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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Moish and the Mob and Other Short Fiction is a short story collection written by Raanan Geberer. Moish and Artie live with their widowed mother, Mrs. Birnbaum, and in 1929 they moved from the East Side up to 175th Street. This was a good move for them, even if it meant living on the top floor of the building. Their mother would be able to take the subway to her job in the Garment Center, and there was a large park in the area for the kids to play. By 1940, the building where they live is getting a bit run-down, and Artie has moved away, leaving Moish and his mother, who's now too sick to work. Artie hangs out with his old pal, Shmooey, and sometimes hacks for a local car service that transports people up to the Catskills.
Raanan Geberer's short story collection, Moish and the Mob and Other Short Fiction, is a nostalgic look at 20th-century New York. It will bring a smile to the faces of New Yorkers, no matter where they happen to be living when they read it, and give a glimpse of New York's heart and soul to everyone else. As a transplanted New Yorker, I loved hearing the dialects and got hungry reading about the corned beef, pastrami and those bottles of Cel-Ray. Geberer's characters are authentic and fully dimensional, especially Moish, the wanna-be hood who ends up being the younger kid who gets stuck living at home with mom. Moish's coming of age during World War II is poignant and moving. Moish and the Mob and Other Short Fiction is highly recommended.