Who is the mysterious Rudy Kazoody, and what, if anything, did he have to do with the events that occurred to a group of teenagers during one fateful summer in New York City’s Bronx neighborhood in the early 1960s?
Growing up is difficult enough. But when you’re a recent immigrant arriving in a country that is going through its own coming-of-age process, fueled by rock ‘n’ roll, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, free love, the pill, LSD, and the Cold War, it’s downright confusing, and for some—lethal.
With the various upheavals shaking America to its core, Joey, whose family emigrated to the Bronx from Italy’s Apennine Mountains, struggles to retain his innocent, optimistic outlook on life as he and the other young teenagers on Arthur Avenue—virtually all of whom also come from immigrant, working-class families—try to find their place in this new order.
From the euphoria of first love to the despair of dashed dreams and betrayal, Joey emerges from the summer sadder but wiser in this romantic, mysterious, and nostalgic tale. Behind it all lurks the mysterious Rudy Kazoody, an enigma that Joey feels he must solve or else remain forever just outside the inner circle of life and love.
A well crafted coming of age story, May 20, 2017
Whatever flaws we might identify or frustrations we might feel are trivial in comparison to a reader’s pure joy in losing himself/herself in a narrative. When all the elements come together: an intriguing plot, thoughtful, profound themes, complex, troubling, characters, and language that make us shudder for its honesty, clarity, and confidence; we gratefully set all analysis aside and give ourselves up to the sheer magic of a great book. And for me, Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody is such a book.
Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody is a well crafted coming of age novel. And I would imagine that fans of this genre will love having a nibble on this one! This is my first time reading this author and I must say I was very impressed.
The story had every element a good story should have. A stimulating plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well illustrated scenes that really make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I look for in a good book.
This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The story flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional skill when it comes to storytelling. You will be guided through the chapters in this story with the feeling that there is something big about to transpire. Also, if you are fond of the “remember when life was good” stories about childhood friends, then you’ll get enjoyment from this book for its youthfulness and nostalgia.
It’s one of those stories that come along once in awhile that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader!
I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from A.A. Freda in the future! I would definitely recommend this book! Five stars from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Like many of the characters in his novel, A. A. Freda arrived in America as an immigrant and grew up in the same Bronx neighborhood in which the events of Rudy Kazoody take place. His book is an exploration of the emotions and experiences that he and many of his fellow teenagers experienced as they came of age in the tumultuous 1960s neighborhood.
Freda grew up and married a Bronx girl, Jessann, and now resides in Easton, CT, a suburb of New York City that offers him a tranquil environment that allows him to keep his finger on the pulse of the city he loves so much. A graduate of Bernard Baruch College at the City University in New York, he has served as an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. In addition to writing, in his spare time, Freda enjoys fishing, playing pool, baseball.
Goodbye, Rudy Kazoody is Freda’s first novel, but he already has a sequel in the works.