Friday, May 17, 2019

A Stone for Danny Fisher; Harold Robbins


AUTHOR:  Harold Robbins
PUBLISHER:  Blackstone Audio 
PUB. YEAR: (1952 - original pub) (2007-audio)
SETTING:  NY
FORMAT:  - Audible - almost 16 hours
RATING - 5/5

Set around the Depression era, we meet the central character, Danny Fisher, as a young Jewish boy growing up in Brooklyn.  His father, a pharmacist, has just purchased their first home, which he tells Danny is for him even though Danny has a sister. Danny loves his new house, but he quickly learns that he must learn to be tough. 

Because it's the depression, his family falls on hard times and are forced to leave Danny's beloved home and move to the lower east side to become renters once again.  Danny hates seeing what is happening to his family and must also contend with bullies, racists and violence on the streets of NY.  He learns to box so that he can be tough and, he finds that he is quite good at it as well.  All the while as Danny is trying to find his place in the world, his actions cause problems between him and his family, when in reality he is only trying to make things easier for his mother and father. 

Beautifully written, detailed, and emotional at times, A Stone for Danny Fisher, is a wonderful story about a lost childhood and the consequences of poor life choices. Harold Robbins knew how to write with a eye for detail. The intricate details are never boring, instead they drew me into the story even deeper, making me feel what Danny was feeling at times.  

There are some heavy subjects detailed here: anti semitism, bullies, prostitution, sex, violence and corruption. Not since Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, have I been so moved by a story.  Charles Leggett who narrated this audio book was absolutely outstanding. This is one of the best audio book stories I've ever listen more to and, although the audio is almost 15 hours, we couldn't wait to get back to this story every chance we got. Try it sometime, I'm betting you will enjoy it as well.

13 comments:

  1. 5 out of 5! I love it when a book is that good. The Great Depression is such a good backdrop for a meaningful story; I'm glad this one is so good.

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    1. Helen, yes, Depression era fiction can be often makes for a compelling story.

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  2. Wow, your enthusiasm for this book is wonderful!

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  3. This audiobook sounds amazing!

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    1. Yes, one of those stories you just couldn't wait to return to.

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  4. How cool, another fiver, sounds good.

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  5. That's high praise, indeed! I'm not familiar with this book, but it sounds like I should be.

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    1. Ann Hood mentioned it in a recent memoir and my husband had mentioned reading it years ago. SO happy to have selected the audio!

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  6. Yes wow! Sounds great. I have read some Harold Robbins because he had bestsellers during the early years of My Big Fat Reading Project but had not heard of this one. Thanks!

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    1. Author, Ann Hood mentioned how much she loved it in one of her memoirs.

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  7. What?! Never having read Harold Robbins this isn't what I expected. Adding it to my list immediately.

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