Kid Twist is a major character in the book, “Dreamland” (Baker, 2000), by author Kevin Baker. The author tells about an extravagant and colorful character that thrives at a place of amusement called Coney Island, in the lower eastside of New York City.
Undoubtedly, Kid Twist was the most popular character, in this crazy tale about a European immigrant, who ultimately comes to the rescue of an unusual individual when a gangster, by the name of Gyp the Blood is prepared to kill a small boy delivering newspapers in New York City.
Strangely, an adult pretends to be a small boy. He was Trick the Dwarf; a small midget who only dresses up like a young boy and in behind a hotel, Trick the Dwarf hides Kid Twist and that is where he discovers another character, by the name of Esther Abramowitz who is a poor seamstress, who Kid Twist falls in love with.
Kid Twist was quite amusing, where he stars in a story that takes place during the turn-of-the-century and creatively introduces many fascinating characters who are associated with Kid Twist.
There are many characters who meet up with Kid Twist, like the women who go on strike, which suit’s the profile of a lady by the name of Esther Abramowitz. She is a labor agitator and Trick, who was a close friend to Kid Twist creatively tried to seduce Mad Carlotta, who was only three feet tall. He found her to be very attractive, when she said that she was the Empress of Mexico. Esther Abramowitz is rebelling against her Russian-Jewish ex-rabbi parent and she is set on the idea of being a union organizer.
The author is very descriptive with words when he tells us about the adventures of Kid Twist and about Freud’s trip to America, and the Triangle Factory Fire in this tale about immigrants, like Kid Twist.
It was quite amazing to discover the wonderful hope that was available in America for many different types of personalities. The author is able to describe various traits in individuals from all sorts of backgrounds but the one that stands out the most is Kid Twist, in his quest for “Dreamland”, a fantastic amusement park where fantasies can soar for this character.
Another character who was closely associated with Kid Twist is Big Tim Sullivan, who was terribly forceful with his rules. He was the Irish-American State Senator who was a corrupt Tammany Hall boss and he acted in a crooked manner, when he used bribes and many other undesirable ways of gaining what he wanted, in order to be the boss, in New York City.
Lazar Abramowitz is Esther’s brother and he attempts to have his sister’s boyfriend, who is indeed, Kid Twist, killed by a gangster.
“Dreamland”, was a place to rest and allow your imagination to soar, which is an amusement park in Coney Island and a place that symbolized a happy setting for Kid Twist and his friends.
Trick the Dwarf is in his favorite land, along with Kid Twist, where he is comparable to Romeo, with his whimsical charm and outlandish style, while he continually seeks out the love of a woman to cure his loneliness.
“Dreamland” focuses on various ethnic cultures and events and talks about the Jews, like Kid Twist and the Irish, in their pursuit of the all American dream, of finding wealth, success and happiness in a better land, in an uncontrollable era that takes place around the year 1910.
There’s a gentle influence of comedy in this story where Kid Twist continuously, keeps it interesting, while it still is able to tell a story of tragedy that came to our main character.
Kid Twist was quite the amusing character who is an enforcer for the gangster, Gyp the Blood and when Kid Twist leaves Gyp the Blood, his boss is wounded from a shovel that leaves him bleeding in a dark basement on the Lower East Side of New York City.
Kid Twist had no other choice, I guess, but to flee the area and hide away in the city of Brooklyn, New York with his friend Trick the Dwarf.
I found this story to be interesting but morbid, at times. The characters made me feel sorry for them because some of them just seemed terribly hopeless in their venture at finding the American dream.
The author was successful in making me feel close to Kid Twist and I was thankful for the American dream that Kid Twist could pursue. I did have to sympathize with some of the immigrants from Ireland and other countries in this story, who lived such a rough life, while trying to gain something more, including power, love and money, while using murder and corruption as some of their tools, as we see with Kid Twist in this brilliant story.
Kid Twist offered to help us develop the mental picture of a carnival atmosphere throughout the story.
The bowery bars and opium dens were depressing, while Kid Twist roamed the area, and it gave me a regretful stance life in this New York City which seemed like an incredibly dangerous area for Kid Twist to survive.
The story really did come together in the end for our main character, and although I was shocked and awed by some of the crazy events that took place in this book, it was never boring or unclear about the meaning behind the story, thanks to Kid Twist who never left us wondering.
The author was able to entertain me with his vivid imagination as he talked about Kid Twist and his insight on a group of diverse people who were always intertwined in Kid Twist’s spectacular adventures. His friends had all joined together in New York City, looking for something that they needed, like Esther Abramowitz, who fell in love with a gangster and she was able to get something important from a criminal which was someone to love her back.
I learned so much about history through reading the events that surrounded Kid Twist and so much about Geography, as the author described different locations and events that took place in that era of time where Kid Twist thrived. I got a better impression of what gangsters were like in that ancient time period and it was hard to believe that so much criminal activity took place in the year 1910. The author was very successful at describing the criminal underworld with the prostitution and gang activity that surrounded the area.
This story did prove that Kid Twist was highly capable of doing just about anything, in his fight for survival, in the land of the free.
Baker, Kevin. (2000). “Dreamland”. Harper Perennial.