Grab the Brass Ring

Essays & Poetry

Non-Fiction - General
123 Pages
Reviewed on 07/08/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

"Grab the Brass Ring" is a book of essays and poetry. Written by Martin Rosenberg, it covers interesting subjects that include cowboy boots, fingernails, memoir, cooking schools, love, travel and spirituality. The author takes us on a remarkable journey of his life playing various positions as senior lecturer at the American Museum of Natural History, corporate CEO and art gallery owner. Martin Rosenberg exposes us to everyday events that come alive, sharing universal experiences that allow us to look at life through a different perspective.

"Grab the Brass Ring", according to the author Martin Rosenberg in his introduction, has two deeper meanings for him. He explained, “Its symbolism is embedded in expressions like “catch a rising star” and “reach for the moon. It also has a literal, very personal relevance.” As for the pieces, they are certainly humorous, honest and intensely deep. The book is undeniably illuminating in both the literal and figurative sense. Rosenberg is a credible writer, sharp and very passionate about his subjects. Truly an admirable confirmation of a lust for life, this book is definitely a wise companion. This is a dazzling exploration of the society, love and life, creating beautiful landscapes of passion. What I love most about the book is the author’s gift for words. Rosenberg writes with absolute clarity. The book is straight to the point, and does not fool around. The essays have a solid structure and are well-written. The prose, on the other hand, carries a poignancy that makes the book more interesting.

Jackie O'Neal

Grab the Brass Ring by Martin Rosenberg consists of a collection of essays written with clarity and humor. His writing encapsulates the mundane and profound and as I read I felt his observations and reflections about life were written with emotional honesty and touched upon nostalgia. Rosenberg seems to look back at his early mistakes in life (such as infidelity) with enough compassion that the reader can relate with empathy. Overall, his writing is concrete and visual, and he masterfully weaves in poetry in certain sections, giving the narrative as a whole a unique quality. I especially enjoyed the essay on left handedness for its informative nature.

The book struck a powerful chord with me as I often have been a “transplanted New Yorker” in the geographic places I’ve lived, and have also lived in the New York/ New Jersey area and can relate to the complexities of living in a rural area and working in an urban area as well as commuting between the two -- as Rosenberg describes in fine detail in Life on the River Styx. He also offers the reader an accurate portrayal of the ennui that affects people living in rural settings and how often this can lead to tapping into one’s dark side. The book will appeal to readers who appreciate the dramas and complexities of family life, marriage, climbing the ladder after college (decades ago) and of course, readers who love poetry. Rosenberg’s poetry contains a unique narrative quality with syntactic energy. I’d definitely read this book over again and I know I’d find something insightful and new each time.

Danita Dyess

Grab The Brass Ring by Dr. Martin Rosenberg is a collection of 26 essays and poetry that will make you reconsider your stance on the seemingly mundane things in life like boot ownership (diehard collectors consider them an investment) and stamp collecting. Then, there’s the complexities of ad placement on the local grocery store wall. His essay “Public Bulletin Boards: A Card To Grab or Pull My Tab” will not only make you reconsider your posting’s syntactical sentence structure but you will also wonder if “some nutcase might be carrying your phone number around.” Rosenberg says that he frequently writes from a café located near the Sangre de Cristo mountains. I believe it. As you read Grab The Brass Ring, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and indulge in this gifted writer’s musings.

The cover of Grab The Brass Ring was perfectly understated and apt for Martin Rosenberg’s laidback, satirical style and dry sense of humor. His writings about his experiences with the families of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico are inspiring. He is the president of Rosenberg Associates Ltd., a firm specializing in marketing and strategic planning for business, the arts and nonprofit organizations. It is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Previously, he was a senior lecturer of anthropology and president & CEO of Tomorrow’s Software. He has a PhD and has also written Sacred Grounds: Café musings from the mountains of Santa Fe. Grab The Brass Ring is highly recommended.