A few months ago I got a request from an old teacher colleague and friend to read his book ahead of the publishing date so I could write a pre-review to get the word out. I got the PDF and had it printed at my friendly neighborhood copy shop – where they accidentally printed it twice and bound it as one, making a hefty tome and an environmental tragedy in one. I did not notice until I started reading it weeks later, by which time it was too late to do anything about it but to work on my biceps.
I posted my review on Goodreads. Amazon, on the other hand, will not let me post it because I have not spent $50 in the last 12 months with them, something I am actually quite proud of. At any rate, here is the review, now go read the book!!
Ring on Deli is a rara avis of the current literary scene. Here is a well-built narrative, with a solid cast of characters that add human depth, texture, and color to a story about complex local -and national- issues such as capitalism, education, local government, even pest control! A story that makes you think, laugh, worry, and cheer. Ring on Deli, although satirical in spirit points to real, current concerns. Eric Giroux has hit the nail on the head with his style: a bit of John Irving to weave the narrative, a bit of Philip Roth for dark humor, and a bit of DBC Pierre for freshness, like cilantro. Using satire to sway opinion is as old as literature itself. From Medieval texts to current opinion journalism, through Voltaire and Swift, all have relied heavily on satire to avoid censorship and inquisition (both real and figurative). Ring on Deli is a brilliant read that I recommend without reservations.