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BOOK REVIEW:
THE ORGAN GRINDER AND THE MONKEY
BY SAM MOFFIE

We hope you enjoy this book review by Nancy Eaton.

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Sam Moffie has written a unique novel about three protagonists, very different from each other, who share something in common.

The first character we are introduced to is Seymour Petrillo. Seymour’s family is quite different to say the least. His mother is obsessed that her ex is gay. Not only is Seymour’s dad gay but he idolizes Dean Martin. To him, nothing had a meaning unless he could relate it to Dean Martin. As a result, Seymour loved spending time with his grandparents. He enjoyed taking walks with his grandfather. He dreaded going over to his dad’s house because his “friends” made him feel uncomfortable. To make matters worse, Seymour has been diagnosed with multiple split personalities. Then we have his therapist who wrote a book on what Seymour did and made a great deal of money. Seymour got a college education and ended up in New York. Through the help of a woman, he got a job working in an animal shelter. His goal was to become a veterinarian.

Next, the reader is introduced to Irving Hanhart who is from Brookline, Massachusetts. Irving also comes from a very interesting family. His mother is Jewish and his father is Irish. Irving describes both of his parents as “revolutionaries”. His parents owned a bookstore called Moishe Pipecks. It was a sort of “hangout” for all the radical people. One of the reasons Irving was enrolled in a public school system is because the curriculum included field trips. On one class trip to the Newton City Hall, Irving became so engrossed in looking at the diorama that he became separated from the rest of his class. He felt someone shaking his shoulder. It was a policeman asking him if he were lost. He told Irving not be ashamed – that sometimes he gets lost too! The policeman took Irving to the office and told him everything would be all right. From this moment on, Irving knew he wanted to be a New York City policeman. Irving’s main problem now is his wife is addicted to drugs and alcohol. To save his own sanity, he belongs to Al-anon.

The third character is Constance Powers who is from Boardman, Ohio. She is talented and beautiful. She heads for New York City to become, what many think, will be a big star. Her dream is to become a Radio City Rockette. Well, things do not go as expected for Constance. She ends up doing some off-broadway work but her main job is at a strip club. Constance’s answer to everything was for the “Almighty to give an enema to…” Constance came from a wealthy family but she said they never saw any of the money because it got eaten up by a lot of “isms”.

As you can see the three protagonists end up in New York with a purpose – to pursue their dream. What happens?

The reader is taken on an extraordinary journey as we go through each person’s philosophy, struggles, desires and what each one considers to be a solution. This is a complex novel and it gives the reader much to think about as they turn the pages. The three characters are somewhat “unusual” and Sam does an excellent job with his descriptions for the reader that will draw them right into the story. Sam touches, in his own clever way, on many of the topics that exist in our society today.

This is Sam Moffie’s second novel. The first book is called Swap and the content and writing style for these two books are quite different. This author has no problem making this smooth transition from one style to the next and this is something that is normally done only by the best authors.

The only thing negative I have to say about this book is the print should be a little larger (especially for people like me who are over 40). With that being said, the author’s writing style more than makes up for the small print.

Sam Moffie makes this a very interesting read by adding many emotions to tell the story. You will find quite a bit of humor. Remember the word “enema” and you will see what I am referring to.

To sum it up, this book is creative and imaginative. It is loaded with a great deal of explicit dialogue that keeps the story moving. There is no doubt in my mind that we will hear much more about Sam Moffie in the future.

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON


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