Friday, January 31, 2014
The classic Patterson easy to read short chapters, interesting characters that you will care about and a modern day take on science fiction thriller make the three books in this series worth the short investment in time it will take to read them (I started reading this book yesterday morning and finished this evening).
This title had a number of "oh, shit!" moments. The story and the book really move along, it's very well written...I'm impressed how Patterson so easily adapts to a younger audience without alienating adults.
The date is set - the kitchen remodel I've talked about in some form for like 9 months is finally going to begin; on February 20th. I am scared!
In preparation for the kitchen remodel, I will (this is me convincing myself) begin clearing out some stuff from the kitchen.
Toyota has really taken a few steps down in recent years. It seems that forever they were the rock solid car. You would see those commercials about how there are so many on the road for so long. A couple of years ago they had a massive, and I mean massive, recall that really put them a few steps back. While that sting is still fresh, some time had passed and begun working toward rebuilding their brand and all of a sudden, news comes out that some of their cars with heated seats are bursting into flames; uh, oh!
I'm really getting kind of sick at those who are smash talking Bruno Mars as the half-time entertainment. Sure, you may not like the music he makes but this guy has proven to be a fantastic performer. Give the guy a chance!
I've really been meaning to get closer to my slow cooker but haven't yet actually gone for it. I suspect I will procrastinate long enough to not do anything until after the kitchen is done. If any of you have any really great slow cooker recipes that you use, please share them with me.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Teacher man in a memoir that tells of McCourt's 30 year teaching career in the public high schools (mostly) of New York City. My favorite thing about this book is how honest it is. I think anyone can read this book, especially a teacher, and know it was honest - I really loved that a lot; I don't recall a single moment where I felt a story was even a tiny bit embellished.
I was reading today while having soup at Panera. I don't recommend reading anything that would make you laugh while eating soup. I wish there was a warning label somewhere on this book; "NS: Do not read while eating soup". I make have done a spit take as a result of not having this warning in advance!
I am pretty sure anyone that has taught and even aspiring teachers will enjoy this book. I night even go so far as to recommend it as required reading for those demographics and in that lies my one critique. I don't see this book as having broad appeal.
Regardless, I really enjoyed the book - and I hope if you are considering it, that you will too.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I promised myself I wouldn't gripe with the plumber over this mostly because he has been pretty good to me over the years; there were at least three times where he provided services and did not charge me (of course the inner desire to to gripe over having to spend the $750 wants to say something like, "and he made up for it today).
I was pretty sure the total would be somewhere between $500 and $600, that's the number I was mentally prepared to handle, so when he said $750, I couldn't help but gulp, but I wrote the check. here's the thing that's a real pain though, He put in the first part the first day, you know, the circulator pump, that's the thing I posted a picture of a few days ago. In the process of installing that, somehow the "controller" for the bolier blew and he didn't have one. He left on Saturday hoping to get one Sunday, no dice. He came yesterday afternoon, replaced the controller then he blew out the circulator pump he installed the day before. Of course he didn't have one on his truck so now he's coming back sometime today. I don't have to pay for the new pump to replace the new pump, but it's an added nuisance and I kind of wish I didn't give him the check until it was in, so he'd have more incentive to show up and not blow it off (not that I think he will, but anything could happen).
Here's something that a bit more of a kicker, something I'm a little upset over. later last night, I reviews his bill and added up the numbers. he did the math wrong! According to the numbers he wrote, the total should have been $850, not $750, which he wrote, I didn't question and already paid him. $750 was overcharging in my opinion but $850 is definitely overcharging. I have decided not to mention it and if he catches it and asks for the extra $100, I will call him out on his pricing. I have been loyal to him and he's been good to me, but that does not justify being more expensive than necessary.
Slightly awkward end of post.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
So far, nothing about the Grammy's has piqued my interest enough to get me to watch, or even DVR to have something to skip through.
Last night, they played hockey at Dodger stadium in California. I couldn't give a crap about that but Kiss performed - which was cool! Also, Five for Fighting performed, which for me was cooler because my friend Jenn played bass for Five for Fighting. Here's their performance: Have a great Sunday!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Fortunately, I have a portable electric heater to take care of the bedroom.
Here's to working heat soon.
