Saturday, December 29, 2007

Book: The Yiddish Policemen's Union - December 29, 2007

I read Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. It is set in Sitka, Alaska, in an alternate history. Jerusalem fell in 1948 and the state of Israel was destroyed. The United States reluctantly allowed the world's Jews to settle in a federal district established in Sitka. The story takes place in 2008, when the special district is due to be eliminated. Everyone in Sitka is worried about the future.

The main character is Meyer Landsman (good last name), a homicide detective. He lives in a seedy hotel on Max Nordau Street (thank Heaven for wikipedia -- I didn't remember who Max Nordau was). Another player, a junkie chess player, is murdered and Landsman feels a need to solve the case, even though he is encouraged not to.

I liked the imaginary society Chabon created. It felt real. The plot got a little too complex for my taste, but I enjoyed the book to the end.

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