epub The Yiddish Policemen's UnionAuthor Michael Chabon – 91videos.co

You know that fashion rule where, before you leave the house, you re supposed to quickly turn to a mirror and then take off the first accessory that catches your eye Well, I feel like Chabon should have done that with his prose, which is sometimes so ridiculously overwritten and boastful that it ruined an otherwise pretty interesting story With some writers, I want them to put on another accessory or two please, would some bangle bracelets kill you but with Chabon I m like, Dude, before you show yourself to the world, could you please take off that top hat, and maybe that feather boa, and maybe that fake moustache, too I m not enjoying your outfit any longer I m merely distracted, and annoyed Sometimes you don t need to describe the sky five different ways. Oy vey Michael Chabon s 2007 novel is about as original an alternative history as can be imagined Israel collapsed in 1948 and a section of Alaska has been set aside for an extended Jewish territory Within this setup, Chabon then goes on to tell a fun whodunit.Meshuganah Like the best of Tom Wolfe s writing, Chabon s descriptive language and inventive style sets this apart from other alternate history books about Jews in Alaska While the mystery can drag at times and this was longer than I would have liked, what kept me going was the way in which the author told his story Chabon s mastery of the narrative style, blending crime noir with Jewish cultural and sociological allusions, and also throwing in enough of the Native American Alaskan references to be freaky, this was a fun schlep.While there is plenty of Woody Allenesque kvetshing to please the stereotypical sensibilities, Chabon s dialogue and characterization are first rate Chabon is such a wonderful mensch, should we not enjoy it Fun for tribe as well as the goyim, it s an Alaskan Chagiga L chaim I don t care what is written, Meyer Landsman says I don t care what supposedly got promised to some sandal wearing idiot whose claim to fame is that he was ready to cut his own son s throat for the sake of a hare brained idea I don t care about red heifers and patriarchs and locusts A bunch of old bones in the sand My homeland is in my hat It s in my ex wife s tote bag The Yiddish Policeman s Union is one of those rare, rare novels of ideas that is also character driven, and the people of this book are warm blooded and quirky they do not stand for ideologies, and this is no morality play Chabon manages to write a top notch piece of mystery detective novel noir that simulatenously parodies and celebrates the genre The plot is a page turning thrill, and his prose throughout is gorgeous suitably hard boiled to give his nozzes clout, ripe with metaphors pastiche or fresh , always delicious enough to taste Literary This is speculative fiction that makes you feel, not just think Will Meyer and Bina reunite Will Meyer ever be OK What did it feel like to be blessed by Mendel Shpliman, to play chess with him And of course Chabon s book makes you think It s full of Big Questions What would have happened if countries had however reluctantly opened their doors to European Jews during WWII, sparing 4 of the 6 million killed If Zionists had botched things in Israel and instead found themselves in Alaska, disputing land with Native Americans, dreaming up terrorist plots to win back the holy land Characters and readers alike must wonder, can a people who have been driven from place to place, who have been massacred and betrayed, who are desperatecan they make good moral choices Can they choose to live by the book, the book, or any book at all The Yiddish Policeman s Union is about horrible things done to and by Jews, to and by people all over the world It s about entitlement and destitution In ways both obvious and subtle, it examines the Problem of Israel, the real one we face, and America s role in it the dangers of fundamentalism, of a Jewish state, of the lack of one, of the pain of believing in nothing and the stain of believing in anything It cracks open the possibility that we do not and cannot understand everything around us While the story is painful and the outlook for the characters often grim, Chabon helps us believe in miracles, blessingseven the crumbs of salvation They taste, I think he d tell us, like a shtekeleh an Alaskan Jewish Filipino style Chinese doughnut This would make my short list for the most overwritten novel I ve ever read It s Michael Chabon so of course there are some fabulous lines But at times I felt like I was reading Thomas Pynchon or Nabokov fan fiction Several times I was on the point of abandoning it but annoyingly Chabon would suddenly bring all his considerable talents as a storyteller to the table and produce a great chapter Problem was, that was almost always followed by another five rambling overwritten ones It reminded me in ways of Jonathon Safran Foer s last book, which is essentially a small canvassed novel about the breakup of a marriage but given monumental import by inventing an apocalyptic war in Israel as a backdrop This too is essentially about the break up of a marriage and this too reinvents history to up the stakes Such vast world changing premises, often used in science fiction, are an effective device for heightening expectation, promising untold revelations but there usually arrives a moment when you realise what you re reading is just another story about a man and a woman who can t get on any Maybe though that s clever as all good storytelling is essentially about raising expectation It didn t though seem especially clever here because my expectations were quickly punctured by all the grandiose overwriting A tactic he uses is to often describe the insignificant in terms of something infinitely significant through high voltage overwrought similes, so the everyday has a kind of bogus epic sweep to it Again maybe this is clever as the novel has at its heart on the one hand an existence of thrift and on the other a belief in transfiguration symbolised by a Messiah character But for me it came across as someone indulging in the kind of fun that gets out of hand It s also about a murder and I m guessing pastiches or high fives famous noir writers like Chandler and Hammett There s lots of talk of the great American novel but I wonder if, behind the scenes, there isn t also a kind of competition to write the great Jewish novel Interestingly, Nicole Krauss in her