I was very fortunate that my plumber was kind enough to help me troubleshoot and resolve my problem over the phone the other day, for free. It seemed as if it was going to work until the following morning when the temperatures dropped again.
Instead of calling him the following day and thanking him for the advice and telling him he didn't need to come by on Saturday morning, I kept the appointment and of course this morning, he discovered what he believes the problem to be.
The good news, I don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a new boiler right now. the bad news is of course I do need to replace the circulator pump. I guess three digits is better than four and in the end, the heat will work more reliably.
Oddly enough, in the same month of January, way back on 2003 (I had been in the house all of five months at that point), the very same problem had the temperatures in my house plummet into the 50's before the unit you see picture above was installed to replace the faulty one before it. Hopefully the one he installs today lasts at least another 11 years!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
There is clearly a message and I think it is ultimately delivered in an interesting way. Joshua Jackson's performance is quite good though the rest of the cast fell a little short for me, fortunately, their role in the film was minimal and Jackson was good enough to carry them along in their interactions.
While I felt at times the pacing was on the slow side, at film's end I found that forgivable as I could see how it may have been deliberate. The very end offered an interesting surprise and an a-ha moment that added some value for me as well.
Overall, I think it's worth watching, there were some very touching moments and I like the idea of the story.
My reaction, and I was alone at the time (my daughter was still sleeping), "Fucking assholes! It's about time!" Then, I went back to bed and while I remained in bed for a couple of hours, I never really fell back into a nice deep sleep.
About 9:30 or so, I went out to tackle the snow throwing process. In all fairness, it wasn't to bad, other than the bitter cold, the actual moving of the snow was quite simple.
In heating news, after a couple of weeks of no problems maintaining the 65 degree temperature set on my thermostat (of course we were amidst an Indian summer), today I woke up to 60 degrees upstairs and 62 downstairs. Something clearly is wrong!
Friday I am heading to a regional user group meeting for Blackboard (the software we use for elearning). Nice to go on these occasional off campus jaunts and hang with colleagues from other colleges and share best practices and other nerdy education/technology stuff.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Winter has returned in these parts, the school that I work at closed early to provide enough time for commuters to travel ahead of the arriving snow storm. As we are in the think of the storm now, 364 schools across the state of MA have closed for tomorrow, mine has not - no other word comes to mind but stupid.
I don't actually like snow days, I quite frankly have to work far harder moving snow, which is something I hate doing as opposed to my job, which I actually like. The thing is, with so many schools surrounding closing, childcare becomes an issue as does commuting, and several other things. With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to announce closing earlier rather than later so that people can sleep in if they want and not have to get up at 5 am just to find out they don't need to be awake that early? Again, stupid!
I'm done :)
Up until about half way through this first book, the TV series not only adapted the story as written, but lifted it almost exactly as it happened. The latter half, especially the ending, was a far less literal adaptation but it was clear to me (and will be to you if you watched the series as to how they adapted the story).
I think one of the greatest challenges for me after having seen what was a terrific series (except for the finale which almost blew the entire series (for me, from a story telling perspective) was whether or not the writing could hold my attention feeling like I might be able to predict what might happen. In the end, especially the very end of the book, I have to say that I enjoyed reading this and will at least check out the next one.
I think where Lindsay succeeds most is his ability to weave the dark side of the Dexter Morgan character through what Melissa Niksic of the Vine voice states, "a blend of dark humor, intense drama, mystery and suspense, and good old-fashioned blood and gore." I think this particular balance helps the book flow quite easily, keeps the reader at a high level of engagement and keeps the story fresh.
I look forward to the next book, "Dearly Devoted Dexter" sometime up the road.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Friday night was relatively uneventful, so much so, I don't recall anything about it - other than I stood home.
Saturday evening I went to see my friend Jessie perform. Jessie released her first album on January 1st. Click her name to go to her website and check out her music and if you like it, consider supporting local music by purchasing it on iTunes.
Sunday, after church, my daughter and I had some Thai food at a place we hadn't tried before. It was okay, nothing special but also, nothing bad.
Today, I got up early and got a workout in. After I showered, I woke up my kid, who slept in and I made her a nice breakfast. We both were lazy-ish the rest of the day - she stayed in her PJ's until her mom came to pick her up at around 3 pm or so.
