The New Conversational Anarchist
November 19, 2009
Jewel of Jewish literature and a fantastic commentary on the human condition, November 15, 2009
By Dave Benger (New York)
For a Canadian author, Jon Papernick feels remarkably at home with the neighborhoods and alleyways of Brooklyn. He makes the grit and unique personality of Brooklyn come alive like a key supporting character. The plot follows a young man who feels abandoned by his family and unsure about his future until he is presented with a path. He is assured that this cause he has decided to dedicate himself to was completely in tune with his father's legacy. The story is timeless, while the setting is somewhat unusual. I think this book is particularly relevant for Americans who rush to judge "those crazy Arabs over there." It puts us in the head of a disillusioned and directionless man seething with anger and straddling the line between 'a reason to live for' and a 'cause to die for.' We see that sometimes, choices are not black and white or even shades of grey. Sometimes the course of a life can be altered by a fatherly handshake, a kiss from a special girl, or dusty old books in decrepit cardboard boxes. This is the perfect book for anyone who knows New York, anyone who is Jewish, or anyone who is interested in the psychological frailty of humanity. I feel lucky to have had the chance to read the book. My only suggestion is: if you do read this book, make sure to convince someone whose opinion you respect to read it with you, because you will want to discuss it afterwards.