"Yampolsky conjures the Atlantic City of yesterday - the one that’s been bulldozed over to make way for glittering casinos and towering cement parking lots. An impressive debut."
— Bryant Simon, author, Boardwalk of Dreams
1939. The tenth year of the Great Depression in America. Europe teeters on the brink of war. In Atlantic City, New Jersey - a seashore resort town that springs to life every summer - Jack Laurel comes of age.
At 15, Jack’s life is turned upside down by an almost magical convergence of people and events. A mysterious boardwalk entertainer inspires a love of literature, a feud with neighborhood bullies escalates, and innocence is lost. Jack stumbles into commodities trading with two men: one a reclusive mystic, the other a charismatic pitchman and mathematical savant. The musings of a boardwalk fortuneteller set the three partners up to reap unimagined profits - but a house of cards is about to come down around them and, with it, the wrath of an iron-fisted crime boss.
In his first novel, J. Louis Yampolsky evokes the days when Atlantic City was the "Playground of the World" - the home of gilded Arabesque hotels, parades, pageants, and the famous Steel Pier. A Boardwalk Story is a startling debut from a remarkable new voice in American fiction.
“A rich, detailed visit to an Atlantic City that now exists only in memory. ... A Boardwalk Story tells a coming-of-age tale of equal parts charm and excitement, with a generous helping of danger that takes you by surprise.”
—Jim Waltzer, co-author, Tales of South Jersey, and author, Sound of Mind