In the news today, I learned that a bunch of kids are now crushing up the candy smarties and snorting them! Seriously, where the fuck are they getting this from?
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Let me start off by saying that this is a rather lovely place. While small, I think that the owners have made nice use of their space and have done a great job creating a warm, inviting and welcoming atmosphere. The staff that I have interacted with are wonderful and even the owner, I should say owners, were both on premises both times I've been there are do a great job of making rounds to everyone and seeing that everyone is happy. I have no doubt that both care deeply about this business and both clearly work very hard.
I love the idea that by day they operate as a café and by evening, I hate to just say a bar - perhaps lounge is a better word. I'm not certain, but it really is a lovely place and I do recommend you all check it out.
Here's where I do have a problem, and I can only speak for the evening fare since I have not gone during café hours, they are terribly over priced, I mean, severely overpriced.
While in my Facebook post earlier, I gave specific examples of menu items and price, I will not do that here. I actually don't mean to discourage you from trying out this place and despite a comment that the owner replied with, this has nothing to do with what I felt was an over reaction on your part to my friend wanting to video tape the performer. If you look at some of the comments on Yelp, others feel the same way.
I know what I ordered last night and I know what the check came to. I love to support small, local business but when your charging prices that are so outrageous, especially for what you are giving (and folks, I am only referring to portions size, I must say everything I have eaten here has been delicious), it's just not affordable (for me); certainly not as a place I can frequent. Perhaps there is a rationale behind it? If so, there is a comments section here - maybe someone will care to comment, perhaps the ownership?
Perhaps you have enough of a clientele that can afford to pay those prices, if so, hey, all the best. I just like the idea of this place and while the distance from my house makes it a place I can't come to often, I will travel to see performers like Jessie Albright and stop in when I visit friends in the area, most important, I like to recommend and refer people to establishments just like this.
I wish this place great success but I also ask that the owners review their menu and their prices for everything. Regardless of the net effect, I would encourage everyone who might be in the Stoughton area to try out this place and offer your own take to the owners, they will most likely be there. I know they care about this business and I wish them great success - maybe I am off base, but I think they can make a good thing really great.
Oh jeez, I believe it was some time in the 80's, a group of us ventured into a bar on the upper east side of Manhattan called Mingles. It was quite crowded and there were two bars, one closer to the front and one at the rear.
I recall that as we were positioned, the front bar was to our left, I'd guess about 10-15 feet away and the rear bar was straight ahead, I'd guess a good 20-25 feet away (maybe a bit more). At each of the bars was a large red flashing siren and when one of them went off, it was 25 cent shots until it went off.
Of course, the thick crowds waited with anticipation of this event and the first light to go off was the one furthest from us, way in the rear. Almost without missing a beat, our friend Roberto seemingly body surfed his way to the rear bar and dropped what I recall being a $20 bill on the bar and asked for as many "Woo-Woo" shots as can be poured. Woo-woo's were our shot of choice back then and there were now plenty to go around.
I don't recall anything else from that night except that! It's a great story. Years later, a few years ago that is...at one of our friends reunions, I thought it would be fun to mix up some woo-woo's and have a few. Of course, we were all older and mature adults with families, so we did so responsibly, but it was still pretty fun and they were still quite delicious!
Friday, January 17, 2014
I must agree with the "truly magical" statement, on several different levels but for me, the most important one being the writing/storytelling. This was a rare book where not only did the imagery provide a visual backdrop, but it somehow provided a feel, at times haunting, at times exciting and always, magical.
As I recently mentioned to all of you, I personally don't like the writing device that takes the reader back and forth to and from different periods in time, Morgenstern does that in this book but at least the time periods are relatively close together - which for me, made it easier to follow and more tolerable. I don't know that the general public has nearly as hard a time as I do with this technique but for me, it takes a little bit away from the overall reading experience. That said, the things that were really great about this book were really great. I don't think it's a stretch to call it a period piece but it didn't feel dated, I felt pulled right in and a part of it all.
