So, a handful of my hip friends really like Michael Chabon. I’ve never read him and aforementioned friends always give me that disappointed grimace when I admit that. Well, I finally stepped up to the plate and picked up some Chabon. Only, I chose to listen to it(The Yiddish Policemen’s Union) since I’ve been so darn busy. I’m sure my hip friends would be even more sad faced to read this… I didn’t really dig it. Sorry.
My theory as to why I wasn’t as into it is this…
It was audio. There are so many characters to keep track of and I kept mixing up their names. They sounded really similar. I think if I had been reading it that wouldn’t have happened. I’m a visual person.
It was really long. I forget how many CDs there were ( I didn’t actually get to the last few) but it was a fat stack. I got a little bored with it, which I didn’t see coming since I liked the narrators voice a lot. Peter Riegert, the narrator, did a wonderful job with all the characters voices and all the Yiddish words. (there were lots!)
The book did win a number of science fiction awards, which really threw me because it seemed like a mystery to me. But then I looked it up on Wikipedia and everything made so much more sense. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is set in an alternative history version of present day. In the novel, parts of Alaska were set aside for Jewish refugees during WWII. It’s something that was actually considered but was rejected, which I did find super interesting. You can follow the Wikipedia links to learn all about it. This novel starts six months before the settlement is absorbed back into Alaska.
I dug the premise, the writing was great, the narrator was money… I think I should couldn’t keep up through the audio. I need to read this one, really read it. I’m not even going to give out a grade, it wouldn’t be fair. I’m sure my hip friends are onto something. I just need to actually read Chabon.