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Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue by Mark Kurlansky
In Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue, Nathan Seltzer, a son of Jewish immigrants, finds himself in the middle of a midlife crisis in his Lower East Side neighborhood in New York City. His neighborhood is going through a phase of gentrification, he's suffering bouts of claustrophobia, and he's considering an affair with the daughter of a German pastry maker. This becomes even more complicated when his uncle, a Holocaust survivor, suspects the German pastry maker is a Nazi war criminal. Nathan's father is trying to bring back the boogaloo dance craze, and a murderer is terrorizing them all. This is the first fiction offering from Mark Kurlansky (Cod, Salt, 1968) and his novel of food, sex, guilt, and murder has received mixed reviews. The Telegraph says, "Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue is a marvellous debut by any standards: a comedy of New York manners steeped in affection for that most cosmopolitan of cities. The book is a model of deft characterisation and straight-down-the-middle storytelling."