I can't say the story itself was flawless, but I guess if you pick carefully enough, you can find flaws in anything. The good news here, they don't affect how I feel about this book. If you love to read and have your imagination challenged while still providing s story that makes sense, and has you feeling something, I highly recommend this; I still have chills from some of this!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I'm sad and almost speechless. Rest in peace cuzz!
Daniel Colella AGE: 55 • Spotswood
Daniel Colella died Thursday, January 2, 2014 at home surrounded by his family. He was 55. Born in Brooklyn, NY., he resided in East Brunswick before moving to Spotswood 16 years ago. He was an insurance account executive for The Travelers in New York City for the past five years, and held a CPCU Certificate, one of the insurance industry's highest award.
He was a communicant of St. Bartholomew RC Church, East Brunswick. Surviving are his wife of 32 years, Joanne Maio Colella; two sons, Nicholas and Joseph, both of Spotswood; a daughter, Roseanne of Spotswood; his parents, Nicholas and Vita Paredes Colella of Monroe Township; a sister Debbie and her husband John Nicholson of Middletown; a nephew, Sean and a niece, Francesca.
Funeral services will be held on Monday at 10:00 AM in the Rezem Funeral Home, 457 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, followed by an 11:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial at St. Bartholomew Church, East Brunswick. Cremation will be private. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday 2-4 & 7-9 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the Colon Cancer Alliance, 1440 Coral Ridge Drive, Suite 386, Coral Springs, FL., 33071. For information, directions or to send condolences to family, visit www.rezemfh.com
- Chris Christie finally proved that ultimately, he's a politician, and worse, a republican one. Disappointing on some level, but not surprising.
- A-Rod should be banned from MLB for life and Pete Rose should be reinstated and immediately elected to the hall of fame, retroactively.
- Despite loving technology and all the fun "toys", it's beginning to scare me a bit and I also have a hard time digesting the amount of R&D $$$ that goes into the entertainment industry when there is still so much to be done with medical research. This of course doesn't surprise me because toys are more profitable over the long haul, but it disappoints me (and I'm part of the problem because I buy into so much of the new technology).
- I hear that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are planning to perform together on the grammy awards show. This is not a big enough event for me to tune in - not going to waste 3.5 hours for what may be 3-8 minutes of something that might be worth seeing, especially when the clip will likely be isolated and somewhere on the Internet within hours after. I am most certain most if not all of the rest of the show will not be worth watching.
- WWE legend Mae Young, one of the original female professional wrestlers, died at the age of 90. Young never stopped being entertaining! Rest in peace.
- New Springsteen album released yesterday..love it! Different type of release but great stuff.
- How many of you are nothing but confused anytime something hits the news related to health? It's all so confusing and conflicting.
- Kanye is a thug, and talentless - please, make him go away forever!
Monday, January 13, 2014
I also have a water softener, one of the "traditional" salt based systems. This is also an old system and has ceased working all together.
I called Culligan, the manufacturer of both but am also seriously considering a system by Pelican, that treats water in the "whole house", I like this.
I am most looking forward to the AFC championship gamin this coming Sunday afternoon pitting the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots. If both teams come out playing as they did in their previous games, football fans are in for a treat.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
The other ridiculous thing in the film world is the adaptation/sequel thing. Ugh! I can't think of one I have any desire to see.
I'll leave it at that and throw the ball in your court. I know you are reading, please, throw a comment below and share your thoughts.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I had been lax for the last couple of years and fell behind in my quest to make it through all of his works and found myself in an offering from 2007, and the 46th of his books that I've now read.
Step on a Crack introduces a new series of books featuring the character Michael Bennett, a detective and father of 10 adopted children of various cultural backgrounds.
While at it's core, the Patterson formula is at work here, there are some wonderful components involving Bennett's family, an Au Pair that I suspect will continue to appear in future Bennett books, and a short but elegant introduction to the story featuring a beloved first lady and President.
the typical emotions one might feel in a detective/thriller were significantly amplified my triggers that come from relatable, real-life situations that had me so deeply ensconced in the story that I completed this novel the day after I began reading it.
Against my better judgment, I went to see my pals "The Road Dawgs", who were playing at a venue I swore to myself I'd never return to because it's nothing short of a shit shack. Let me first make sure you understand that the lack of good judgment has nothing to do with the band, I consider them friends and they are fun. That particular venue is just disgusting though.
