Thursday, 7 April 2011

Chabon, Michael “The Yiddish Policemen's Union”

Chabon, Michael “The Yiddish Policemen's Union” - 2007

This book had been suggested for our book club but hadn't been chosen. As I had enjoyed “Summerland” and like alternative history novels, I tried this one, as well. It was graded as a detective story as well as science fiction. Science fiction is even less my kind of read and I'm also not very keen on detective stories but this novel just sounded very interesting. Instead of settling in Israel, Jewish refugees are sent to Alaska after World War II, especially after the State was Israel was destroyed (remember: “alternative history”). They move to Sitka which becomes a Yiddish-speaking town.

We have quite an interesting detective story here with many riddles, it's the story of a loser who tries to achieve something and always fails, as well as the saga of an unsettled people trying to find a home. Despite the negative background and the glum outlook on the future, the book is spiced with a lot of good humour.

Interesting novel, good writing.

Apparently, the Coen Brothers want to use the material for a film, should be interesting.

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