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Wild About Harry-bookcover

By: Henry Grinberg

Wild About Harry

Pages: 204 Ratings: 5.0
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In 1938, Harry Glass is a precocious eight-year-old Jewish boy born and raised in London. Unconstrained by obedience, he is as much the despair of his immigrant parents as they are a puzzle to him. As, indeed, are almost all grown-ups—teachers, neighbours, everyone except his Aunt Lily. At times, he manages to appall even her. Just speaking can become a disaster as his schoolmates’ cuss words roll innocently off his tongue at home. The mood there darkens, too, with the news from Europe.

After the fall of France in 1940, Harry is evacuated to Wales and welcomed into a farm family by everyone except the daughter and a young Welsh nationalist farmhand. But the war reaches into Wales, too, with the bombing of shipyards and chance raids. After being machine-gunned from the air while on a class picnic and later witnessing supposed perfidy, Harry suffers a breakdown and is hospitalised. His ward-mates are recuperating survivors from Dunkirk and wounded Spitfire pilots from the now raging Battle of Britain. Both befriended and bedevilled, Harry comes of age as the world fights for its life.

Henry Grinberg, born in London, was nine years old when World War II broke out and 15 when it ended. He emigrated to the United States in 1948. He taught literature and writing at the City College of New York and other institutions for 42 years and was a practicing psychoanalyst for 30. Now retired, he lives in New York with his wife, poet and writer Suzanne Noguere. His previous novel, Variations on the Beast, also takes World War II as its theme.

Customer Reviews
1 reviews
1 reviews
  • Shelley Hainer

    Wild About Harry! I am!
    This delightful story had me laughing out loud with side-splitting gasps that kept on coming! What a marvelous young character, amongst a vivid cast of characters, in a series of difficult situations. If going through early adolescence isn't enough to survive! A witty, intelligent if not wildly curious and sometimes troublesome and troubling boy. Follow this tale in this beautifully crafted historical snapshot of a lad displaced after the Fall of France in 1940 and evacuated to Wales by his London-based parents. His voice rings through and true with the unflappably determined wisdom of its author. I bought a bunch of copies to give as gifts.

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