Review: Under the Eye of God – Jerome Charyn

Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Road (October 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 145327099X
ISBN-13: 978-1453270998
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Isaac Sidel – Mayor and Vice Presidential Candidate.
David Pearl – A powerful criminal boss.


After decades of madness in the Bronx, Isaac Sidel visits the craziest state in the country.

Isaac Sidel is too popular to be America’s vice president. Once the New York Police Department commissioner, he became the most beloved mayor in the city’s history—famous for his refusal to surrender his Glock, and for his habit of disappearing for months at a time to fight crime at street level. So when baseball czar J. Michael Storm asks Sidel to join him on the election’s Democratic ticket, the two wild men romp to an unprecedented landslide.

But as the president-elect’s mandate goes off the rails—threatened by corruption, sex, and God knows what else—he tires of being overshadowed by Sidel, and dispatches him to a place from which tough politicians seldom return: Texas.

In the Lone Star state, Sidel confronts rogue astrologers, accusations of pedophilia, and a dimwitted assassin who doesn’t know when to take an easy shot. If this Bronx bomber doesn’t watch his step, he risks making vice-presidential history by getting killed on the job.


This is the 10th or 11th outing for Isaac Sidel. His first appearance briefly was in Blue Eyes which we reviewed a few months ago. It’s been many years now since Blue Eyes was originally published, and now Mr. Charyn returns to show us where Isaac is currently (well as of the 80s).

The characters are well developed, and the story unfolds in both the present and Isaac’s past. It explores a lot of his conflicted feelings involving the man David Pearl, Pearl’s Mentor Rothstein, and the history of the Astonia Hotel.

While exploring this history we see Isaac on a national election tour, in which he’s the VP on the ticket, but someone is wanting to make him the President.

The scenes are tightly woven, the characters feel dirty and gritty as should the world Isaac inhabits. While the first novel in the series took time to think about, now that I knew what to expect I was able to enjoy this story right from the beginning.

If you like gritty crime novels, political thrillers, and books along those lines, then grab you a copy of Mr. Charyn’s latest. If I were to give it a rating I’d say soft R or NC-17 for much older teens and adults due to language and content.

If you decide to read it, make sure you stop back by and let us know what you though of it.

About the Author

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.

In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, “The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong.”

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Jerome Charyn’s web site:

Jerome Charyn’s Facebook:!/jerome.charyn

Jerome Charyn’s Twitter:

Issac Sidel’s Twitter:!/IsaacSidel

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Nicole at Tribute Books for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

4 Responses to “Review: Under the Eye of God – Jerome Charyn”

  1. Nicole Langan Says:

    Thanks Rick!

  2. Tribute Books Says:

    Rick, glad you enjoyed Jerome’s latest Isaac story. Thanks for the review!

  3. Lenore Says:

    Welcome back to Isaac’s crazy world! So glad you took the time to read your second Isaac Sidel novel and hope we can entice you to read a few more. We enjoyed your take on Under the Eye of God. Don’t forget to visit us on Isaac’s home away from home, where we’ve posted your review today:

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