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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gift Idea: Award Winning: The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chcago, Caryn Amster


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I wrote in an earlier post about Caryn Lazar Amster's amazing true crime book The Pied Piper of South Shore: Toys and Tragedy in Chicago.

I could go on and on how wonderful this important and nail-biting book is, winner of a true crime award. I could tell you how important a historical work it is documenting Ms. Lazar's personal tragedy, and the tragedy of the impact of the crime on the surrounding business community where my Grandfather owned a Real Estate Office At the time of the murder.

I could tell you about what happened after I wrote the Original Post, meeting her with my father and brother, talking to her about shopping at their store and their customer Mandy Patinkin who I had always thought was familiar since being a fan of Sunday in The Park With George.

I could tell you about the book's incredible value as a primary source for those studying merchandising, the history of the City of Chicago,the history of Chicago's neighborhoods, or anything to do with the movement of people and race in the 1930's through the 1960's.

But instead I'll just be brief and tell young buy one of the most surprising true dramatic stories by an Author you never heard of you are likely to find. A tale told in a clear, taut well researched way without hyperbole or hysterics.

Amster manages to tell the story of this tragedy without making it into something it
was not, while seeing the damage caused by a cascading series of circumstances for what it was. A tragedy in an era of tragedies that helped shaped the hard times that followed.

I will also say that what I told her the day we met. We moved to a new neighborhood the previous August. Had we not, because of the proximity of the date of the murder with the birthday of one of the kids in my family, we all could have been in the store when that gunman walked in. I know what my brother 9 and I 10 would have done. We'd been playing Batman and Robin for years. We would have rushed him without thinking twice just like we rushed the bad guy cowboys every summer at the amusement park in Eagle River getting us and who knows who else killed in the process.

But we moved and so didn't get the birthday card for a free toy at Wee Toys for that birthday. So, I guess I do find this story pretty personally interesting. Nut you won't need
that to enjoy this book. Besides, I can't help thinking it's natural forth big screen.

Oh, Amazon.com carries it. You can click the link in the book title above or enter the title in the Amazon search box on your right.

Peter, Chief Editor and Spelling Wrecker The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Jokes, Satire, Commentary and Videos Http://ThePeterFiles.blogspot.com

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Anonymous Caryn Amster said...

Thanks Peter for the article. The book is in the second printing and Amazon may have used ones. To get an autographed original contact me at 847-895-6449 or

Thanks Caryn Lazar Amster

12/22/2010 3:34 PM  

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