Reviews - What do customers think about The Big Bust at Tyrone's Rooming House: A Novel of Atlanta?
Smiles & Fear in the Gentrified Zone Jan 24, 2005
Any novel that begins w/a robbing & then moves to a meet w/a prostitute has to be depressing, right? WRONG! Jim Gallant shows his protagonist defusing the 'robber' [who's hold him up w/a rolled-up magazine] w/friendliness; & the hooker isn't exactly a stranger *or* a sex worker... Characters Mike, Maggie, New York Doll, & Tyrone himself are drawn sympthetically, warts-&-all, as human beings living in an area that's slowly being 'gentrified'. Death is common, altho 1 is portrayed as a neighborhood mourning. Humor is more common; at 1 point, the author reads Juvenal's -Satires- in translation, finding Juvenal surprisingly relevant [his comments were made during/about Republcan Rome]. Literacy, a gentle spirit, and compassion lace this book, as the auhor & his professor-wife deal with the frustrations of living next to a crack house [the above-mentioned Rooming House], fighting apathetic NIMBY neighbors, hoodoo serious & otherwise, the effects of overworked/underpaid/corrupt poolice, & the general seediness of an area slowy being colonized by well-meaning upgrading gays ... who only want an area where *they* won't be excessively stigmatized. *Highly* recommended for any1 w/a brain & a sense of humor...
A Fascinating Glimpse of Life in Urban Atlanta May 17, 2004
I really enjoyed reading this book! The narrative held my interest to the very end and I was left with wanting to know more about all of his neighbors and what happened to his neighborhood since then. I agree with Maxine Chernoff's review of this book in which she states "James Gallant writes with humor, sympathy, and candor about what really happens in the American urban limbo of big and small-time swindlers chasing a dream. From con-artistry and hoodoo practices, to lonely old ladies, conniving pimps and chartreuse houses, Gallant's Atlanta is a complex and charming place worthy of the legendary status it achieves through his magically affirmative writing." I couldn't have said it any better than she did!