Page 144 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
, B
e n
Jacob’s son. New York, Crown, 1971. 345 p.
Ben Field, who had earned a reputation as a short story writer in the
days when “proletarian literature” was of some influence, has written
the first in a projected trilogy of novels about a Jewish family in Brooklyn.
The initial volume covers the years from 1930 to 1936 and deals with
farm life, a subject previously treated by Field when he first started his
literary career.
, Z
ygm u n t
Short war, short lives. New York, Abelard-Schuman, 1971.
128 p.
A novel on Israel’s Six-Day War which depicts the anguish of those
who were not at the front.
r iedm an
, B
a y
The dick. New York, Knopf, 1970. 310 p.
Mr. Friedman is a humorist of sorts, a writer who asks “dark” ques-
tions even as he seeks to make you laugh uncomfortably. He tries again
in his latest novel, which succeeds only fitfully. It is the tale of a Jew
who hides his identity, leaves his family and enters a new life and world.
a n n
, E
K .
The antagonists.
N e w Y o rk ,
Simon & Schuster, 1970. 287 p.
Mr. Gann is a popular novelist who has chosen an exciting theme for
this book: the last stand of the Jews of Masada in 73 C.E. The Roman
Legions are defied by 960 Jews who hold out even though Rome already
has defeated the other Jews who rebelled against the invader. Mr. Gann
draws his material from Josephus and Yigal Yadin but his book is full
of set speeches, stereotypes and melodrama.
, B
e lla
Across the border. New York, Yiddisher Kultur Farband,
1971. 269 p.
A collection of short stories depicting various aspects of recent Jewish
life. Translated from the Yiddish by Max Rosenfeld.
, G
Faking it or the wrong Hungarian. New York, Trident, 1971.
411 p.
A Jewish novelist, not sufficiently recognized as a talent, pretends he
is a secret agent at a Paris conference on arts and sciences.
arr is
, M
The goy. New York, Dial, 1970. 272 p.
An amusing novel about a middle-aged historian who is fascinated by
Jews because his wife, his friends—everyone he deals with—is Jewish.
What does it all mean? he asks himself. From this situation Mr. Harris
has woven a thoughtful novel.
, O
The different night. New York, Random House, 1971. 179
p .
Mrs. Hesky is engaged in a series of fast-moving novels which combine
mystery and suspense, all set in Israel. Her heroes are Israeli secret
agents and her special talent is the use of Israel as the background for
her stories, this one about the kidnapping of a Jewish boy on the night
of Passover.
, E
The Nazi and the barber. New York, Doubleday, 1971.
383 p.
Here is an important fictional treatment of the effect of German guilt
in the mass murder of Jews. It is an imaginative novel in which a Jewish
barber is really a former Nazi war criminal and, in time, the Nazi is
transformed into the Jew. This eerie story is brilliantly utilized by the
author to comment on German guilt in the slaughter of a people.
, D
a n
The rape of Tamar. New York, Macmillan, 1970. 224 p.
The famous Biblical tale, in which a son of King David rapes his
own sister, is retold with style and cynicism by a fine novelist.