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The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007)

por Michael Chabon

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
10,345421690 (3.79)623
In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addled chess prodigy.
  1. 161
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay por Michael Chabon (Pagemistress)
  2. 112
    The City & The City por China Miéville (grizzly.anderson, kaipakartik)
    grizzly.anderson: Both are police procedural mysteries set in slightly alternate worlds.
    kaipakartik: Both are detective tales in alternate settings
  3. 61
    The Man in the High Castle por Philip K. Dick (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are alternate histories set in a USA changed by World War Two.
  4. 41
    The Plot Against America por Philip Roth (ljbwell)
    ljbwell: Alternate history based in the US where WWII has had a different outcome.
  5. 20
    Finch por Jeff VanderMeer (kaipakartik)
    kaipakartik: Detective tales set in a fast deteriorating city
  6. 20
    The Last Policeman por Ben H. Winters (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Noir mysteries exploring interesting hypothetical settings with ticking timers.
  7. 43
    The Thin Man por Dashiell Hammett (Pagemistress)
  8. 21
    Farthing por Jo Walton (BeckyJP)
  9. 32
    The Long Goodbye por Raymond Chandler (melmore)
    melmore: Another book with a detective protagonist attempting to come to terms with his life and his relationships.
  10. 00
    The Ministry of Special Cases por Nathan Englander (hairball)
    hairball: While one is an alternative history and the other is based around historical fact (Argentina's disappeared), they have a similar flavor to them.
  11. 00
    Reservation Blues por Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Both deal with ethnic conflict and searching for identity.
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» Ver também 623 menções

Inglês (408)  Francês (4)  Holandês (3)  Espanhol (2)  Italiano (2)  Catalão (1)  Dinamarquês (1)  Todas as línguas (421)
Mostrando 1-5 de 421 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
(2007)(audio)Pretty good alternate universe novel about a detective in Sitka where the Jews were settled in 1948. A resident in his apartment house is murdered and he is dragged against his will into investigating this. He is not very anxious to do this as the Jew's homeland will revert to Alaska in a couple of months and then the occupants will be scattered to the winds. Turns out that the murdered man is viewed by many as the ?messiah? and was going to be used in a scheme to return to the Holy Land. I had to listen to audio book because I couldn't read this due to the yiddish idioms and numerous characters used.From Publishers Weekly[Signature]Reviewed by Jess WalterThey are the "frozen Chosen," two million people living, dying and kvetching in Sitka, Alaska, the temporary homeland established for displaced World War II Jews in Chabon's ambitious and entertaining new novel. It isdeep breath now¥a murder-mystery speculative-history Jewish-identity noir chess thriller, so perhaps it's no surprise that, in the back half of the book, the moving parts become unwieldy; Chabon is juggling narrative chainsaws here.The novel begins¥the same way that Philip Roth launched The Plot Against America¥with a fascinating historical footnote: what if, as Franklin Roosevelt proposed on the eve of World War II, a temporary Jewish settlement had been established on the Alaska panhandle? Roosevelt's plan went nowhere, but Chabon runs the idea into the present, back-loading his tale with a haunting history. Israel failed to get a foothold in the Middle East, and since the Sitka solution was only temporary, Alaskan Jews are about to lose their cold homeland. The book's timeless refrain: "It's a strange time to be a Jew."Into this world arrives Chabon's Chandler-ready hero, Meyer Landsman, a drunken rogue cop who wakes in a flophouse to find that one of his neighbors has been murdered. With his half-Tlingit, half-Jewish partner and his sexy-tough boss, who happens also to be his ex-wife, Landsman investigates a fascinating underworld of Orthodox black-hat gangs and crime-lord rabbis. Chabon's "Alyeska" is an act of fearless imagination, more evidence of the soaring talent of his previous genre-blender, the Pulitzer Prize?winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.Eventually, however, Chabon's homage to noir feels heavy-handed, with too many scenes of snappy tough-guy banter and too much of the kind of elaborate thriller plotting that requires long explanations and offscreen conspiracies.Chabon can certainly write noir¥or whatever else he wants; his recent Sherlock Holmes novel, The Final Solution, was lovely, even if the New York Times Book Review sniffed its surprise that the mystery novel would "appeal to the real writer." Should any other snobs mistake Chabon for anything less than a real writer, this book offers new evidence of his peerless storytelling and style. Characters have skin "as pale as a page of commentary" and rough voices "like an onion rolling in a bucket." It's a solid performance that would have been even better with a little more Yiddish and a little less police.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
This book juggles so many concepts at once it's hard to get mad at it when it drops some balls at the end. Although this is an alternate history it's no Harry Turtledove macro big-picture deal. The majority of the book is focused on the small and personal scale, to its advantage. The book is at its best when constructing its alien but entirely familiar Sitka Alaska, juxtaposing historical and cultural ephemera for a punchline, fleshing out both its living and dead characters and their universally shared experiences of loss, and saturating the world with a hardened melancholy that feels appropriate to both Alaskan lumberjacks and dispossessed Jews. I have a lot of thoughts about this book but I think the best and most concise thing I can say is that I found myself wanting to visit the fictional city in between chapters. ( )
  ethorwitz | Jan 3, 2024 |
I'm sad now. I don't have any more Chabon books to read until he writes something new. :/ ( )
  DKnight0918 | Dec 23, 2023 |
I liked the premise, the atmosphere, the alternative universe itself, the little details thrown in everywhere. Unfortunately, I did not care much for either the plot or the characters (Bina was cool, though). The prose was rather too flowery for my taste (too many metaphors per square meter), which made it difficult for me to focus on the text. Perhaps I also did the book a disservice by listening to it. Those gruff narrator voices in noir movies are all very well, but they do get tiresome after 12 hours (not in a row, but still...). ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
This is the sort of book that only Chabon could have written. An exemplar of the Noir genre (probably the best of its class for the past several years) -- Sitka, Alaska is a dark place, inhabited by a plethora of morally gray characters and equally gray bureaucracy. Meyer Landsman is a man on the edge of life, struggling with alcoholism; emotionally dependent on being a police officer, but too emotionally broken to consistently be a good one.

