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Morey's dulcet theatrical tones offset the messy lives of the characters in Englander's first novel about Jewish residents of 1970s Buenos Aires who live in fear of Argentina's vicious military dictatorship. Against the backdrop of the dirty war conducted against leftists and activists, Kaddish Poznan scratches together a living vandalizing the gravestones of Jewish criminals who are embarrassments to their families, even in eternal slumber. Morey struggles manfully with the book's religious terminology and outbursts of Spanish, but his reading is too mannered to render the vibrancy of Englander's prose. His pauses are often too long, and his line readings sometimes lean awkwardly, and puzzlingly, on certain words. Nonetheless, Morey's professional assurance means that, certain flaws notwithstanding, his reading flows along without overly noticeable interruption, accurately conveying the menace lurking behind every word, every sentence of Englander's death-haunted tale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* The years between the 1999 appearance of Englander's highly applauded first work of fiction, the short story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges , and the release of his first novel have apparently gone to good stead. This is a staggeringly mature work, gracefully and knowledgeably set in a milieu far from the author's native New York. The time is the mid-1970s, and the place is Argentina. The widow of Juan Peron (Isabella, that is, not his 1940s wife, Eva) has just been given the boot from the presidential office by the military, which has inaugurated an internal terrorist program that came to be known as the dirty war. Kaddish Pozman, a Jewish resident of Buenos Aires, works for hire as a midnight eraser of names from tombstones of Jews whose living families do not want any connection to their dear departed's past dubious behavior, now that an uncertain regime governs the land. Of course, one of the major characteristics of the military government is its widespread program of making people who just might be revolutionaries or insurrectionaries or even free thinkers disappear into the regime's system of detention centers, and Pozman's son becomes one such desaparecido . The bulk of this overwhelming novel, then, is Pozman's and his wife's attempt to locate their missing son. Four p' s best describe this work: poignant, powerful, political, and yet personal. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.