The Yiddish Policemen's Union Paperback – 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
To give this book a conventional book review does Mr. Chabon a disservice. How can I best summarize The Yiddish Policemen's Union? Expect the wildly unexpected.
Most novels try to fit tightly into a genre. By following certain conventions, readers have an easier time following what's going on and are soon basking in reflected pleasure from other books they've read in the genre. If you mash together genres instead as Mr. Chabon has done, the results can be chaotic, humorous, and revealing about the flaws in the genres. This book combines so many genres that you'll probably find yourself losing track of how many are referenced in one place or other.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union isn't one of those books that you should read quickly. You should savor each conversational exchange, each scene, and each historical, social, cultural or biblical reference as you might savor a fine wine. Sip slowly, stop, and experience as many flavors as you can.
I have two warnings however.
If you are looking for a book that's exactly like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, you've been misinformed. The same author is involved, but the two books are quite different.Read more ›
The strength of this novel definitely lies in its setting, which presents to the reader an alternate version of the events that have followed the end of WWII. This very original setting is presented in the course of a police investigation on what at first appears to be a casual case of a murder of a drug addict. The novel also introduces vocabulary that is unique to Sitka Jews, which contributes to the reader's immersion in this unique setting although it does take time to get familiar with it. Although I am quite enthusiastic about the setting of the novel, I can't say that the story itself blew me away. You will find in this story many common stereotypes for police investigators. With all the praises from critics this novel is showing on its cover, I must admit I expected more story-wise.
The story itself is a detective story, and the hero is Meyer Landsman, a homicide detective, who is investigating the murder of an unknown man (initially) who was known as a chess player. Landsman's partner is half-Tlingit (Alaskan native) half-Jewish man named Berko Shemets. Landsman's ex-wife (Bino) is promoted to be his commanding officer, and the interesting character list goes on and on from there. Chabon creates wonderful characters that are not just two-dimensional figures and each is a distinctive character to the reader. In addition, the entire world is textured and contributes greatly to pulling the reader into the world he has created.
This book received a number of awards, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Best SF Novel, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for Best Novel. It was also considered for the British Science Fiction Association and the Edgar Allan Poe Awards for Best Novel.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you enjoy reading a book with fanciful turns of phrase rather than point blank, direct text, then you'll enjoy reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union yet I was left feeling that... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Helena Savolainen
I had high hopes for this book as Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is one of my favourite novels of all time. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2013 by Aggie G
said the words out loud those who had assumed Yiddish was a language of the past only, suddenly felt it had been revived. . . . Read morePublished on March 30 2011 by Lonya
I heard a lot about this work and about Micheal Chabon, but I honestly didn't know what to think. On a lark, I decided to give this book a shot and bought it. Read morePublished on June 16 2009 by T. Hore
The story revolves around the idea that part of Alaska has been ceded to the dispossessed Jews after WWII on the stipulation that during the next sixty years they have to find a... Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2008 by Toni Osborne
For me, reading this was something like reading a book by Roth (any of his) and something by Chandler (think, his mysteries). Read morePublished on July 11 2007 by C.W.