Saturday, August 30, 2008

Read: "Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon

Read: Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon, 2007, 97780007149827.

Good and bad. Chabon is a literary darling. I hate to slur him like that but it's true. So I spend time thinking of there is some deeper literary meaning to his work I should be catching onto.

This was a good book but I suffered under the Yiddish, European, and Russian names. Chabon also uses a lot of Yiddish language or slang and it was hard to catch on to what the hell the characters were talking about.

Det. Meyer Landsman is a drunken cop in Sitka, AK. Sitka was given to the Jews 50 years ago and is now facing Revision back to the U.S. in just two months. No one knows what will happen after Reversion and most people are hoping to emigrate elsewhere or get a green card. Kind of like Hong Kong I suppose.

Landsman lives in a flophouse of a hotel where a fellow resident is shot in the back of the head. Landsman takes the case but is told to shelve it because his new boss and ex-wife, Bina, wants all cases cleared out before the turnover. Landsman and his cop cousin Berko continue to investigate and cause trouble.

A good crime novel. There is brief but very well done action scene with Meyer getting a round grazing off his head during a gunfight. I just kept lost among all the names and locations. I kept thinking of Arkady Renko the whole time with the cold weather, powerful and competing interests, a depressed protagonist.

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