The Hollywood (Fla.) Sun-Tattler reviews Richard Grayson's With Hitler in New York in today's issue:
Hollywood (Florida) Sun-Tattler
Wednesday, January 16, 1980
Story Collection Uneven
"With Hitler in New York," by Richard Grayson.
Taplinger Publishing Company, New York , $7.95.
Reviewed by KATHLEEN KROG
Richard Grayson is a bright young man, a new resident of Broward County and a not-so serious candidate for the vice presidency. (He's not old enough to qualify.)
He is a writer. "With Hitler in New York" is a collection of off-beat short stories. Some of them are a little too short – on entertainment value, ability to hold interest and good writing style. Grayson is intrigued by The Big Name, as in Adolph Hitler, Abe Lincoln and more currently known celebrities like Alan King, Betty Friedan and Beverly Sills.
His literary treatment of today's famous is much more enjoyable than what he writes about past figures of both ill and good repute.
The title story, in the first person, is an exceptionally strange little treatise on what Adolph Hitler would do if he was a tourist in New York City today. If it's supposed to be funny, it fails. If it's supposed to be one of those "what-would-Hitler-do-if-he-were-alive-today" pieces, it isn't. It's just a dumb, quite pointless story.
So, in a slightly less offensive way, is "Lincoln on the Couch," which depicts dear old Abe as an unloved, cuckolded bigot. This isn't even revisionist history at its worst conjecture, but at least the story deals in more reality than Hitler on a search for a good Chinese restaurant in the Big Apple.
Grayson should forget about rewriting history and stick at looking at the present with a surprisingly loving and sensitive eye-view. His introduction is a neat little tribute to his uncle, with whom he shared good talk and good marijuana, and his first girlfriend. It's funny, a little poignant and easy to understand and relate to. You remember what Grayson ruefully says about himself long after what he imagined about Hitler and Lincoln.
In another too brief look at what he knows, "Peninsular People," Grayson paints a pretty little stretch of sand inhabited by residents everyone would like as neighbors. It's the kind of thing we'd all like to write about our favorite place of being.
This is a very uneven collection of stories by a talented writer who hasn't quite figured out what he's best at yet.