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Author Topic: The 1st two books  (Read 11678 times)

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The 1st two books
« on: January 26, 2004, 05:41:21 PM »

I just wanted to say that I finished reading the 2nd novel today and I enjoyed it.

I said this to you before, Bruce, but you have an easy reading style and I would know it was you who wrote the stories, even if you had used a pen name or a ghost writer because how you "talk?/write?" here on the board is the same.

Both books brought back so many childhood memories. Good and bad.   I'm afraid I don't have the perfect memory that Benjamin does but he made me think of things I thought I had forgotten and brought many, many a smile to my face.  I'd share some of them with you here but I have to save something for the board!   :D  Like, Benjamin, I also had a “friend” who turned on me so that was a remembrance as well.

I think Benjamin was a very lucky boy to have parents who loved him as much as they did.  He may not have thought so at the time but you could see that they did their best to get him the things he wanted and they WERE there for him when it mattered. Even if they embarrassed him at the time.    

I  am looking forward to reading the new one!

« Last Edit: January 28, 2004, 04:32:34 PM by Danise »
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Re:The 1st two books
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2004, 07:57:11 PM »

Even though there were worlds of difference between my own childhood and Benjamin Kritzer's fictional one, there were two (count 'em!) two incidents in Benjamin Kritzer which were echoed in my own childhood.

When I was a kid, I had a paper route, which supplied me with actual spending money, which was very rare given my family's economic situation.  And I invariably used to spend a good portion of it at our two neighborhood theaters, the Delft and the Nordic.  And I would see every movie at both theaters.  Most of 'em I loved.  Some of 'em I couldn't understand for the life of me...I was way too young to understand what the heck was going on in Advise and Consent, but I still sat through the entire movie.  (Exactly why they'd let an eight-year-old kid get admittance into Advise and Consent is another story...)

Anyway, both theaters were owned by the same manager, who was way too cheap to hire two projectionists.  So the movies were timed so that Gene Maki (the projectionist in question) could run across the street to the other theater to do the reel changes.  I got to know all the consession girls by name (Sally, Kathleen, and Phyllis), and they remembered what I really liked.  And one day, they introduced me to Gene, who was a jolly fat Santa without a beard, but with a cigar.  He looked a bit like Burl Ives.  And Gene showed me how to load the film, how to spot when the reel changes were, and the differences between lenses.  

I loved that guy.  He passed away in 1983, and I travelled 1500 miles to attend his funeral.  The last movie he ran was Psycho II.  

I won't share the other incident, as (at least for me!) it was the emotional highpoint of the novel, and would be therefore by classified as a major spoiler.  And I wouldn't dream of spoiling it for anyone who hasn't read Benjamin Kritzer.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2004, 08:03:05 PM by Robin »
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Re:The 1st two books
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2004, 06:51:41 PM »

The first two Kritzer novels are, to me, the first installments of a biographical novel approaching Charles Dickens territory:  eccentric humorous characters, bullies, false friends, love, and a young man on a quest to find his place in the cosmos.  The book (meaning all three Kritzer novels) is reminescent of DAVID COPPERFIELD - whose eponymous hero has the same initials as his author - and I find something of GREAT EXPECTATIONS, and the good humor of THE PICKWICK PAPERS, there as well.

BENJAMIN KRITZER introduces the reader to its hero and his world, a look at 1950s Los Angeles both nostalgic and daunting; Bad Men, Martian parents, sibling rivalry, and a neurotic, lonely boy balancing losses and gains personally and universally, as he makes his way through a vanishing period of American life and grade school.  This book is the caterpillar's life.

KRITZERLAND takes its hero through junior high school, betrayal by a friend preferring zircons to diamonds, more movies and popular song, as he enters his chrysalis stage before becoming the butterfly of the third.  Benjamin's talents and interests begin shaping him.  

The two Kritzer books, like any great novel, reveal universal truths, and gild their philosophic pill with a liberal dose of popular song, movies, and a liberal dose of humor and compassion.  You'll laugh! You'll cry!
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats" - Albert Schweitzer


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Re: The 1st two books
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 08:35:48 PM »

In looking around the new board, I was glancing over the book threads -- and when I read this last one (DR Elmore's), it made me want to pick up the Kritzer books and start my first re-reading of them ... right now.  Well, I can't do it just now, and I know that these posts were made over (gasp) NINE YEARS AGO -- but I wanted to say that is one damned fine and eloquent description.  I'm really, really looking forward to when I can give the Kritzer Saga a very thorough second read.
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