Bosstown rocks

Adam Abramowitz’s first novel brings an updated twist to an old-fashioned whodunit, with a strong New England accent helping things along.

January 11, 2018 18:44
2 minute read.
THE BOOK’S protagonist Zesty Meyers zips in and out of Boston’s streets and alleys as a wise-crackin

THE BOOK’S protagonist Zesty Meyers zips in and out of Boston’s streets and alleys as a wise-cracking bike messenger. (photo credit: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


You don’t have to be a hard-boiled Bostonian to enjoy Adam Abramowitz’s speed-crazed novel Bosstown, but it sure helps.

Funny and clever, with a motley cast of Beantown scruffs jostling for survival, power and fortune, the book updates the modus operandi of traditionalists like Mickey Spillane with a shiny, post-modern sheen.

Abramowitz, a teacher in New York (and the brother of Israel’s Captain Sunshine Yosef Abramowitz), grew up in the urban jungle of Boston’s South End and the working-class Alston suburb, and worked as a courier, doorman and mover. Those experiences provide the inspiration for Bosstown’s foundation, told from the point of view of Zesty Meyers, a wise-cracking, morally ambiguous but overall likable young bike messenger who falls into a world of gangs, cops, burglaries, dark family secrets and FBI informants – not necessarily in that order.

The book travels at a speed commensurate with Zesty’s bike skills, overflowing with hip noir and snappy, clipped street dialogue from sordid characters rapping out enough vernacular that it may take a couple of repeat readings of certain lines to comprehend what it is being said.

But it’s worth the effort, as Abramowitz’s plot development ties in all the disparate events and characters that flow out of the woodwork and ultimately leave the reader on the edge of his seat wondering how it’s all going to play out, and if Zesty is going to survive to ride another day.

It’s not the usual fare for a nice Jewish boy, but then again, not many gritty crime novels feature treatises on de Tocqueville or debates on the morality of militant organizations like the Weather Underground from the 1960s.

That’s not to say that Bosstown approaches anything close to highbrow fare – its heart is squarely in the gutter. But it’s a heart fueled by self-deprecating humor, insight into human character and ultimately, doing the right thing. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to see Bosstown being adapted as an HBO or Amazon mini-series with someone like James Franco in the lead.

Those familiar with Boston will likely enjoy the book with an extra measure, as Abramowitz brings to life the landmarks of the city and captures Boylston Street, the Big Dig and the Back Bay so vividly, you almost start talking without using ‘r’s.

The subplot involving the heralded Boston music scene is also accurate to the T, and music fans will appreciate the insider mentions of local heroes like The Neighborhoods, Robin Lane and the Chartbusters and WBCN’s Rock & Roll Rumble.

The clichés of hard-boiled detectives, basketball-crazy drug dealers and sleazy record producers are given a fresh turn by Abramowitz’s skill at dialogue. If it’s an updated twist on an old-fashioned whodunit that you’re looking for, Bosstown delivers the goods with a “Bawstin” accent.

Related Content

June 18, 2019
‘Garage 6’ – Mayumana’s jukebox musical


Cookie Settings