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Word Count: 1,999
Billy Bathgate is a book of a young boys transition into manhood It is an amazingly well-written book that intrigued me the entire way through It starts out in Billys hometown the Bronx of New York in the twenties a time of social unrest and prohibition The apartment building Billy lives in is not the epitome of cleanliness The streets are littered with papers and loud noises of the trains that go by every hour Rundown little bungalows and an occasional three-story fake brick building separate the boatyards and factories in Billys neighborhood Across the street from Billys apartement building is an orphanage which he visits often because of a girl Rebecca who he screws two times for a dollar His mother works at a laundromat washing clothes for a company and has been driven insane by the poverty she lives in She doesnt really take care of Billy and in essence he learns how to survive in the Bronx with the street smarts he has taught himself He knows that he has something special a desire to work and be prosperous that many of the other younger boys do not He acts older than his age and maybe that is why he catches the eye of Dutch who also lived in the neighborhood and is now rich Dutch is the leader of a mob that has one of their main warehouses located in the Bronx All the boys here wish they could become like Dutch as someone that rose from this dirty place and made a place in the world for themselves One day Billy was juggling on the train tracks when he hears someone yell Hey boy He is motioned to come over to Dutch who hands him ten dollars and compliments him on his juggling This is where the fire in Billy is sparked and he becomes determined to join Dutchs gang After following and watching around the neighborhood Billy finds
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