new novel alludes indirectly to the existence of such pressures I suspect you re much likely to enjoy Chabon s novel if you re Jewish because if you re not it s often like eavesdropping on family jokes as an outsider For me it had an elitist strain running through it which I didn t like Writers surely should be intent on breaking down barriers, not reinforcing them, no matter how playfully. For Sixty Years, Jewish Refugees And Their Descendants Have Prospered In The Federal District Of Sitka, A Temporary Safe Haven Created In The Wake Of Revelations Of The Holocaust And The Shocking Collapse Of The Fledgling State Of Israel Proud, Grateful, And Longing To Be American, The Jews Of The Sitka District Have Created Their Own Little World In The Alaskan Panhandle, A Vibrant, Gritty, Soulful, And Complex Frontier City That Moves To The Music Of Yiddish For Sixty Years They Have Been Left Alone, Neglected And Half Forgotten In A Backwater Of History Now The District Is Set To Revert To Alaskan Control, And Their Dream Is Coming To An End Once Again The Tides Of History Threaten To Sweep Them Up And Carry Them Off Into The Unknown But Homicide Detective Meyer Landsman Of The District Police Has Enough Problems Without Worrying About The Upcoming Reversion His Life Is A Shambles, His Marriage A Wreck, His Career A Disaster He And His Half Tlingit Partner, Berko Shemets, Can T Catch A Break In Any Of Their Outstanding Cases Landsman S New Supervisor Is The Love Of His Life And Also His Worst Nightmare And In The Cheap Hotel Where He Has Washed Up, Someone Has Just Committed A Murder Right Under Landsman S Nose Out Of Habit, Obligation, And A Mysterious Sense That It Somehow Offers Him A Shot At Redeeming Himself, Landsman Begins To Investigate The Killing Of His Neighbor, A Former Chess Prodigy But When Word Comes Down From On High That The Case Is To Be Dropped Immediately, Landsman Soon Finds Himself Contending With All The Powerful Forces Of Faith, Obsession, Hopefulness, Evil, And Salvation That Are His Heritage And With The Unfinished Business Of His Marriage To Bina Gelbfish, The One Person Who Understands His Darkest Fears At Once A Gripping Whodunit, A Love Story, An Homage To S Noir, And An Exploration Of The Mysteries Of Exile And Redemption, The Yiddish Policemen S Union Is A Novel Only Michael Chabon Could Have Written Front Flap When I think of The Yiddish Policemen s Union, I can picture a complacent Chabon frequently patting his own back while writing this book If he can come up with three ornamental ways to portray one thing, he includes all three of them in the book He seems mighty pleased with his writing and probably believes in sharing his beautiful mind with everyone He will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat with suspense, to furnish a leisurely description of the setting before moving on Every little thing He will read as many details in the cracks in the wall as a palm reader does in the lines of a hand.Errwait Do I sound like I am criticizing the book Because I don t intend to Honestly, I enjoyed reading this a lot apart from slightly OD ing on the bejeweled descriptions, that is Chabon had my attention from the word go and the story never lost momentum The alternate history is fully realized Chabon does lean on some convenient co incidences here and there, but for the most part the plot is well conceived The dialogue is crisp and snappy.And the characters Whatever they do, they do with panache It is almost as if each character has been given a role card which they are determined to follow till they are six feet under Bina never drops her I am smarter than everyone else attitude and detective Landsman performs his duty of being a full time smart ass with flair A scene had people trying to shoot him, while he was running in sub zero temperature wearing only his underwear, but he refused to go down without letting fly a wisecrack or two.All in all it was light and good fun to read.Kavalier and Clay I look forward to seeing you sometime. Rating 4.75 of five2019 UPDATE Soon to be a cable TV drama The Book Report For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a temporary safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half forgotten in a backwater of history Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster He and his half Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can t catch a break in any of their outstanding cases Landsman s new supervisor is the love of his life and also his worst nightmare And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder right under Landsman s nose Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritage and with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears.At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen s Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.My Review A small, overlooked historical tidbitvery real and truegives rise to a what if novel of huge impact and fascination What if Roosevelt s half serious proposal to resettle European Jewry in the American territory of Alaska, made in 1939, had been accepted Millions of Jews forcibly relocated to the southern reaches of what was then virtually terra incognitaliving in the world s largest, most beautiful ghetto, at the mercy of a sixty year term lease, and an American government that one senses was caught flat footed by the plan s success The novel opens as the lease is just about to expireand the problems that presents to the world, to the people who have built a cultureyet again changing the whole of their known world that now is under order of execution All seen through the eyes of a policeman doing his job, in spite of the fact that the laws he s enforcing are set to vanish It s fascinating.Superb book Characters I could imagine living next door to, and enjoying the mishegas of their lives from a distance A fascinating PoD for the alternate history buffs, a tiny footnote to history of a proposal that went nowhere in 1939 OTL I felt fascinated by Chabon s exploration of this alternate history because it was never done historically but rather through the lives of the characters, their intertwined existences depended on this particu lar world coming into being That, ladeesngennlemun, is how it should be done.Side note, book won the 2008 Locus Award for best novel And deservedly so Also won the Sidewise Award for best long form alternative history, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and