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The Truth About Marvin Kalish: A Mystery [Paperback]

Martin Samuel Cohen

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Ben-Simon Pubns (October 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914539051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914539056
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A young stand-up comic plagued by mysterious attempts on his life and a middle-aged Jewish housewife desperate to find the child she gave up for adoption are the heroes of this thinly plotted first novel. Although the action occurs in Queens, N.Y., in the 1980s, the story is rooted some 30 years earlier as refugees of Hitler's Germany struggle with their harrowing past and work to create their own version of a suburban American dream. The author displays a sympathetic insight into his characters' lives, but too much of his narrative is marred by painfully bad writing: "The shops along Austin Street, snug behind their faux Tudor facades and thick plate glass windows, opened at the genteel hour of ten o'clock each morning once the neighborhood men were off at their profitable jobs and their refined wives had concluded their matinal toilettes at least to the extent necessary to do the morning's shopping." At the heart of the novel is a revelation meant to imbue the story with significance by bringing to it an element of ancient Jewish mysticism (the author is a rabbi with a doctorate in the history of ancient Judaism), but even with the explanation provided in a brief epilogue, the reader is more likely to feel nonplussed than enlightened.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Who is trying to kill Jewish comedian Marvin Kalish, and why? Using flashbacks and scenes from various characters' points of view, the "mystery" is revealed: Marvin is adopted; his birth mother, Bunny, has been mysteriously warned of an assassination plot against her son--and his own father Yudel is the would-be assassin. These events have been engineered to fulfill Marvin's messianic destiny, first revealed to Zelig, a friend of Yudel, during the Holocaust and confirmed in an ancient Roman catacomb. First novelist Cohen is a rabbi, and the novel is infused with Jewish mysticism and themes. Unfortunately, the "mystery" isn't much of one and the book is paced too slowly to generate much concern or excitement. Perhaps for special-interest libraries and for larger fiction collections where Jewish fiction is needed. For another novel with a Jewish theme, see Arthur Henley's Lily and Joel: A Novel of Life, Love and AudioTapes, reviewed below.--Ed.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. System, Cal.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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