Bruce Farrell Rosen (author); BOMBED IN HIS BED; Alma Rose Publishing (Nonfiction: Biography) 16.95 ISBN: 9780615847184
Byline: Heather Weber
Themes of crime and redemption run through the life of a complicated "gangster."
Bombed in His Bed, the biography of "Jewish gangster" Myer Rush, spans his boyhood to middle adulthood with an impressive and glorified account of his wily, criminal activities and, later, his prolific sense for business and acquiring wealth. The end of Rush's story -- wrongful imprisonment, attempts on his life -- is fascinating, yet lacks the sort of narrative probing and prodding at the significance of these life events that bring other biographies a measure of literary success.
Rush's nephew, Bruce Rosen, begins his account of Rush as a young boy, defending street corners to keep his share of the newspaper sales market. The young, truant Rush develops into a pickpocket and cat burglar, cultivating a talent for amassing large sums of money by stealing from the wealthy in hotels across North America. The first half of the narrative is a veritable list of criminal exploits and shady characters encountered during a life of crime. Eventually, with a few stints in prison under his belt, Rush resolves to put away crime and ravenously pursue investments and money-making schemes that will multiply his wealth into the millions. It's in this second phase of life that corruption in his company, unbeknownst to Rush, irreversibly devastates the life and business he has built.
The writing is well crafted at the sentence level and Rosen succeeds in giving the reader a comprehensive account of his uncle's early to midlife, at which point Rush's activities and whereabouts become as elusive to the narrator as they do to the reader (by Rush's design, one presumes). However, the biography is weak in developing the...