In “Train Tracks,” Savage, the son of a Russian immigrant, shares some of the most intimate details of his life, recounting his years growing up poor in the Bronx during the 1940s and 1950s.
The Post said Savage has “the knack for evocative detail, and this series of short vignettes features some indelible images, such as the immigrant father who, insisting that nothing be wasted, forced his son to wear dead men’s trousers.”
Working as an apprentice for his father at his antiques market on Ludlow Street in Manhattan, Savage learned tough lessons while growing up, leading him to compare their often difficult relationship with Abraham and Isaac’s relationship in the Bible.
The book includes his vivid portrayal of a train trip from New York City to Pennsylvania to visit relatives at Thanksgiving.
In an interview when the book was released last month, Savage told WND his aim with “Train Tracks” is to highlight the extraordinary in every “ordinary” person and show how everyone in a person’s life contributes in some way to a unique destiny.
“Ordinary people, if you actually bother to study their lives, can be very dramatic,” Savage said. “I don’t care who the person is. Having children, raising a family sounds boring. Trying to sustain it is not very boring at all. It’s quite a roller coaster.”
He emphasized that “Train Tracks” is more than about raising children.
“It’s about men and women in my childhood who looked ordinary from the outside, but who were not,” he said.
“If you passed these people on the street in New York in the ’50s, you wouldn’t have looked twice,” he explained. “They didn’t look like movie stars. They didn’t wear designer clothing or drive fancy cars. They were ordinary men and women, but their lives struck me as interesting.”
Savage’s show, “The Savage Nation,” is now broadcast from 9 p.m. to midnight, Eastern, via Cumulus Media Networks.
“Train Tracks” features a long list of bite-sized chapters that include “Setting a Peanut Man on Fire,” “Woodchuck Bill,” “Fat Pat & Tippy the Dog,” “Talking to a Bum About God” and “Slum Dialect.”
In “Slum Dialect,” Savage, who now speaks to millions of Americans each week, recalls how a teacher played a crucial role in helping him overcome his shame about public speaking.
“I was terrified when I was asked to give a speech,” he said, noting his language as a child was peppered with “dem and dose” and “dis and dat.”
He divulged his fears in a private conference with a speech teacher, who told him, “Don’t worry about that; just speak and eventually that will be forgotten.”
“Look at the influence a teacher can have,” Savage told WND. “What if he had been an elitist, anti-immigrant teacher or he hated kids from the slums?”
Instead of saying, “Don’t even bother speaking, you sound like a bum or a longshoreman,” this “college-educated young man, who knew what he was doing, was committed to educating boys from the wrong side of the tracks into becoming speakers.”
“Train Tracks” is Savage’s 29th book.
He has written six non-fiction New York Times best-sellers, including “Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America,” “Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama’s Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security,” “The Savage Nation,” The Enemy Within,” “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder,” “Political Zoo,” “Psychological Nudity: Savage Radio Stories” and “Banned in Britain.”
As WND reported, he has signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press for two new fiction thrillers.
Savage’s previous novel, “Abuse of Power,” was a New York Times bestseller last year. His next fiction book, “Time for War,” will be released in February. The new books are tentatively scheduled for 2014 and 2015.