An Almost Made Up Poem

The Tenants of Moonbloom by Edward Lewis Wallant
July 12, 2008, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Book Review

This novel is absolutely awesome. The Tenants of Moonbloom is set in New York City right after WWII when Mott Street was not the realestate hot spot it is now, and when the city was still a dirty, grungy mess of poverty, literature, and alienation. Norman Moonbloom is an intellectual going through an existential crisis as he ventures away from school after 8 years of bouncing from major to major. He now finds himself having to work for his brother Irwin, who is the landlord of 4 less-than-desirable apartments. Moonbloom figures out a meaning for himself as he encounters all of his quirky, depressed, and sometimes outright odd tenants. Moonbloom battles with his conflicted about his tenants who always in need for him to fix and arrange their deteriorating apartments. Through rebuilding the sad habitats of the other, his tenants, Norman is able to find contentment and even happiness.

Yes, the book is a little heavy, but it has a lot of funny, poignant moments that showcase both the corruption and deprivation of city life, and its tenants constant struggle to survive as a community, rather than a get lost in the anonymity of the city. This book is a great example of a work that not only pulls on your heartstrings but also demonstrates the ability for community to be a positive element in the event of such alienation. In this novel, identity is debilitating whereas the ability to be towards… the ability to interact and face the world around you, can save you from the depths of depression and stagnation. The Tenants of Moonbloom provokes you to acknowledge the dirty, impoverished areas of your life. These are the areas that everyone sees reflected in others and usually never accessed and accepted as one’s own inequities.  This novel begs for the reader to apply some critical theory and provokes some serious soul searching.