4 out of 4 stars
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Benjamin Street by Rick Barrett blurs the line between fiction and memoir. Jack (or Skeeter) has four friends: Sam, Harry, Peachy, and Buddy. What Skeeter, an Italian boy, a Jewish bookworm, the son of a Nazi and a keen girl could have in common? The love for baseball. The five young people are part of a baseball team called Benjamin Street Bombers.
Would a book about a real-state tycoon trying to renovate a decaying apartment building be considered an enjoyable read? For most individuals, the answer is no. This is a settled question, but what seems to be the plot of the story, however, is just a pretext: the main character used to live in that area and want to talk about his youth. David, the business partner that appears complaining at the end of the chapters, is irrelevant to the storyline. He only exists to show that the building has no commercial value.
The chapters in this book discuss several topics ranging from antisemitism to friendship, baseball, and the death of loved ones. It’s amazing how this book reminded me of the movie Stand by Me. I've learned many things about American society during World War 2 while reading this book. The fact that you can learn a lot of new things while having fun is what I enjoyed the most about this book.
This is a nice, thought-provoking and magnetic book. Despite the simplicity of the plot, most characters are dynamic and differ from each other. They have some kind of psychological issue. Peachy is the only girl playing baseball. Harry is a member of the group, but his culture and lifestyle clash with his friend’s values. Buddy is a tormented boy and the son of a German who decided to fight for Hitler.
Even though Rick Barrett wrote a book about friendship, there is a bit of tragedy mixed in. That could have been a terrible mistake, but surprisingly enough, the author did an amazing job. Some sad events were brilliantly put together (something that made the book even more interesting). I can't point out a single thing I disliked in the entire book.
All things considered, Benjamin Street deserves 4 out of 4 stars. I wouldn’t say that this book is exceptionally flawless, but, undoubtedly, there is nothing serious to criticize at all. Thus, there is no reason to take one star away. It’s professionally edited with no errors. I would recommend it to anyone interested in books about friendship or just people who want to know more about American society during World War 2.
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