A few months ago I got the summons...jury duty. Ahhhh!!! Haha...just kidding. I actually don't mind jury duty so much. I think it's pretty exciting and interesting. They were picking juries for the New York State Supreme Court Civil cases. After sitting around, reading, and waiting, I actually got picked for trial. Thinking that I definitely needed a good book for the days at trial, I stepped into a nearby bookstore called The Mysterious Bookshop (just south of Chambers St on Warren St.). If you are ever in New York City, check out this store and walk nearby to City Hall and see all of the cool architecture in the area.
After perusing the entire store, I finally picked up Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union. What a book!
Here's the synopsis. Suppose after World War II, instead of the creation of Israel, the Jewish people were forced to settle somewhere else. Suppose that place was Sitka, Alaska. But just like the term limits to British-ruled Hong Kong, the Jewish population was only given fifty years in Sitka. The story takes place around that up-coming anniversary when the population of Sitka will soon be forced to move. The story centers around a typical down-and-out, recently divorced detective with a drinking habit. With just a few months left he stumbles upon an interesting homicide case.
The book was by far one of the most original books I've read in a while. I did have a hard time stumbling around the Yiddish language/slang and often had to re-read sections to figure out what was going on (there is a little dictionary in the back). At first the book didn't hook me because I didn't really care for the detective or the homicide victim. I also couldn't grasp the location because I've actually been to Sitka and couldn't imagine millions of people residing there. But as the book unfolded I started to cheer the detective on and hoped he would resolve the case. It's a great read but don't expect it to be an easy one.
The Jewish Literary Review
In the Shadow of Mt TBR