I departed after the second set of the three scheduled as I was tired and it was closing in on midnight. Unbeknownst to me until this morning, a buddy of my friend Ameesh, who was also there, had his jacket stolen and rear windshield busted - I wasn't even aware just how much of a shit shack this place was.
There was a dense fog and precipitation that was cold enough to make the ground beneath slippery, I assumed that would be the case on the road, so my driving speed was adjusted for safety. I intentionally took a back road to be off of the busier main road; that turned out to be a potentially life saving move.
Less than a mile from my house, cruising at a speed of about 33 miles per hour, my car just began to slide. I attempted to maintain control, and stay calm but I just began to spin...540 degrees later, pointed against traffic, the car came to a stop. I had backed onto the curb behind me at one point but there was no obvious damage at the time (I haven't looked yet today, in the light). My tires remained inflated, I took a deep breath, thanked God for being safe, and for not peeing myself, them very slowly proceeded home.
I will not go back to the KasBar, despite that venue having nothing to do with the turn of events for me. I just don't want to patronize a shit shack, there is no reason to. I always try toe exercise caution while driving, especially when I am on the road in weather conditions that make driving more difficult.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
I had to do something today that was very uncomfortable, but it was the right thing to do. I don't think it's a great idea to elaborate here but will gladly discuss privately with anyone interested... You know how to reach me.
I've undressed my Christmas tree but it still stands bare in its base, the trash won't pick it up until Monday so I may as well keep it where it is... And enjoy it for a few more days.
What's with those dudes walking around in shorts when it's 8 below zero? What are you trying to prove? And to whom?
I'm curious to see how the NFL playoffs pan out this weekend... Go Pats!
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
I'll start this with the one line I wrote on Facebook to the "Books I've Read" section: "While this book is marketed as "Young Adult", if you like to read, appreciate good writing and a good story, this is really a wonderful book."
Moxie was just an ordinary middle school kid preparing to have that one last fun summer with her best friend Ollie before they left for different high schools and as the author put it, "social gravity" did what it always does. An unexpected visit from an impractically dressed red headed woman changed the landscape of the next two weeks (and probably the rest of) her life by landing her, and by default, her pal Ollie, in the middle of one of the great mysteries of the 20th century, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Art Heist.
Through one of the best Boston based band soundtracks, a simple set of creative and well crafted characters and a backdrop that features one of the most historic cities and it's great landmarks, the author brings us along with Moxie and Ollie on an adventure that made me curious, taught me something, got me to really care about the characters and try to guess what would happen next, it made me tap my feet to the sound of the music and sing along as I imagined them in the scenes as they played through my mind, it made me laugh, several times and it even brought some tears.
This is a well imagined story that I had a very hard time putting down, a real page turner that I truly loved. There are a number of other reviews out there on Amazon and other book sites but I suggest reading the book before the reviews, many of them reveal more than they need to about the wonderful cast and while they don't ruin it in any way, I think it's more fun to just jump in...the water is warm and it will feel great, I promise!
"I've made a playlist of some of Moxie's favorite songs. They were songs that I listened to a lot while I was writing the book, songs that Moxie listens to in the novel, and there's even one that Moxie doesn't like. You figure out which one that is. You can find the playlist on Spotify if you're into that (you can follow me there--bostonerin). If you're not, here's the track list:"
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
Aerosmith – Seasons of Wither (Live)
Dropkick Murphys – I'm Shipping Up To Boston
Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Where'd You Go
Dropkick Murphys – Memorial Day
The Del Fuegos – Don't Run Wild
The Cars – You Might Think
The Standells – Dirty Water
Letters To Cleo – Cruel To Be Kind
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get - Album Version (Edited)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Someday I Suppose
J. Geils Band – Freeze-Frame - 2006 - Remaster
The J. Geils Band – Musta Got Lost - Live
The Cars – Good Times Roll
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – I Want My City Back
Dropkick Murphys – The Boys Are Back
Aerosmith – Come Together
Dropkick Murphys – Sunshine Highway
Dann Russo – Ruby Red Hair
Letters To Cleo – I Want You To Want Me
" If you're not familiar with these tunes, I hope you check them out. I'd love to know if you find a new favorite."
