. There was just too much superfluous narrative and not enough dialog or character development. But, what dialog there is was great, I wanted more! I actually skipped and skimmed my way through the last 1/3 of the book - which I never do.

    9. Peggy

      Honestly this was one of the worst books, I have ever read.The typographical errors and the inconsistencies of the plot were at best annoying. The author changes descriptions of past events to fit in with whatever story he happens to wander into in that chapter. The father has either left the mother when she is pregnant with Anne-Marie or after she is born depending on which page you are on. The Grandfather either helped out the mother a lot and brought lollipops to Jean-Luc and Anne-Marie or he [...]

    10. Cori

      I enjoyed this book. I don't know why it's not more popular as a local publication in the Capital District. It's fun to read about such familiar areas as Albany, Troy & Lake George during a time gone-by. I'd recommend this to anyone who would enjoy reading about the Capital District or anyone who enjoys reading about the experiences of others. This novel is autobiographical about a young boy living on South Pearl somewhere between Clinton and Livingston just before and during WWII. He tells [...]

    11. wally

      this was the first story by trevanian that i picked up and it wasn't the last. an entertaining read and subsequent reads of all things trevanian have me asking the question: how'd this guy get around so much?jean-luc lapointe, his little sister and their mother in albany new york. 1936. back in the day. jean-luc's mother is a hoot, believe me you! a phrase she uses. they're all waiting for their ship to come in. the old man has abandoned them and life is hard. things happen. a wonderful cast of [...]

    12. Karen

      The title of this book is mis-leading and would have been a better book had it been more about the "crazy ladies living on Pearl Street" rather than about a boy telling his story of growing up in the slums of Albany, New York during WWII. Parts of it held your interestch as learning about the day to day details of life during the depression and war while living in such extreme poverty but the book was just a struggle to get through most of it.

    13. Chris

      For some reason, I want desperately to like Trevanian. As he says in a note at the beginning of The Crazyladies of Pearl Street, "The Trevanian Buff is a strange and wonderful creature: an outsider, a natural elitist, not so much a cynic as an idealist mugged by reality, not just one of those who march to a different drummer, but the solo drummer in a parade of one.” That pretty much describes me least the "parade of one" partd I am a fallen idealist, too.His first book, The Eiger Sanction, wi [...]

    14. Sandie

      THE CRAZY LADIES OF PEARL STREET was, for me, a happy trip down memory lane. With references to some of my favorite programs during the golden days of radio…a time when one could escape the boredom of hot summer days by listening to the adventures of “The Green Hornet” or “The Shadow”, when you could ride with the “Lone Ranger and Tonto”, go on “A Date with Judy” or be scared out of your wits by “Inner Sanctum’s” squeaking door or sit in a darkened room listening to “Li [...]

    15. Bonnie

      This is the first Trevanian book I have read and I will have to read another. I loved this book. I thought I was raised poor but I was NOT, compared to little Jean Luke, his mother was a good mother but like all mothers she wasn't perfect. I felt so bad for her and both children. And his father! Wow, I've always been thankful for my wonderful father but never more so than reading every page of this book. Jean Luke didn't have any friends his own age bc he was his mother "right hand." She used hi [...]

    16. Andrea Lee

      Trevanians swan song is a wonderful exploration of pre-adolescent character formation, imagination bending ritual, and a historical stroll through a less explored genre of demographics than your typical depression-era biography. It rocks the neighborhood, exploding bullies and sluts, crazy ladies and lonely, drunk, frightened men alike. There is nothing sacred to the boy or the man he becomes. I love that he spends hundreds of pages on his young life , where he hadfew choices or control, and the [...]

    17. Cayr

      Trevanian is a wonderful and intriguing author. This thoroughly enjoyable and mostly autobiographical book was a delightful read, but in a far different way than the author's other books. No international intrigue going on herejust good old immigrant neighborhood intrigue. A wonderful journey into the childhood of a first generation American. The characters were extremely sympathetic. I especially loved the parts where jean-luc is playing by himself: where he is all the actors playing all the pa [...]

