Friday, March 02, 2007

Down From Troy, by Richard Selzer

This book was 9 hours and 9 minutes long, and was narrated by Sam Gray.

I got this from Net Library, and it got my attention because I grew up in Troy like the author, Richard Selzer. Dr. Selzer is about 3 years older than my Dad, who also grew up in Troy, NY. I phoned home and was actually surprised when I found out that they did not know each other.

Dr. Selzer loves a good turn of phrase, and his writing is nearly poetic in its narration. It was, at times, a sentimental trip down memory lane for me, although I didn't think he covered enough of the Holy ground for my taste. This book was much more about how and why he became a doctor, and about his parent's opposing influences on him than anything else. Troy is just a backdrop, and one before my time. Only some of the real icons of the city, like Frear Park, Manory's, the Troy Music Hall, the Green Island Bridge, and the Troy Public Library (where I got my first library card), get much description that is familiar to me.

By the time I grew up in the 60s and 70s, the gangsters and the whore houses were all gone. So was much of its manufacturing. Time was passing Troy by. This book will be most interesting to modern Trojans, as well as fans of Depression Era biography. For its excellent writing, hobbled only by too much attention to medicine, it gets 3 stars.

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