Ravage & Son

288 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $17.99
ISBN: 9781954276192


ISBN: 9781954276208

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“[Charyn’s] storytelling is off-the-chart wonderful.”

Jerusalem Post

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“Evoke[s] the Shakespearean Lower East Side. . . . The prose of this novel pulsates in a relentless torrent.”

New York Sun

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“Complex and captivating. . . . The noir style of this novel shows Jerome Charyn at his best.”

Jewish Book Council

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“[A] gritty historical crime novel. . . . Brawny, vibrant pulp fiction.”

The Forward

“A panorama of the times.”

The Reporter

“An epic work of historical fiction. . . . The novel is part Jekyll and Hyde, part crime noir, part mystery novel, and ultimately an instant classic—a cinematic kaleidoscope that captures humanity’s intense beauty and utter debauchery.”


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“Both social commentary and a whodunit . . . [Charyn] tells a story about social issues relevant today including LGBT shame, class struggle, immigration standards, antisemitism, and balanced journalism. His talent at blending history with fiction results in a magnificent portrait of the darker side of society.”

On the Seawall

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“Charyn is an institution. . . . His skill is such that it’s difficult to separate the real-world figures and entities from the characters and places the author is inventing.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“With biting humor and fierce tenderness, Jerome Charyn builds the world of Manhattan’s Lower East Side Jewish ghetto from 1883 onward, rife with crime, passion, and the competition of shrewd businessmen and immigrant gangs.”

Historical Novels Review

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“Rollicking. . . . Ravage & Son brings New York City’s criminal underground to vibrant life.”

Foreword Reviews

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“Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights has nothing on Charyn’s Lower East Side.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Charyn continues to deliver boisterous and flavorful prose.”

Publishers Weekly

“[Charyn’s] writing is devastatingly poignant and nearly impossible to categorize. He switches between ‘genres’ like another man might change his shirt. . . . [In Ravage & Son] the accomplished author has turned to his own past, living in New York City, to dredge up the sumptuous details surrounding what once was the world of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, riddled with corruption and the ugliness of antisemitism.”

Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

Ravage & Son reflects the lost world of Manhattan’s Lower East Side—the cradle of Jewish immigration during the first years of the twentieth century—in a dark mirror.

Abraham Cahan, editor of the Jewish Daily Forward, serves as the conscience of the Jewish ghetto teeming with rogue cops and swindlers. He rescues Ben Ravage, an orphan, from a trade school and sends him off to Harvard to earn a law degree. But upon his return, Ben rejects the chance to escape his gritty origins and instead becomes a detective for the Kehilla, a quixotic gang backed by wealthy uptown patrons to help the police rid the Lower East Side of criminals. Charged with rooting out the Jewish “Mr. Hyde,” a half-mad villain who attacks the prostitutes of Allen Street, Ben discovers that his fate is irrevocably tied to that of this violent, sinister man.

A lurid tale of revenge, this wildly evocative, suspenseful noir is vintage Jerome Charyn.

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Literary Hub “New Books!” selection

Book Marks “Best Reviewed Books of the Week” selection

Mysterious Bookshop Crime Club Pick

Excerpt from Ravage & Son

Listen to Jerome Charyn discuss his novel Ravage & Son on the Virtual Memories Show, New Books Network, Too Jewish Radio, and Leonard Lopate at Large.

Watch Jerome Charyn in conversation with Jay Neugeboren about Ravage & Son at The Mysterious Bookshop.

Discover the story behind Ravage & Son at the Jewish Book Council and through interviews with Jerome Charyn at PopMatters, Reader’s Entertainment Magazine, and Book Q&As.

Preview Ravage & Son in Evergreen Review and The Forward.