    18. Tamara

      I disagreed with my book club on this one too. They all disliked it, I like it a lot. I thought the characters were interesting and I enjoyed it being from the childs point of view. It was certainly depressing but real and gritty. It took place in Albany in an area I am familiar with since I live nearby so I liked that too. I would recommend it because the book really made me feel like I was right there in the depression as a child figuring out the world. I didn't love the characters necessarily [...]

    19. Barbara Hansen

      This is not a sweet and sticky vision of the past, but it is nostalgic. The setting is the Irish tenement slum of Albany, NY, in the years of the Great Depression and the second World War, the story as seen through the eyes of an incredibly smart young boy. He lives in a grimy, smelly world and longs for a way out. The "crazy ladies" are his mother and numerous other women in this ghetto, but the story isn't so much about them. The thoughts of a young boy trapped in the insanity of poverty make [...]

    20. Çiğdem Gündüz

      'Birdenbire bizim fakir insanlar olduğumuzu fark ettim, kanım dondu. İnci Sokağı'ndaki o zorlu yıllarımız boyunca kendimizi hiç fakir insanlar olarak düşünmemiştim. Paramız azdı, tamam, ara sıra şansımız ters gidiyordu, ama Dickens romanlarında ya da Les Miserables'da okuduğumuz fakir insanlar'dan değildik biz. Oysa şimdi öyleydik. Bu kırsal fakirlik, müzeleriyle, kütüphanesiyle, iyi şansa çıkabilecek sokaklarıyla renklenen kent fakirliğinden çok daha ağır bir [...]

    21. Linda

      Rodney Whitaker aka Trevanian wrote The Crazy Ladies of Pearl Street as a novel; it is also listed as semi-autobiographical. Whitaker grew up in poverty in Albany, New York - his story is the story of the people and reminiscences in his neighborhood as seen through the eyes of a young boy during the 1930's to 1940's. Excellent reading.

    22. Sherri

      so far one of the most fantastic books i have ever read. finally, an author who isnt afraid to use the english language! dozens of too-little-used words; in fantastic ways. love it.

    23. A. Gulden

      Bu ikinci kuşak insanların kendi aralarında ve daha öncekilerle rastgele ve süresiz çiftleşmelerinden de yirmi kadar çocuk çıkmıştı. Hepsi kardeş/kuzen/baba/amca/oğul/torun ilişkileri içindeydi. Her bir Meehan, soyadını en azından iki kere hak etmekteydi, ama içlerinden yalnızca biri ‘Bayan Meehan’ diye anılıyordu.Aşiretin yemeklerini pişiren, küçük çocuklara bakan, temizliğini yapan genellikle oydu –çoğu zaman temizlik de, yırtık pırtık bir saçaklı s [...]

    24. Cheryl Mclaughlin

      This was an ASTONISHING book (with a poorly chosen title) - I haven't been able to stop talking and thinking about it. I've researched Trevanian since finishing the book and am fascinated by him. I disagree with the reviewer who said that readers who didn't already know the author wouldn't necessarily agree about the book's wonderfulness.Not since Pat Conroy have I loved an author's style so much. He's a word master and I actually enjoyed having to look up a lot of words he used! I seldom highli [...]

    25. Janet

      This was the author's last published novel, an autobiographical story of his time living on North Pearl Street in Albany New York with his mother and younger sister. They lived in Albany from 1934 when he was 6 until 1945 when they moved to California. The neighborhood was, without apology, a slum at a time in history when life was especially hard on the poor. This family survived on a weekly $7.27 welfare check. With that money they had to pay rent, pay for heat, pay for meals, pay for clothes [...]

    26. Ellen

      This is probably my favorite book that I have read this year, particularly since I am always intrigued with stories which take place during the depression. This is despite the fact that neither side of my family suffered during this time, having fathers who were constantly employed.I was fascinated by all the people who populated this novel, especially the protagonist. All of them are wonderfully brought to life, whether admirable or despicable. The author makes very few judgment calls, just tel [...]

    27. Lesley

      So first I must point out, it is right in the author's notes in the beginning, this is a story of the authors' imagination, not his own upbringing! I read a few reviews saying this was an autobiography of the author. Uhmm not true, but I think that makes it so amazing! It reads like he was writing of his own upbringing as a child. I happened to have the audio book and hardcover book to read as well. The audio book was well narrated by the great Tom Bosley (happy days dad). At times part of the s [...]

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