City Rats
Petros Z. Mantarakis
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City Rats

Petros Z. Mantarakis
PublishAmerica
Paperback
164 pages
June 2004
rated 2 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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Click here to read reviewer Maryann Miller's take on Now May You Weep.

Though the story is oft-told of Hell's Kitchen, a dark place full of malefic influence, drugs, denizens of the underworld, the little immigrant boy made good, here it is reworked to suit the purpose of a Greek family struggling to make ends meet. And whoopa (Greek ole), the tale finds an original tone.

City Rats tracks the life of Nick, the neighborhood boy teetering between the lure of the mean street and the straight and narrow. We follow his adventures, mishaps, and struggles as he entangles himself in "family" business, puts out an eye, and just generally runs through the heady and insane days of adolescence.

As his first foray into fiction, the author displays a fine sense of word play and dramatic turn of phrase. Chapter One, line one reads: "The doctor carefully inserted the metal fingers of a speculum first into the lower eyelid and then into the upper one of Nick's left eye." Visual, smart, and hooky.

A nice debut and an author worth watching.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2005

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