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Here's my Goodreads review--more a riff/comment, which is probably fine, since many including ([profile] miriam1978  and [personal profile] ladybird97 recently raved about it. I'm just glad I can finally start reading Opium Season!
***
What, you didn't read? A shonde.

This was a truly enjoyable book on so many levels: noir, alternate history, crazy klezmer riff on the Jewish experience. Did I mention it's funny? The central conceit is that instead of Israel, the Jews found/were loaned a homeland in Alaska--for 60 years. But now Sitka is about to Revert to the United States, and its yiddishkeit society to be scattered again. Against this background, Chabon sets a compelling murder mystery.

Chabon demonstrated his interest in these themes in his essay Say It In Yiddish which appeared about six years ago. Check it out..

Date: 2007-10-31 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meepodeekin.livejournal.com
Wow, two book reviews in one day! Did your subway get stuck or something?

I think I am the only one I know who couldn't get into this book. To be fair, I tried to read it at the beach. Maybe I'll try it again later.

Date: 2007-10-31 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
No stuck subway--I just finished the Chabon, and the Shepard has kind of been simmering in my brain for a while. But I read the CHabon more quickly than I might have, b/c my copy of Joel's book has been sitting around, calling my name.

I wouldn't call it a beach read, but then again, the last time I was at the beach I read Native Son. So who am I to judge?

Date: 2007-10-31 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladybird97.livejournal.com
Wow. That's a beautiful essay. I can see why that idea stuck in Chabon's mind, and how it turned into the book. I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2007-11-02 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miriam1978.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you loved this book, too!! I saw Chabon read from it right after it came out, and he talked a bit about the "Say It With Yiddish" essay and all the bizarre forms of criticism he got for it; thanks for the link (which I'm going to check out immediately). I'm actually reading his first book, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, right now.

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