Monday, July 21, 2008

Books: The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon

We finished this book a couple weeks back for the Book Club our mother is in. (She is too lazy to read the books herself, so we read them and then tell her what they are about so she can appear sophisticated and well-read to all of her friends...) This month the book was The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. We've read others of Chabon's work; we loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and thought most of his other stuff was mediocre. So, we were understandably excited to pull out this book.

The book begins with the premise that the Jewish state of Israel was never created, and instead, following WWII, a nation of four million Jews was given a small slice of Alaska, called Sitka, to call their very own for sixty years, at which time the US government would be reclaiming the land and kicking everyone out. It is weeks away from the end of the sixty-year era, and a seemingly insignificant murder has taken place. The Sitka police do their best to solve the mystery, and in doing so, uncover something earth-shattering.

Quick vote: We really wanted to love this book, but it lacked the panache of Kavalier and Clay and we never quite got into the book as we had wanted. Sigh, we suppose that disappointment is just a part of life.

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