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Peep Show

Peep Show

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2.88

(12)
|Views: 200 |Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
David Arbus will be graduating from high school in the spring of 1975. His divorced parents offer two options: embrace his mother’s Hasidic sect or go into his father’s line of work, running a porn theater in the heart of New York’s Times Square. He joins the family business. What else would a healthy seventeen-year-old with an interest in photography do? But he didn’t think it would mean giving up his mother and sister altogether. Peep Show is the bittersweet story of a young man torn between a mother trying to erase her past and a father struggling to maintain his dignity in a less-than-savory business. As David peeps through the spaces in the screen that divides the men and the women in Hasidic homes, we can’t help but think of his father’s Imperial Theatre, where other men are looking at other women through the peepholes. As entertaining as it is moving, Peep Show looks at the elaborate ensembles, rituals, assumed names, and fierce loyalties of two secret worlds, stripping away the curtains of both.
David Arbus will be graduating from high school in the spring of 1975. His divorced parents offer two options: embrace his mother’s Hasidic sect or go into his father’s line of work, running a porn theater in the heart of New York’s Times Square. He joins the family business. What else would a healthy seventeen-year-old with an interest in photography do? But he didn’t think it would mean giving up his mother and sister altogether. Peep Show is the bittersweet story of a young man torn between a mother trying to erase her past and a father struggling to maintain his dignity in a less-than-savory business. As David peeps through the spaces in the screen that divides the men and the women in Hasidic homes, we can’t help but think of his father’s Imperial Theatre, where other men are looking at other women through the peepholes. As entertaining as it is moving, Peep Show looks at the elaborate ensembles, rituals, assumed names, and fierce loyalties of two secret worlds, stripping away the curtains of both.

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Publish date: Jun 1, 2010
Added to Scribd: Feb 03, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781616200107
List Price: $13.95

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11/04/2014

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9781616200107

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
Braff's second novel (after The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green) is a straightforward family drama set amidst an extreme clash of cultures. In the mid 1970s, 16-year-old David Arbus is caught between his mother, whose Hasidic faith is becoming more and more central to her life, and his father, who runs a Times Square porn theatre. A seemingly modest act of rebellion makes David's choice for him, and he quickly finds himself enmeshed in the business of adult entertainment. While his increasingly ill father resists innovations like peep booths and in-house blue movies, David takes photography gigs and tends to his dad. His attempts to maintain a relationship with his sister bring David into sporadic contact with his mother, but rather than reconciling, mother and son only grow further apart. Braff brings together two very different cultures with sympathy for both, but the slim novel leaves little room to adequately develop each member of the family, and, as a result, the story doesn't quite sing. Nevertheless, David and his parents present an intriguing contrast in the struggle to uphold a set of values and the painful necessity of compromise. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

2010-02-08, Publishers Weekly
librarybrandy reviewed this
Rated 3/5
David is on the brink of adulthood and straddling his parents' worlds--his mother has recently converted to Orthodox Judaism and his dad owns and runs a burlesque theatre. The worlds are a little cartoonishly drawn--Mom is completely rigid and inflexible, not allowing David's sister to see their father and sweeping her into the orthodox world as well; Dad is unwilling to update his theater to include peep shows and porn-making that will keep the business profitable. Admirably, Dad's main motivation isn't for keeping the theater afloat but for regaining access to his daughter, whom he misses terribly. David, too, misses his sister and is deeply hurt by his mother's rejection of him (as he won't convert).

Setting the book against a fledgling adult shop makes it easy to say "this person is an unfit parent" while highlighting that the porn shop owner is actually the more caring parent, but such a decision seems lazy. This could have been a stronger novel if Braff had focused on the family dynamic without using the shorthand of "EWWW PORN."
vasquirrel reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Religious beliefs divide a family - it happens. The conflict in this novel, though, is pretty extreme -- on one side, a mother and daughter make the decision to become Orthodox Hasids, without the son - the narrator of the book, who ends up, almost by default, living with his father who is hanging on to a burlesque theater owned by HIS father. Times are tough for burlesque and David's father is "forced" to bring in adult toys and peep shows. So, on one side, two women are adopting the conservative dress and sheitels (brown wigs) and, on the other, women are taking it ALL off in the name of "entertainment". I don't read a LOT of fiction, and if I pick some up, it had better keep my attention - which this book did. I carried it around with me, reading it anytime I had five minutes. David, a budding photographer, captures both extremes of his family on film throughout the book, as he stands in a sort of no man's land -- not wanting to immerse himself in either. Great read!
alexann_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Peep Show by Joshua Braff was a very quick read that I powered through yesterday. Even though it moved quickly and was fairly compelling (what other terrible things could possibly happen to this shipwreck of a family?) it was not an enjoyable read for me. So I slept on it, and woke up knowing exactly why this novel was so unsettling. It was the anger! Has there ever been so much anger displayed by so many dysfunctional characters? Everybody was angry about something--or everything! David, too, was angry about everything in his life, but especially about his desertion by his family. His mother, especially, left him stranded; but his dad in his own way also deserted David by subjecting him to a thoroughly inappropriate lifestyle. Perhaps Debra wasn't angry, but only because she was too complacent to realize she should be angry. She lets the reader do it for her!
suesbooks reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This book kept my interest, but was quite poorly written. The people were stereotypes and required no intelligence to portray them. I would not receomment this book to anyone. There are better written books that portray family disintegration; these books portray micj more comples characters. I question Braff's purpose in writing this book.
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