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The Yiddish Policemen's Union

The Yiddish Policemen s Union For sixty years Jews have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka a temporary safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking collapse of the fledgling state

  • Title: The Yiddish Policemen's Union
  • Author: Michael Chabon
  • ISBN: 9780007149834
  • Page: 170
  • Format: Paperback
  • For sixty years, Jews have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a temporary safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry theFor sixty years, Jews have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a temporary safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a temporary safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half forgotten in a backwater of history Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster He and his half Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can t catch a break in any of their outstanding cases Landsman s new supervisor is the love of his life and also his worst nightmare And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder right under Landsman s nose Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritage and with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen s Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

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    About "Michael Chabon"

    1. Michael Chabon

      Michael Chabon b 1963 is an acclaimed and bestselling author whose works include the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay 2000 Chabon achieved literary fame at age twenty four with his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh 1988 , which was a major critical and commercial success He then published Wonder Boys 1995 , another bestseller, which was made into a film starring Michael Douglas One of America s most distinctive voices, Chabon has been called a magical prose stylist by the New York Times Book Review, and is known for his lively writing, nostalgia for bygone modes of storytelling, and deep empathy for the human predicament.

    214 Comments

    1. You know that fashion rule where, before you leave the house, you're supposed to quickly turn to a mirror and then take off the first accessory that catches your eye? Well, I feel like Chabon should have done that with his prose, which is sometimes so ridiculously overwritten and boastful that it ruined an otherwise pretty interesting story. With some writers, I want them to put on another accessory or two--please, would some bangle bracelets kill you?--but with Chabon I'm like, Dude, before you [...]


    2. "I don't care what is written," Meyer Landsman says. "I don't care what supposedly got promised to some sandal-wearing idiot whose claim to fame is that he was ready to cut his own son's throat for the sake of a hare-brained idea. I don't care about red heifers and patriarchs and locusts. A bunch of old bones in the sand. My homeland is in my hat. It's in my ex-wife's tote bag."The Yiddish Policeman's Union is one of those rare, rare novels of ideas that is also character-driven, and the people [...]


    3. This would make my short list for the most overwritten novel I’ve ever read. It’s Michael Chabon so of course there are some fabulous lines. But at times I felt like I was reading Thomas Pynchon or Nabokov fan fiction. Several times I was on the point of abandoning it but annoyingly Chabon would suddenly bring all his considerable talents as a storyteller to the table and produce a great chapter. Problem was, that was almost always followed by another five rambling overwritten ones. It remin [...]


    4. Oy vey!Michael Chabon’s 2007 novel is about as original an alternative history as can be imagined: Israel collapsed in 1948 and a section of Alaska has been set aside for an extended Jewish territory. Within this setup, Chabon then goes on to tell a fun whodunit.Meshuganah!Like the best of Tom Wolfe’s writing, Chabon’s descriptive language and inventive style sets this apart from other alternate history books about Jews in Alaska. While the mystery can drag at times and this was longer tha [...]


    5. When I think of The Yiddish Policemen's Union, I can picture a complacent Chabon frequently patting his own back while writing this book. If he can come up with three ornamental ways to portray one thing, he includes all three of them in the book. He seems mighty pleased with his writing and probably believes in sharing his beautiful mind with everyone. He will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat with suspense, to furnish a leisurely description of the setting before moving on. Every litt [...]


    6. My father's family is Polish-Jewish. My paternal grandmother was fluent in Yiddish, and whenever I see my parents they talk incessantly about Israeli politics. I must have read at least half of Isaac Bashevis Singer at one time or another. Also, I'm a chess player. I even knew the chess problem in question, and had read Nabokov's explanation in Speak, Memory of his thought processes as he constructed it. So how would it be possible for me not to love this book? But my reasons for loving it are s [...]


    7. Rating: 4.75* of fiveThe Book Report: For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music [...]


    8. Many years ago, after I'd finished off The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, one of my all-time favourites, I decided to follow up on my personal Chabon binge with The Yiddish Policeman's Union. For one reason or another, I made it about 50 pages deep and abandoned the entire book. I sat it next to its better known counterpart on a shelf where it would rest for many years. Then, suddenly, it became a book club pick and I saw it as a sign to dig in and give this book another kick at the [...]


