The Yiddish Policemen's Union (Paperback)Michael Chabon (author)
- In stock
According to doctors, therapists, and his ex-wife, Landsman drinks to medicate himself, tuning the tubes and crystals of his moods with a crude hammer of hundred-proof plum brandy. But the truth is that Landsman has only two moods: working and dead.
A detective has enough murder on his hands, without the body turning up on his own doorstep.
What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after the Second World War?
In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking 'Alyeska', Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home.
Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its mission statement from the Cosa Nostra. Meyer is determined to unsnarl the meaning behind the murder. Even if that means surrendering his badge and his dignity to the chief of Sitka's homicide unit - his fearsome ex-wife Bina.
A novel of colossal ambition and heart, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union interweaves a homage to the stylish menace of 1940s film noir with a bittersweet fable of identity, home and faith.
‘A brilliantly written fantasy’ – The Guardian
Michael Chabon has long been a favourite of Waterstones’ with his tour-de-force novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay never lacking an ardent bookseller review. A Pulitzer Prize-winner with a seemingly endless capacity for creative invention and reinvention Chabon’s novels refuse to be pigeon-holed with his successes including variously the alternate history The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, a headlong caper about writing and scholarship, The Wonder Boys, a reworking of a classic detective novel in The Final Solution and his own take on the long realist novel, Telegraph Avenue.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 310 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 28 mm
'His almost ecstatically smart and sassy new novel...Chabon is a spectacular writer...[and] is a language magician, turning everything into something else just for the delight of playing tricks with words...Chabon's ornate prose makes [Raymond] Chandler's fruity observations of the world look quite plain...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.' Guardian
'He is the most wonderful vaudeville performer.' Philip Hensher, in the Spectator 'Books of the Year'
'Michael Chabon's brilliant new novel starts with a bang...It hums with humour. It buzzes with gags...Superb images also team in this long novel: the accumulated reading experience is one of admiration, close to awe, at the vigour of Chabon's imagination...a hilarious, antic whirl of a novel.' Sunday Times
'A divine gumshoe romp.' Sam Leith, in the Spectator 'Books of the Year'
'Chabon has written such a dazzling, individual, hyperconfident novel that it's tough to work out who wouldn't have fun reading it. If the thriller plot doesn't get you (and it's easily the equal of any detective story in the past five years) then the exuberant style and the sackfuls of great jokes will... Whichever way you cut it, "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" is pure narrative pleasure, high-class stuff from cover to cover. Only a shmendrik would pass it up.' Independent on Sunday
'What really impresses about Chabon's eighth book is the author's ability to take a far-off, unfamiliar landscape and make it so densely, vividly imagined that 50 pages in the reader feels like they've know it forever.' Daily Mail
'A marvellous, masterly reinvigoration of the detective genre.' Daily Telegraph
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“The Yiddish Policemen's Union”
An amazing book chock-full of some of the most imaginative and best-written passages I have ever come across. The premise is crazy - the Jews have been given their homeland in Alaska and have developed into a society... More
“The Yiddish Policemen's Union”
This is a wonderfully crafted confection that needs a wider audience. The whole concept is so beguiling as to ensnare one's psyche from the very first page. The characterisations are well drawn and honest and... More
“Genuinely sent me to sleep on the bus... every day for a week”
Sometimes you read a book and with every sentence you can tell that, yes, this is a fantastically crafted book written by someone with a real talent for the written word, but despite recognising this, I just... More
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