Ken Wohlrob must love his city. The author of The Love Book returns with stories so encrusted with the ambiance of New York, they could not have come from anyone else other than a resident. These stories, sometimes soft focused and sentimental about the city that was, other times microscopic in their harsh scrutiny, share one thing in common- characters. Wohlrob empathizes with these denizens occupying a rapidly evolving environment.
Many years back, on my first trip to New York, a friend warned me that with a city so heavily populated, I may start to think strangers looked familiar. I found this happening as I read Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners- New York Stories. Haley, the child in the story “The Look” reminded me of a nameless girl facing the character, Pat, in a hospital in an earlier story, “The Metronome Winds Down.”
The price of admission is well worth it for the final story alone. “Claimus Flees Manhattan” is a literary lark I’m sure I will find myself revisiting for years. A gem!
Songs of Vagabonds, Misfits, and Sinners- New York Stories may be found in various forms, even a soundtrack, here.