    9. Onvan : The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Nevisande : Michael Chabon - ISBN : 7149824 - ISBN13 : 9780007149827 - Dar 414 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2007


    10. When I first heard about this novel, I found its premise too fascinating to resist: it's a noir-inspired murder mystery set in an alternate universe in which refugees from the failed state of Israel are living in a section of Alaska temporarily loaned to them by the US government. At the beginning of Chabon's novel, their lease on this land is about to expire, signs of the messiah's imminent arrival are accumulating, and a dead man has inconveniently turned up in the fleabag hotel of broken down [...]


    11. Imagine a crazy world in which, following the Holocaust, Jewish survivors languished in DP camps in Europe, were often still barred or discouraged from immigrating to the various "democracies", and found themselves pushed into emigrating to the Middle East where, through a variety of historical coincidences, they founded a new society based on dispossessing the indigenous Arabs and acting as imperialism's pit bulls in the region.That's the crazy world we do live in.In many ways, Michael Chabon's [...]


    12. This is a book that I didn't want to read. Once I actually acquired a copy it sat mouldering on my shelves for over a year before I got to it. Having only read Kavalier & Clay and having been only mildly whelmed by it, it didn't call to me at all. Then, madness of madnesses, it was not only nominated for, but won the Hugo Award, even when stacked up against such brilliant scifi writers as Ian McDonald and Charles Stross. Upset doesn't begin to describe my reaction. How dare this dabbler in g [...]


    13. I picked up a copy of “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” by Michael Chabon purely out of curiosity. This novel was nominated for, and won, the prestigious Hugo Award. The Hugo Award is for outstanding science fiction and I have never seen “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” on the science fiction/fantasy bookshelves in any bookstore. It’s only been in the mainstream fiction section. Now that I’ve read it, I still don’t understand how it won the Hugo. True, it is an alternate history; [...]


    14. 1. Chess2. Police investigations3. Judaism (Yiddish, red cows, those little hats)4. AlaskaI don’t know much about any of these topics. And honestly, only the last one piques my interest. Which meant from page one, it was going to be an uphill battle for Chabon. And he lost the battle. I mean he was slaughtered on that hill. Now that I have finished the book, I have negative interest in items 1 to 3. I am still curious about Alaska. Yet once it was used in the set-up, the cold tundra was tossed [...]


    15. There are not less than 36 tzaddikim/righteous persons in the world who receive the Shekhinah/the Divine Presence-- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 97b, Sukkot 45bThere is a person born each generation with the potential to become Messiah, if the Jewish people warrant his coming. This candidate is known as the Tzadik Ha-Dor, meaning Tzaddik of the Generation.Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska. Home to some 2 million Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, resettled here during the late 30-ties and early 40-ties, [...]


    16. Had a pretty lengthy review, which was deleted when I made the mistake of changing the shelf. Yeah, I don't get it either. Long story short: I still don't get why Michael Chabon is supposed to be one of the great writers of the 21st century. "Wonder Boys" was an enjoyable read. Nothing life-changing, but smart, fast, and chock full of quirky characters. "Kavalier & Clay"t so good. I am a fan of the comics industry, and I have to say the beginning describing it's birth had me riveted. And the [...]


    17. It is probably my own fault that I was disappointed by this book. I heard a review of it many years ago on the radio and hunted up and down the shelves of bookshops until years later I found a paperback copy. In my imagination I was sure that this book would be the hard-boiled love child of Isaac Babel and Raymond Chandler, witty, insightful and with its collar turned up against the rain. The title promised an array of pleasures. The slog of police union politics conducted in Yiddish, a hint of [...]


    18. The Yiddish Policemen's Union: Larger-than life characters overwhelm noir plotOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureI knew I would eventually get around to this book. How can one resist? An alternate history about the US resettling European Jews to Alaska to escape the Holocaust, in a world in which Germany defeated the Soviet Union, Berlin was destroyed by nuclear weapons in 1946, and Israel was destroyed in 1948 in a different version of the Arab-Israeli War. Michael Chabon uses this setting [...]


