Chabon's latest

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Chabon's latest

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Editado: Maio 12, 2007, 9:28pm

Anyone start reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon? I'm about half way through and really loving it. His Yiddish references, the names of people and places, the whole feel of it.

Editado: Maio 13, 2007, 4:03pm

Motomama, I'm about 3/4 way in and I'm beginning to realize that I'm going to miss these characters when I'm done. The Yiddish Policemen's Union started off slowly for me, but picked up speed and started calling to me when I wasn't reading.

I wondered if general readers would have trouble with the Yiddish terms and all the cultural references. But I guess I have to do the same when I'm reading Asian books, which I also love.

Chabon seems to have created a genre of Yiddish Noir somehow.

Anyone else reading this?


Maio 13, 2007, 9:29pm


I feel the same way. I have it here next to my laptop and it keeps calling to me when I don't have time to sit down and wrap myself up in it. Kavalier and Clay was also wonderful, but this has been easier to put my mind around for some reason.


Maio 14, 2007, 4:53pm

wow-sounds great, i did thumb through the first 3 pages in a bookstore and was taken in immediately...i'm into a South American thing right now so it will be down the road that i get to it but i,too, loved Kavalier and Clay.

Maio 14, 2007, 10:13pm

I am almost finished reading the book and I love the turn of phrases, and the very colourful descriptions- one of my favourites books this year.

Jun 3, 2007, 4:07pm

a very interesting review- the Imaginary Jew-by William Deresiewicz, appears in THe Nation, from May 28th.

Jun 3, 2007, 8:11pm

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were so rich. I did feel a bit afloat at the end, both because I was leaving and because I wanted more of a resolution. The writing was so good that I didn't really care, though. In regards to your ponderings, Jill (#2), I do read a fair bit of Jewish fiction, but I'm not Jewish and don't know Yiddish, but I didn't feel at a disadvantage.

Jun 4, 2007, 5:21pm

Jun 28, 2007, 11:50am

I've been reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union and really enjoying it too. I'm not Jewish but I haven't had any problems either with the Yiddish or the cultural references. Between context and The Joys of Yiddish it's been fine. Also I think lots of non Jews know enough about Judaism and Jewish culture to do fine.

Jun 29, 2007, 5:29pm

Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten is a true treasure...for years now I have received much pleasure and laughter referring to it as yiddish words come gentile friends laugh just as much as I do when I read them definitions from this grand book.

Ago 1, 2007, 11:52am

I loved the concept of this Yiddish nation, and I was actually kind of disappointed not to hear more about that. I was more interested in the setting than the mystery! I tend to find it hard to follow the storylines of mysteries; I read them more for character and setting when I do read them.

I saw Chabon at our local independent bookstore, Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL. The story of how he came to write the book is particularly interesting: he found a little Yiddish phrase book for travelers (still in print from Dover) and wondered where you'd travel with it!

Editado: Set 9, 2008, 6:21pm

Just noticed this thread here. I read the Yiddish Policemen's Union a few months ago and I was blown away by it. Terrific characters and an incredibly visualized world. Seems even a bit more vivid given the emergence of you know who!

Set 18, 2008, 5:44pm

yes the great unspeakable- hopefully she returns to Alaska tout suite.

Set 26, 2011, 5:58pm

I'm new to this site and just found this post... sorry I wasn't here back in '07 when I first read the book.

An amazing book that I've loved from the moment I picked it up. I recommend it to everyone asking what to read next and they always come back thrilled.

The Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) are working on making a film adaptation... Exciting, I know, but I've also heard that they plan on having the whole film in Yiddish with English subtitles. It's been knocked back in production a few times so who knows if it will ever come out. Regardless, I loved the book and am interested to see what they would do with the movie.