the BSFA Best Novel Award This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. My father s family is Polish Jewish My paternal grandmother was fluent in Yiddish, and whenever I see my parents they talk incessantly about Israeli politics I must have read at least half of Isaac Bashevis Singer at one time or another Also, I m a chess player I even knew the chess problem in question, and had read Nabokov s explanation in Speak, Memory of his thought processes as he constructed it So how would it be possible for me not to love this book But my reasons for loving it are sufficiently unusual that I won t try to convince anyone else that they re necessarily going to feel the same way Me and The Yiddish Policeman s Union just happen to be made for each other, and we re very happy together. Many years ago, after I d finished off The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay, one of my all time favourites, I decided to follow up on my personal Chabon binge with The Yiddish Policeman s Union For one reason or another, I made it about 50 pages deep and abandoned the entire book I sat it next to its better known counterpart on a shelf where it would rest for many years Then, suddenly, it became a book club pick and I saw it as a sign to dig in and give this book another kick at the can Luckily, it turned out to be a very rewarding experience The Yiddish Policeman s Union is a major departure from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay in that it is a detective story set in an alternate timeline where the Jewish populace settled in Sitka, Alaska rather than Israel following WWII In short, this is one quirky book It begins with a murder mystery, but quickly becomes a character study of Detective Meyer Landsman, his supporting cast, and this strange world Sitka is fully realized and entirely believable, due to Chabon s world building with alternate timeline music, donut shops, neighbourhoods, and the disposition of his characters Much has been made of Chabon s signature writing style, and he employs it here to pack readable and gorgeous packets of prose in between on point dialogue Meyer Landsman, the book s lead, is a relatable and interesting character who acts as the reader s guide through the novel Though it all starts with a man catching a bullet in the back of the head, Jewish mythology, colourful characters, and a complex conspiracy lie in the path of Landsman s case Though the plot becomes absurd at points, it is grounded by Landsman s consistent and biting perspective, as well as Chabon s realistic descriptive passages The mystery is also supplemented with Landsman s tangly love life, and his life s intersection points with his partner, Berko Shemets These ingredients all make for a story with real heart, and than a few heartwarming moments More than once, I thought of Midnight s Children by Salman Rushdie while reading The Yiddish Policeman s Union Both employ religion and mythology to supplement the story in a fashion that helps to develop the culture and world that their characters inhabit Yet both novels also, in my opinion, share the same flaw they both go into territory that becomes esoteric for those not familiar with the subject matter While I thought Chabon handled this much effectively than Rushdie, there were still times where I had to pause my reading to do a little research on Jewish religion or history see the red heifer Another minor gripe I had with the story is that it seemed to expand exponentially in ridiculousness as the story wore on I m conflicted on this, as I absolutely adored the weirdness of it all, but I also thought it seemed to be getting slightly out of control during the last 50 pages I d heard from various sources that Chabon is a divisive author While The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay seems to rock everyone s literary world, I d heard his other books tended to turn people off, or at least thin the thick crowd of fans from Chabon s Pulitzer winning novel I m very happy I read The Yiddish Policeman s Union, and I ll be sure to try Chabon in the future The novel is complex, beautifully written, compelling, quirky, and often than not, a hilarious read My gripes above are relatively minor, and while not all The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay fans may enjoy the novel, it is certainly worth a shake. When I first heard about this novel, I found its premise too fascinating to resist it s a noir inspired murder mystery set in an alternate universe in which refugees from the failed state of Israel are living in a section of Alaska temporarily loaned to them by the US government At the beginning of Chabon s novel, their lease on this land is about to expire, signs of the messiah s imminent arrival are accumulating, and a dead man has inconveniently turned up in the fleabag hotel of broken down detective Meyer Landsman The narrative revolves around Landsman s quest to solve this murder despite growing evidence that there are quite a few people who would strongly prefer he mind his own business The story is a complex one, the basic murder mystery woven through with issues of religion and race, politics and love, loss and redemption Despite the intriguing premise, it took me quite some time to get into this novel Though I felt a certain amount of detached pity for Landsman, I simply didn t find him involving enough as a character to really care that much about him It wasn t until the identity of the dead man was revealed that I really felt myself begin to get invested in just where this story was going Unfortunately, that didn t occur until 100 plus pages in.Chabon s writing may have contributed to my difficulty engaging with this story Though he is clearly a highly creative prose stylist, there were times when he shifted between past and present in a way I found very confusing In addition, he would go on such long expositional passages between brief lines of dialogue that I would forgot what the main thread of the conversation was about and have to go back and re read Perhaps this is all very literary, but quirks like these repeatedly took me out of the story.Despite those problems, I did enjoy this novel in a detached sort of way I found the themes it explored and the way it explored them intellectually interesting But it just didn t grab me emotionally as much as I expected it to from the premise I think my taste and Chabon s style are perhaps not the best match.