We gave it a C+
Tepper, the thin-haired hero of Trillin’s new novel, likes parking his Chevy Malibu on the street and reading the newspaper until the meter runs out. That’s enough for a charming old-time New York story, and Trillin delivers just that — for a New York minute. Then, regrettably, the plucky parker turns into a straight-talking oracle, and a bullying mayor goes after him. Picture the old head-cracking, pre-Person of the Year Rudy Giuliani facing down Chance the Gardener from Being There, only Tepper doesn’t magically walk on water in the end. No, thanks to a mood-killing final twist, it’s more like he spits in your eye.