Picture of author.
109+ Works 2,352 Members 150 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Jerome Charyn was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1937. An author who primarily writes detective stories, Charyn's novels contain a wide array of characters ranging form a gorgeous, headstrong double agent to a greedy, corrupt lawyer. Charyn chronicles the life of Isaac Sidel El Caballo, the Mayor show more of New York City, in over half a dozen books, including El Bronx, Little Angel Street, Marilyn the Wild, and The Good Policeman. Among his latest novels is The Secret Life of emily Dickinson. The story is told from her point of view and incorporates both historical and fictional characters to tell what she may have been like. His next work was entitled Under the Eye of God. Widely translated, Charyn's novels have broad readership in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Japan, as well as the United States. Charyn lives in Paris where he teaches cinema at the American University of Paris. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy of Serpent's Tail Press


Works by Jerome Charyn

Marilyn the Wild (1976) 86 copies
Blue Eyes (1975) 80 copies
Billy Budd, KGB (1990) 77 copies
Magician's Wife (1707) 63 copies
Jerzy: A Novel (2017) 52 copies
Little Tulip (2014) 49 copies
SECRET ISAAC (1978) 42 copies
The Good Policeman (1990) 41 copies
Paradise Man (1987) 37 copies
The Tar Baby (1995) 33 copies
Sergeant Salinger (2021) 32 copies
Montezuma's Man (1993) 28 copies
The Seventh Babe (1979) 28 copies
Big Red (2022) 26 copies
Maria's Girls (1992) 25 copies
The Crime Lover's Casebook (1993) 24 copies
Appelez-moi Malaussène (2000) 23 copies
Margot in Badtown (1991) 23 copies
El Bronx (1997) 23 copies
Citizen Sidel (1999) 22 copies
New York : Chronique d'une ville sauvage (1994) — Author — 21 copies
Little Angel Street (1994) 21 copies
The Catfish Man (1980) 20 copies
The Black Swan: A Memoir (2000) 20 copies
Elsinore (1991) 19 copies
Once Upon A Droshky (1964) 17 copies
Pinocchio's nose (1983) 16 copies
Ravage & Son (2023) 14 copies
Family Man (1995) 12 copies
Käärmeen hammas (1997) 11 copies
The Franklin scare (1977) 11 copies
Bronx Boy: A Memoir (2002) 11 copies
Back to Bataan (1993) 9 copies
Panna Maria (1982) 9 copies
Eisenhower, My Eisenhower (1971) 8 copies
Family Man Volume 2: Take Me Out To The Ballgame (1995) — Author — 7 copies
Morte di un re del tango (1998) 6 copies
White Sonya (2000) 6 copies
American scrapbook (1969) 5 copies
De gebroeders Adamov (1993) 5 copies
Frau des Magiers, Die (2015) 4 copies
Hurricane Lady (2001) 4 copies
Erbarmungslose Stiere (2000) 4 copies
Captain Kidd (1999) 3 copies
At the Sudden Death Café (2012) 3 copies
The Bad Die Young (2013) 3 copies
Guerre à l'homme-loup (1994) 3 copies
The Lord of Sugar Hill (2012) 2 copies
Une romance (1998) 2 copies
Wilhelm der Hebräer (2019) 2 copies
Avis de grand froid (2020) 2 copies
Boca de diablo (1990) 1 copy
Bande à part (1998) 1 copy
Kromneus 1 copy
Tödliche Romanze (1997) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) — Afterword, some editions — 16,774 copies
Bronx Noir (2003) — Contributor — 98 copies
USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series (2013) — Contributor — 81 copies
Manhattan Noir 2: The Classics (2008) — Contributor — 48 copies
The Best Mystery Stories of the Year: 2022 (2022) — Contributor — 32 copies
Inward Journey (1987) — Contributor — 11 copies
Fiction, Volume 1, Number 1 — Contributor — 1 copy
Conversations with Jerome Charyn — Associated Name — 1 copy
Cuentos inéditos — Contributor — 1 copy


1001 (57) 1001 books (69) 19th century (289) 19th century literature (49) anthology (54) British (94) British literature (181) classic (586) classic literature (87) classics (596) crime (76) Easton Press (59) ebook (148) England (96) English (68) English literature (153) fantasy (105) fiction (1,490) gothic (234) historical fiction (77) horror (812) Kindle (123) literature (335) London (104) mystery (314) novel (253) novella (72) own (54) read (186) Robert Louis Stevenson (76) Roman (53) science fiction (387) Scottish (53) Scottish literature (62) short stories (86) Stevenson (66) thriller (55) to-read (661) unread (58) Victorian (111)

Common Knowledge



This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ravage & Son is a dark and often painfully sad book. I requested it because my father was a Russian Jew who grew up on New York City’s lower East Side in the early 20th century and I wanted to read more about this. And also because Jerome Charyn is a gifted writer—I’ve read other books of his and am always impressed.

I will say that if I hadn’t won the book and had to write a review, I would have stopped early on because of animal cruelty. Consider this a trigger warning. Ordinarily, I would not have read past this but I’m glad I did, even though, as I said, there is much sadness in this book.

