Friday, July 25, 2008

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Title: The Yiddish Policemen's Union
Author: Michael Chabon
HarperPernennial, 2008 (2007)

What if the state of Israel did not exist? What if, instead, European Jews had been offered temporary sanctuary after WWII in Alaska , to be returned in 60 years? Chabon handles this scenario with gusto and great attention to detail. He makes Sitka, the home of the Frozen Chosen, come alive and the ultimate fate of its inhabitants, diaspora, certainly sheds new light on the question of Israel.

The story starts with a murder, only two months before the reversion of Sitka to the U.S.A. Detective Landsman and his half Indian partner Berko Shemets investigate the case which presents an abundance of obstacles. The style is reminiscent of Chandler and I would say this novel is one of the best, and certainly one of the most interesting I have read this year.

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