Book Review: Funny Boys

After New York Echoes and The War of the Roses, readers have come to expect more from Adler than this love story that gets bogged down under the weight of its tiresome, overdone Brooklyn accent. Set in New York’s Catskill Mountains during the heyday of luxury hotels populated by the wealthy, Mickey Fine gets hired as a tumler, an entertainer for Gorlick’s. It is an exclusive hotel that caters to the family and friends of the biggest mobsters of the day so Fine must be careful not to offend his boss or the clientele with his jokes. Fine falls hard for Jean Harlow look-alike, Mutzie Feder but it’s hardly a match made in heaven as she is currently Pep’s main squeeze. Pep is not just a jealous man, he happens to be none other then Phil Strauss, a big time gangster from Pittsburgh who has his own nefarious plans for Mutzie. Fine will have to come up with clever plan to free his ladylove and escape with both their lives.

If your idea of good reading is wading through pages of lines like “I got no hooers, Pep. Youse da guy wid da hooers.” or “Dese are not fun times faw us, Fine. Pay up and save yourself da tsouris.” then it is possible you might enjoy Adler’s latest offering, for the rest of us, it is disappointing. The characters seem more like cardboard caricatures then real people making it difficult for readers to feel any connection to them in this parody that falls flat.

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