Monday, June 24, 2019

Car Trouble

Himself. In his debut novel titled, Car Trouble, Robert Rorke presents the teenage life of protagonist Nicky Flynn in Brooklyn in the 1970s. The center of much attention throughout the novel is Nicky’s father, Patrick, an alcoholic the family calls, “himself.” One of Patrick’s quirks is to buy beater cars at police auctions and run them into the ground. The descriptions of the cars, life in Brooklyn, and family dynamics are all finely written. My own coming of age in Brooklyn came to mind often as I read this novel, especially when triggered as Rorke describes the sounds of crossing the Marine Parkway Bridge from Brooklyn to Rockaway. One of my fondest memories in the 1960s was driving as a pre-teen with my own father, also known as himself, in a 1953 Mercury with a claw-footed bathtub on the roof, secured by ropes that went through the passenger door handle, leaving me trapped in a death seat should peril occur. Readers with a connection to Brooklyn will find special interest in this book, as will anyone affected in any way by alcohol abuse. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Car Trouble from

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