    19. I just have to record some great bits of this book as I go along.p. 13And just last week, amid the panic and feathers of a kosher slaughterhouse on Zhitlovsky Avenue, a chicken turned on the shochet as he raised his ritual knife and announced, in Aramaic, the imminent advent of Messiah. According to the Tog, the miraculous chicken offered a number of startling predictions, though it neglected to mention the soup in which, having once more fallen silent as God Himself, it afterward featured. Even [...]


    20. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)Is Michael Chabon possibly our nation's greatest living writer? Oh, wait, I already know the answer to that rhetorical question -- yes, yes he is. And that's because, more than almost anyone else working today, Chabon has the ability to elegantly enfold the elements of literature most revered by academes [...]


    21. I wanted to be a good reader, I wanted to give it a good chance and not pick nits because it wasn't written by an Alaskan. But I just. couldn't. trudge. through the prose. So, yet again, I feel out of step with everyone I know, who all loved the book and demanded I read it. Sigh.


    22. What if Israel had not come into existence in 1948 and another solution had been found, namely the USA ceding a portion of coastal Alaska for a temporary Jewish state? Now add to that a noir crime yarn set in this fictional state. What’s not to like?Oy! This is a very slow-moving detective yarn, so slow in fact that I contemplated not finishing it. Chabon concentrates on giving family and cultural historical details in this alternate reality yarn. That becomes too much, particularly as the for [...]


    23. The corpse with the extra hole in his head may turn out to be the least of Detective Meyer Landsman's problems. His ex-wife is now his boss (professionally, this time around) and she's just handed him a tall stack of file folders full of cold cases she wants him to solve. A dark Alaska winter is creeping in and Landsman is sinking deeper into a shady mess that reeks of conspiracy and long kept secrets.There's no denying itChabon plays well with words; crafting sentences of such loveliness, you g [...]


    24. Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and beca [...]


    25. THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION BY MICHAEL CHABON: Michael Chabon is a writer that many other writers are envious of: he’s young, he’s brilliant, and his books will undoubtedly survive long after his is gone. Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay aside, Chabon’s writing seems almost effortless, but is pure craft and magic. Unlike John Irving, who plots out the complete story beforehand, and then meticulously crafts each sentence and paragraph to be perfect (which i [...]


    26. I hated this book by the end. It started out pretty good, then Chabon started intensifying the Jewish theme. Then he started adding scenes where the characters literally cussed and slandered each other for a page "out of love" with harsh, unnecessarily offensive language. Comments throughout were made about how Jewish people were the worst people ever, various racist epitaths, vulgarity, violence, etcetera. I honestly am not easily offended. Chabon, however, crossed the line; the worst thing is [...]


    27. On one level, this book is a standard detective story, with nods to noir film and at least one name-check for Raymond Chandler. The protagonist is a hard-drinking policeman who cracks wise and has trouble with dames (well, at least one dame), and takes an enormous amount of physical abuse in the course of performing his duties duties which he often defines more broadly than his supervisors really expect. Sound familiar? On another level, it's a science fiction novel, taking for its setting a par [...]


    28. Many people seem to enjoy Michael Chabon’s books so I was pleased when I finally had a reason to read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. In the dark Alaskan winter in the city of Sitka; Detective Meyer Landsman’s ex-wife has just become his boss and has handing him a huge stack of old cold cases that she wants him to solve. While Landsman life may feel like its already hit rock bottom, he’s only just discovering the mess that he’s in; a mess that will lead to a conspiracy. This alternative [...]


    29. Inventive, creative etc. Most of the writing style is top notch but sometimes overblown. I particularly liked the conversation with his ex-wife when she's introduced in the book as his new boss. Instead of giving the Jews a temporary homeland in Alaska, I would have preferred it more if they made part of Germany the Jewish homeland.


    30. Sincer, am suspectat ba c-ar fi genială, ba o porcărie ce nu-și merită premiile (Hugo, Nebula, Locus). Într-un final, zic c-ar fi undeva la mijloc. Ar fi putut fi genială dacă ar fi renunțat un pic la tonul mult prea ironic adoptat de autor la adresa tuturor stereotipurilor despre evrei. Probabil că va rămâne o carte neînțeleasă mult timp de-acum încolo. Combinație de istorie alternativă și roman polițist cu detectivi (până și clișeul cu detectivul bețiv, divorțat și me [...]


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