Crossing the Hudson Paperback – Mar 10 2009
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“The details in Crossing the Hudson [give] this novel about the troubled generations of a post-War Jewish family a verisimilitude that draws readers in...Jungk’s telling of the story is irresistible.”
The Jewish Week
“[The characters] are suspended between Europe and America, a Jewish family’s past and present, in this novel that features a Kafka-like event on the Tappan Zee Bridge.”
The National Jewish Post and Opinion
“Brilliantly blending reality and fantasy, Peter Stephan Jungk has written an intriguing novel...set forth with great wit and skill."
“A stirring meditation on family, faith and intellect… Jungk’s beautiful, uncanny work breaks new ground in stories about fathers and sons.”
“Pleasantly bizarre… [a]n unusual and inventive work…refreshingly strange...”
Times Literary Supplement
"Modern Jewish fiction has generally preferred to depict the Oedipal struggle. A strange, durable love – not Roth’s sublimated hatred, not Kafka’s fear – reigns in Crossing the Hudson...[a] journey taken far too infrequently by Jungk’s literary predecessors."
The Star Tribune
“Jungk’s beautiful, surpassingly strange novel deals with emotions and faith…a treatment of father-son relationships that’s both deeply intimate and deeply intellectual.”
Salonica World Lit
"[A] great work in translation."
About the Author
Peter Stephan Jungk
Peter Stephan Jungk was born in Los Angeles, raised in several European cities, and now lives in Paris. A former screenwriting fellow of the American Film Institute, he is the author of eight books, including the acclaimed biography Franz Werfel: A Life from Prague to Hollywood (1990) and the novels Tigor (Handsel Books, 2004), a finalist for the British Foreign Book Award, and The Perfect American (Handsel Books, 2004), a fictional biography of Walt Disney's last months, which had its premiere as an opera by Philip Glass at Madrid's Teatro Real in January 2013.
David Dollenmayer is Professor of German at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Berlin Novels of Alred Doblin. He is the recipient of the 2008 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. He lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.
Also by this translator: The Road to Rescue, The King of Corsica, House of Childhood
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What follows is a dreamy meditation about the lasting effect of Gustav's parents on his sensitive and impressionable personality. The bridge gives Gustav "the feeling of being transported into a floating, dreamlike state." As if in a dream, Gustav scrolls through memories of his recently deceased father Ludwig, and he and his mother share a strange hallucination (or is it real?) demonstrating Ludwig's continuing power over his family. Gustav recognizes that, over the course of his adult life, "the foundation of his existence remained Father and Mother." Gustav's vital father has sapped his self-assurance and his energy:
"Father's fantastic, everlasting capacity for hope, his unbearable kindness, completely robbed his son of confidence. Ludwig's immense productivity often rendered Gustav powerless. The more enterprising the father, the quieter and more worn out the son."
Gustav's vapidity and his mother's overbearing personality were constant annoyances, as was the plot contrivance of a seemingly endless traffic jam. Fortunately, a healthy amount of humor makes the hours spent on the bridge bearable. Crossing the Hudson is an interesting, if not altogether pleasant, examination of the power of parents over their children.