Added to the mixture is a generous helping of Jewish culture, Yiddish language and a not entirely kind treatment of the relationship between spiritual beliefs and good deeds.

Much has been noted about how, although set in Alaska, _Union_ points a critical eye to the non-alternate history Jewish settlements in Israel, which, while true, is incidental to the greatness of the book.

One point of criticism: I am not sure how approachable this book would be to a non-Jewish reader. I was highly critical about the pre-existing amount of culture knowledge needed for _Oscar Wao_, and by comparison there is more foreign language and far more cultural and religious references in _Union_. ( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 421 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Chabon is a spectacular writer. He does a witty turn reinventing Yiddish for the modern Alaskan Jews - of course the lingua franca of Jews without an Israel - just a little of which I, with only faintly remembered childhood Yiddish, could grasp. A mobile phone is a shoyfer (perhaps because, like the ram's horn, it calls you), a gun is a sholem (a Yiddish version of a Peacemaker?). Chabon is a language magician, turning everything into something else just for the delight of playing tricks with words. He takes the wry, underbelly vision of the ordinary that the best of noir fiction offers and ratchets it up to the limit. Nothing is allowed to be itself; all people and events are observed as an echo of something else. Voices are like "an onion rolling in a bucket", or rusty forks falling. An approaching motorcycle is "a heavy wrench clanging against a cold cement floor. The flatulence of a burst balloon streaking across the living room and knocking over a lamp." Chabon's ornate prose makes Chandler's fruity observations of the world look quite plain. Nothing is described as just the way it is. Nothing is let be. He writes like a dream and has you laughing out loud, applauding the fun he has with language and the way he takes the task of a writer and runs delighted rings around it.

For the most part, Chabon's writing serves the knotted mystery that is being unravelled, but there is eventually a point where it begins to weary the mind, where the elaborations of things get in the way of the things themselves and the narrative gets sucked under by style. The compulsory paragraph of Byzantine physical description whenever another character arrives on the scene starts to seem an irritating interlude; another over-reaching cadenza. Though it seems churlish to complain about such a vivid talent, a little less would have been enough already.
adicionada por souloftherose | editarThe Guardian, Jenny Diski (Jun 9, 2007)
 
It’s obvious that the creation of this strange, vibrant, unreal world is Chabon’s idea of heaven. He seems happy here, almost giddy, high on the imaginative freedom that has always been the most cherished value in his fiction.
 
Some of the pleasures of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union are, actually, distinctly Dan Brown–ish. Mr. Chabon often ends chapters with cliffhangers that might be tiresome in the hands of a lesser writer (say, Dan Brown). Here, they’re over-the-top suspenseful, savory and delicious.
adicionada por MikeBriggs | editarNew York Observer, Emily Barton (May 1, 2007)
 
More important, Mr. Chabon has so thoroughly conjured the fictional world of Sitka — its history, culture, geography, its incestuous and byzantine political and sectarian divisions — that the reader comes to take its existence for granted. By the end of the book, we feel we know this chilly piece of northern real estate, where Yiddish is the language of choice, the same way we feel we have come to know Meyer Landsman — this “secular policeman” who has learned to sail “double-hulled against tragedy,” ever wary of “the hairline fissures, the little freaks of torque” that can topple a boat in the shallows.
 
This novel makes you think, but it is an ordeal to read. The problem: Chabon has mixed two very dark story lines that jar the reader. There is the real tragedy of Sitka's wandering Jews, and then there is the faux bleakness of the noir genre with its posturing attitude. The central character comes across as a Jewish Humphrey Bogart wannabe, not a three-dimensional character who can shoulder a 400-plus-page novel about exile, fanatics and longing.
adicionada por MikeBriggs | editarUSA Today, Deirdre Donahue (Apr 30, 2007)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Chabon, Michaelautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Carlson-Stanisic, LeahDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fischer, AndreaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Riegert, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Staehle, WillArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Staehle, WillIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Nine months Landsman's been flopping at the Hotel Zamenhof without any of his fellow residents managing to get themselves murdered. Now somebody has put a bullet in the brain of the occupant of 208, a yid who was calling himself Emanuel Lasker.
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He likes the leash ... Without it, he doesn't sleep.
It has nothing to do with religion ... It has everything to do, God damn it, with fathers.
A Messiah who actually arrives is no good to anybody.
I don't care what is written. 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 bone in the sand. My homeland is in my hat. It's in my ex-wife's tote bag.
God damn them all. I always knew they were there. Down there in Washington. Up there ever our heads. Holding the strings. Setting the agenda. Of course I knew that. We all knew that. We all grew up knowing that, right? We are here on sufferance. Houseguests. But they ignored us for so long. Left us to our own devices. It was easy to kid yourself. Make you think you had a little autonomy, in a small way, nothing fancy. I thought I was working for everyone. You know. Serving the public. Upholding the law. But really I was just working for Cashdollar.
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In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addled chess prodigy.

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