Robert Stephen Spitz

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 134

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Pete Hamill's previous novels (A Killing for Christ, The Gift) have been cogent, mannered vignettes about Brooklyn life. In Flesh and Blood, Hamill has unfortunately succumbed to the ignoble television-bred myth that the public will respond positively only to recycled pulp. However, despite its commercial obeisance, this book illuminates the author's ability to capture with stylized brio the nuances of the aching underbelly of society. That sensitivity in itself warrants a modicum of respect, with a cautious eye to the future….

Flesh and Blood is an engrossing enough study of the lineal knot that becomes slowly untied. It travels the Rocky road, and while it "coulda been a contenduh," it emerges as only a pretender to the crown. (p. 40)

Robert Stephen Spitz, in Saturday Review (© 1978 by Saturday Review Magazine Corp.; reprinted with permission), January 7, 1978.


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