The book begins with Lionel Ravage, a landlord and businessman whose empty life is lit up when he falls in love with Manya. However, his is a blindly possessive and all-devouring love and he resents the son (Ben) Manya bears him because he cannot share his love.

However, he pours his resources into Ben—with the expectation that Ben will one day join his business. But Ben disappoints him by becoming a detective, whose search for a murderer, in partnership with Abraham Cahan, publisher of a progressive Jewish newspaper, brings him into confrontation with the corruption of the infamous Tammany Hall and the rest of New York City’s deeply corrupt government and judicial systems, as well as crime bosses. And it hits close to home as his father’s involvement in it all is revealed.

This is a story, with roots in historical reality, that is near and dear to me. Charyn creates this world of corruption, power, as well as the daily reality of the Jewish immigrants and their life in this time and play with compelling clarity.

There is no blinking in the face of despair, in what at times seems like a hopeless fight for justice and equity. And the end makes no compromises.

But the pay-off is a vivid re-creation of the old New York City (maybe not so different, sadly, than the one we know today) and of the people struggling to survive in it. A story of the fight for power and dominance and of the ordinary people working against all odds just to survive. As always, Charyn’s writing is razor-sharp with not a wasted word.

I’m grateful I kept reading. I am grateful to have received an advance copy from the publisher.
… (more)
1 vote
EllieNYC | 4 other reviews | Aug 19, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a fascinating look at the Jewish Ghetto at the turn of the century with the poverty, crime, corruption, and those who worked against it. A page turning plot with well drawn characters has been created. I sometimes was confused about the timeline but otherwise I was riveted to the action & cared about the good guys. All in all, this is a great book.
jeshakespeare | 4 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Ravage & Sons" reveals what living during the beginning of the 20th century was like in the lower East Side of Manhattan among the borough immigrants. Corruption reigned among the police and pick pockets and con artists were everywhere! Even the courts were corrupt. It's the story of Ben Ravage, an orphan who is a detective for the Kehilla, a gang backed by influential people. His goal is to get rid of the criminals in the lower East Side of Manhattan.

Author Jerome Charyn's staccato style of writing and his fast-paced plot lend themselves to this type of story. Many of the Lower East Side criminals are dynamic, clever characters who are wildly violent. You will enjoy this unusually told
tale with its crazy characters and wild plot! Charyn uses many references to Abraham Cahan who was the editor of the Jewish Forward newspaper at the time. Sprinkled throughout the book are references to other colorful personalities of the times. I think it's helpful for readers to have some previous knowledge of New York history and how the variety of its diverse population that was new to America played a significant role in bringing a brand new flavor to the streets of Manhattan. Watching how the main character Ben struggles during his incredibly challenging mission is a delightful and daring eye opener!
Adding a personal note, both of my grandparents lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and I visited often, getting to know the area. Of course this was in the 1950's when so much of what Charyn refers to in the book had already disappeared. However, the area was always bustling with a mix of many generations of immigrants. A large population came from those originally brave enough to arrive here without much in the way of possessions and seek their fortunes. The most impressive thing about this area was its diversity of people devoted to supporting and participating in the American way of life and willing to fight for freedom while embracing it!
… (more)
barb302 | 4 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |
As a lifetime resident of The Bronx I was hoping and expecting to be totally captivated by this book. Unfortunately that just wasn't the case. Speaking from someone who has lived his his entire life in "Da Bronx", with just a few exceptions, the characters and stories just did not strike me as authentic.
kevinkevbo | 2 other reviews | Jul 14, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

François Boucq Illustrator
Jose Munoz Illustrator
Joe Staton Illustrator
Loustal Illustrator
Sara Paretsky Contributor
Tony Hillerman Contributor
Stuart M. Kaminsky Contributor
Clarice Lispector Contributor
Yukio Mishima Contributor
Walter Mosley Contributor
Flannery O'Connor Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
Julian Semionov Contributor
Leonardo Sciascia Contributor
Laura Grimaldi Contributor
Roger L. Simon Contributor
Ross Thomas Contributor
Andrew Vachss Contributor
Donald E. Westlake Contributor
Eric Wright Contributor
Patricia Highsmith Contributor
P.D. James Contributor
Graham Greene Contributor
Raymond Carver Contributor
Isaac Babel Contributor
Donald Barthelme Contributor
William Bayer Contributor
Pieke Biermann Contributor
Sue Grafton Contributor
Jorge Luis Borges Contributor
Italo Calvino Contributor
Angela Carter Contributor
Lawrence Block Contributor
George C. Chesbro Contributor
Don DeLillo Contributor
Harlan Ellison Contributor
James Ellroy Contributor
Mickey Friedman Contributor
Herbert Gold Contributor
Nadine Gordimer Contributor
Joe Gores Contributor
Didier Daeninckx Contributor
Bascove Cover artist
Eugenio Barozzi Translator
Eike Schönfeld Translator
Alban Fischer Cover designer
Steve Attardo Cover art director
Keith Fallin Author drawing
The Red Dress Cover artist


Also by
½ 3.7

Charts & Graphs