“The writing is good to better than good throughout…”

Richard Marek, former President and Publisher, E P Dutton Company


“A Triumph”

Stefan Kanfer, former Book Editor, Time Magazine


I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THAT BOOK-I could not put it down-

You are a great storyteller-a philosopher, a bit of a Rabbi, a great attorney and an overall engaging and fascinating writer. Your characters jump off the pages, and they truly live and breathe. You have so much going on and yet you can keep track of it all! You seem to know your characters so well and yet they still have the power to surprise! Please send me your home #, as I have been so anxious to share my words of praise with you. Well done, my friend-well done!!!!


Hi Joel,

What an amazing work!
When you autographed my copy of Public Parts, you wrote “Enjoy the ride”.
At that time, I could only begin to imagine what I was in store for.
Thank you for an amazing ride and a truly enjoyable read. My only regret is that there is nothing else on the shelves by Joel Harris.



I thank you for a very enjoyable read. I am taken aback. How was I to know that my go to person for Matters Insurance was leading a double life? While ever charmingly (and patiently!) delivering insurance expertise, there labored a Damon Runyon, a Mickey Spillane, in our midst.

Very impressive. I hope I have a chance to hear you describe the process and the pleasure you had putting this together. Maybe over coffee or some lunch if you are in the Flatiron area in the near future.


I will look through the Sunday NYT Book Review Section and see if there is a review in there.
It was enjoyable in many ways, but mostly it was fun! Now that I’ve read it, I don’t have to give the book back, do I?

Congrats and thank you.



I would love to deliver an extensive critique as you made my mind weigh various aspects of your book. But, you know what? Nothing I would or could say measures up to the wondrous accomplishment of your book. My criticisms simply do not deserve to share oxygen in the same room where your creation exists.

I have naught experience in the publishing field. But I do sense that your achievement could be greatly leveraged and benefit from the assistance of just the right editor. You have delivered the goods; it needs a professional hand to shape it, to realize its full potential.

You did a great job! Remarkable.

Masterful story telling. I was glued to the book. Drama, suspense, plot twist, and mob history, all woven into a believable plot. You can feel the protagonist’s plight as he struggles to keep his personal and business affairs afloat. I highly recommend this book.

What a delightful read. Once I started Public Parts, I didn’t want to put it down. Climb aboard, fasten your seat belt and hang on for one hell of a ride!

You don’t have to be from Brooklyn to love this book. Stick with it & you will be hooked.

Public Parts is an entertaining historical novel about a man who thinks he can change the way his father’s auto parts store is run in Brownsville, Brooklyn. It is 1971, and Larry Levine is dissatisfied at work and at home, and believes Public Auto Parts can be more modern than the way Big Moe operates it. The problem is not just about the generation gap, it’s also about the opposing forces controlling and protecting the business and the neighborhood. At the start of the book, a questionable suicide in 1941 of Abe “Kid Twist” Reles resurfaces when detectives burst into Big Moe’s office. Larry has known that Abe and his father were best friends, and Abe worked for “the Mob’s accountant” Meyer Lansky, but when his father takes an extended vacation the following day, Larry takes a crash course in protection and control, family loyalty and corruption. What makes this novel a great read is Harris’ engaging writing and Larry’s humor, hubris and humility!

A hefty tome, full of surprises, mysteries, all expertly woven and offered in well-written prose, by a first-time published author.


NOTE: I did not suggest, ask for, or write any of these letters or comments.