books

Joshua Cohen’s Circuit Overload

‘Book of Numbers’ can be dazzling, but its his long meditation on being human in the age of computers bogs it down.

06/30/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Ulysses,” it ain’t. And why, you may ask, do I start by saying what this book is not? Because Joshua Cohen’s startling new 580-page novel, “Book of Numbers” (Random House), reads like James Joyce’s giant classic — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Wordy, to a fault — yes, and dense. But Cohen’s prose is dazzling, often magical. It’s not just the polymathic command of his subject matter — and Cohen is a polymath of art history, and computers, and comparative religion, and seemingly everything else. He is a master wordsmith of wordplay.

Joshua Cohen. Beowulf Sheehan

Bilaam’s Blessings And The Curse Within

06/30/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

The primary image of this parasha is of Bilaam — foremost sorcerer of the age, says Ramban — riding a talking donkey on his way to meet with King Balak of Moav. What does this episode mean?

Sandra E. Rapoport

Writing The Great American Novel

06/30/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

A friend was just telling me a personal story that ended with, “It would make a great book.” No comment. Let’s face it. Most of us do not have book-worthy lives, but many of us would like to believe we do.

Erica Brown

Joshua Cohen’s Circuit Overload

‘Book of Numbers’ can be dazzling, but his long meditation on being human in the age of computers bogs down.

06/24/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

“Ulysses,” it ain’t. And why, you may ask, do I start by saying what this book is not? Because Joshua Cohen’s startling new 580-page novel, “Book of Numbers” (Random House), reads like James Joyce’s giant classic — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Wordy, to a fault — yes, and dense. But Cohen’s prose is dazzling, often magical. It’s not just the polymathic command of his subject matter — and Cohen is a polymath of art history, and computers, and comparative religion, and seemingly everything else. He is a master wordsmith of wordplay.

The cover of Joshua Cohen’s startling new 580-page novel, “Book of Numbers”.

Neighborhood Watch

A sense of place pervades many of this summer’s new volumes.

Culture Editor
06/24/2015

‘The Odd Woman and the City” by Vivian Gornick (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a memoir, a meditation on her urban, literary life. She unfolds her story with great candor, humor and a tough edge. “I prize my hardened heart,” she writes. A walker in the city, she finds herself preferring the West Side, where there’s “all that intelligence trapped inside all those smarts.”

Saint Mazie, The Old Woman and The City, Reunion.

How An Extremist Changed His Ways

Read the re-released 'Memoirs' of Yossi Klein Halevi to understand Jewish rage and violence.

12/31/2014
Editor and Publisher

Talk about bad timing.

Yossi Klein Halevi’s re-released book, “Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist: The Story of a Transformation,” was first published 19 years ago, two days after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated. It should have become a best seller for at least two reasons.

Gary Rosenblatt

The King Of Comedy Reclaims His Throne

His comedy may not be kosher, but Brooklyn-born comedy giant, Andrew Dice Clay, is one hundred percent Jewish.

11/12/2014
Contributing Writer

“Oh … it’s a whole thing here,” said Clay with his infamous wry grin when he was asked to pose for photographers, faux-signing a book, before the real signing began. The event had barely begun and the jokes were already rolling. 

King David, ‘A Very Problematic Character’

09/24/2014

Noting that a character’s first recorded words in the Bible reveal a great deal about his personality, Rabbi David Wolpe pointed out at a Jewish Week Forum here last week that as a youngster, the future King David’s first words in the Book of Samuel are, “What will be given to the man who slays Goliath?”

Rabbi David Wolpe described the Bible's King David as a "very problematic character." Michael Datikash/JW

Prague’s Longtime Chief Rabbi Leaves Colorful And Controversial Legacy

08/27/2014

When the novel “Altschul’s Method” hit the shelves in Czech bookstores this March, it was hailed as a brilliant political and psychological thriller combining elements of science fiction, alternate history and Jewish mysticism.

Rabbi Karol Sidon stepped down as Prague’s chief rabbi amid reports about his love life. Petr Balajka/Prague Jewish Community

‘Love Me, Love My Book’

A personal account of a two-minute pitch that can catapult or sink an author.

06/05/2014
Editor and Publisher

It’s every author’s dream. And nightmare.

The chance to address several hundred people from around the country who, deeply attentive, have come to New York for three days and one purpose — to find speakers for their local Jewish community book fairs, sisterhood luncheons and other cultural programs.

Gary Rosenblatt
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