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Monday, January 06, 2014
It was intensely foggy this morning! Visibility was almost non-existent. Thankfully my commute is very short.
After a few days where temps reached as cold as like -14 or something, today topped off as high as 54 degrees! Now, we are heading back down to negative temps....what was that about global warming?
New Springsteen album drops next Tuesday but in a cross promotion, CS.com is streaming it all week for free. If you are interested, listen here (link will only bee good until release). I'm listening now, for the second time....solid!
Here's a great drinking game, that is, if you want to get totally fucked up...every time you hear the words "Polar vortex" in the next 24 hours, take a drink.
When did the whole holding up a poster board with some bullshit thing that may or may not be real on it then posting it to FB start? Can we stop it now? I just find it creepy.
I guess that about wraps things up for this evening. Thanks for stopping by!
Sunday, January 05, 2014
I would love to have read a book that was all about the radio stuff and the music and radio business interactions. I think it would even have worked if the personal stuff stayed put but there were a hundred or so pages more of the music stuff, it wouldn't have made the book too long - though I guess from the publisher end, it would have cost more to produce, but then again, if it sold enough more units to offset the additional cost...who knows? Not me, I can only say that in the end, if I invest the time to read a book, I need to get a return and when all was said and done, I got my money's worth.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Friday, January 03, 2014
I got through it alright, snow thrower was a champ, and I was even able to carve out a nice walking path on the sidewalk which serves two purposes: (1) A clear, safer path for those who are attempting to navigate the town on foot and may pass in front of my property and (2) make the damage from the town sidewalk clearer negligible.
I remembered that I am going to a pot-luck tomorrow, so I had to figure out what to make and considering the weather, my gut thought comfort food was the best idea and with that, I decided on tater tot casserole. I seem to have misplaced the recipe I used last time I made it so while in search of it via Internet, I stumbled on a different one that looks delightful, and so it will be made.
The recipe I found is here. Finding it led me to a blog I may end up referencing a lot.
I am about half way through NY radio legend Carol Miller's autobiography. I learned of it from my pal Dan who mentioned it on FB, good read so far - I will post a review after I finish.
Stay warm if you are in the cold areas of the land (I am trying to, my heat is a bit fritzy but holding on enough, for now).
Later for now.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Today was all about the Noreaster, the storm, the winds, the roads. Most of the action today was annoying but only a precursor to the big stuff. Here's a pet peeve, the fucking pretentious news and weather cut-ins to all the TV shows. Look, we know there is a storm and we know its snowing, unless you have something new to tell me that is urgent, wait until the news is on and stop interrupting the TV shows I am watching to be entertained while I am stuck in the house because of the storm....assholes!
I'm not sure if there is a problem with the heat or just the thermostats, or that it's jut that freaking cold, but I can't get the temperature in my house to rise beyond a certain point and its a bit cooler than I wish.
I wonder if I have a tapeworm today, I am constantly hungry!!!!
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Probably makes more sense to talk about what I didn't like about because there was only one thing about it that I didn't love - and that's the way the story is written. I've never liked the kind of novels that go back and forth from one point in time to a completely different point in time (ore more than one other period) and go back and forth. I know this is not an uncommon technique and in some cases it works better than others but as a general rule, I am not a fan - I have a hard time keeping track of it all!
That said, I found this book entertaining and while dubbed a work of fiction, if one were to reveal some time later that it was actually biographical (or autobiographical), it wouldn't surprise me.
I liked the story and the characters seemed very familiar, which I attribute to growing up in Brooklyn and before I left in 1997, had been immersed in Eastern European culture simply because it was where I was. I suspect the fact that Foer was in his mid-twenties when he wrote this accounts for some of the tone (especially the comic relief) and while I would be curious what this book would have been had he been 10-20 years older when he wrote it, I don't have a problem with the end product.
For me, the most clever effect of the writing was being able to read about the Holocaust and still be able to laugh and not feel like a complete heal or disrespectful jerk. I attribute this mostly to the development of the characters who give voice to the story.
In the end, I found this book hard to put down and one of those reads that found myself slowing down as I was winding down only for the purpose of stretching it out so it didn't have to end. If you haven't yet read this one, I highly recommend it.