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The Yiddish Policemen's Union - $2.99

Old 12-30-12, 03:25 PM
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The Yiddish Policemen's Union - $2.99

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon - $2.99 @ Amazon
Old 08-19-13, 02:14 AM
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This title was on offer when I originally picked up three copies, two of which I gave away as gifts to people who, ultimately, liked them less than I!

I found this a fascinating alternative history novel when I read it some years ago, or as described by the New York Times: "a screwball, hard-boiled whodunit set in a Jewish settlement in Alaska".

One reason why my friends may have been less enamoured of it than I might simply have been the estrangement invoked by the "alternative" historical setting. However, some have opined that it was different from certain other novels of this kind i.e unlike some such novels set in parallel worlds, the exact point of divergence is not so clear as one where, say JFK survived, the Axis powers triumphed during WW2 etc.

In this instance the initial change dervives from a road accident that claimed the life of a politician who otherwise would have blocked a vote on a particular report relating to the establishment of a temporary refugee settlement in Alaska for European Jewry. As a consequence the Holocaust was a little less extreme - still awful - but, by way of a counterpoint, the state of Israel appears not to have survived early Arab incursions.

When I was reading the novel there was talk of a Coen Brothers film but it never materialised. I can imagine that it would have been fascinating... come to think of it, all I can do is imagine!

PS) It ain't $2-99 now either at com or co.uk but if you look around you can probably find a deal. Or a library!

PPS) Michael Chabon skips from genre to genre without sticking around and risk becoming pigeon-holed. Of his 2013 novel, "Telegraph Avenue" cut and pasted:
"From the bestselling author of 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay'; his first novel in 5 years is a lovingly painted pop-culture epic. As summer in Oakland, California, draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are hanging in there, co-regents of Brokeland Records. Their wives, Gwen and Aviva, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, a pair of legendary midwives. When former star quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to dump his latest Dogpile megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear the worst for their vulnerable little enterprise, as behind Goode's proposal lurks a nefarious scheme. And while their husbands struggle to mount a defence, Aviva and Gwen find themselves caught up in a professional battle that tests their friendship. Then into their already tangled lives comes Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged. An intimate epic that pulses with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all of its own, 'Telegraph Avenue' is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet, and a must-read for fans of Nick Hornby's 'High Fidelity'."
Albeit that they were set mid-20th century rather than in the 21st, from one of the Amazon reviews I'm inclined to wonder whether this might have the vibe of P K Dick's non-science fictional novels that were published after his death.

Last edited by benedict; 09-30-13 at 06:25 AM.

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