Pete Hamill’s The Christmas Kid is but one title in this collection of 36 short works of fiction. Don’t look for sentimentality or the aroma from bread baking in a long forgotten local bakery. Hard times and hard lives abound. This body of work was compiled from stories Hamill published, mostly in the New York Daily News. Many are set in post WWII Brooklyn neighborhoods near where Hamill has lived.
With the exception of the title story, The Christmas Kid , these are sad tales about troubled lives in very tough neighborhoods. Street Gangs, lost loves, beleaguered drunks, revenge , missed opportunities and no way to break the cycle. Hamill often gives the reader a glint of optimism, then hope plummets off a cliff. Gripping, wonderful fiction for aficionados of New York lore . No one does it better than Hamill. Many of the stories could be the beginning of a novel unto themselves!
The Christmas Kid was first published in 2012 and released in paperback this year.