Buy “[ THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION ] By Chabon, Michael ( Author) 2007 [ Compact Disc ] Michael Chabon Books” Online
I am reading the Nebula Award winning novels in chronological order. This is the winner for 2008. I must say, this book was very. ..different. Different in an interesting but sometimes difficult to read way. The novel is liberally embellished with Yiddish, the native language of the characters. There is a glossary in the back which I didn’t notice until it was too late. I don’t like looking things up anyway, plus the context makes most things obvious. The story is complex and the ridiculously long names for some of the characters don’t make it any easier to keep track of things. There is a lot to follow. This is not a light read, you have to be paying attention. I would not recommend it for an audiobook. The two main characters are detectives in a province of Alaska to which they have been granted a 50 year lease. The main character, Landsman, life has gone down the tubes, his marriage collapsed leaving him with nothing to live for. He rents a dumpy apartment in a slum where he spends his non-working time drowning himself in alcohol. But he is a driven detective and when a young man is murdered in his apartment building, he takes it seriously. The book follows the complicated path to find the man’s killer. What I really liked about the novel was the language, not the insertion of Yiddish, but the colorful and insightful aphorisms. So much can be conveyed in so few words. I’m going to put a number of them in this review so you can see what I mean. There are a lot, lot more throughout the novel. The lady has been in and out of the hospital lately, dying in chapters, with a cliff-hanger at the end of every one. The blood from the back of his head has scattered rhododendrons in the snow. He can feel his rib cage ringing under the mallet of his heart. Landsman feels a numbness enter his limbs, a sense of doom that is indistinguishable from peacefulness. I’m like a cash gift, I’m always appropriate. I could go on citing these things but you’ve probably got the idea by now. Check it out!
[ THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION ] By Chabon, Michael ( Author) 2007 [ Compact Disc ] Multimedia CD – 2007 by Michael Chabon (Author) Review
I have a love-hate relationship with Michael Chabon. I loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I hated Wonder Boys and this would be right in the middle. I would encourage anyone reading this to first have the understanding that this takes place in a fictional world where the Jews are given, for lack of a better description, an alternate Israel in Sitka Alaska. Since I did not, it took awhile for me to "get it". ..about the time he mentions the A-Bomb that took out Berlin. So you better have the Glossary in the back of the book open, along with Google so that you can cut through the density of the narrative with it’s heavy reliance on Jewish/Yiddish references. Maybe it is my deficiency that I do not want to have to cross-reference every third paragraph; however, I don’t. The characters are well drawn and his descriptions of place and time are wonderfully evocative. The story, although overly convoluted for my taste, is well told. Maybe I should stick to Romance Novels? -Read Reviews-
I don’t have time to review this properly, but I’m not the type who wants to read fiction taking place in an alternate history. However, this book was so imaginative and unusual that I ended up buying into Chabon’s world in Alaska. Sorry there’s no time for me to explain why. Just get through the first 50 pages and enjoy the ride. Chabon is so smart and funny that I couldn’t help but consider my relative superficiality and stupidity.