By Robert Cohen

ISBN-10: 1439165114

ISBN-13: 9781439165119

Acclaimed, award-winning novelist Robert Cohen supplies a daring, provocative exploration of the panic of midlife, keep on with- ing males plateaued on both sides in their forties and the unforeseen results of fixing course.
Teddy Hastings is a brand new England center tuition crucial determined for transcendence. Unmoored by way of his brother’s demise and a healthiness scare of his personal, he attempts to expand his usual lifestyles and lands up unemployed and at the incorrect aspect of the legislation. in the meantime, Oren Pierce, a in keeping with- petual grad pupil from ny, abandons, a bit of to his personal shock, his look for the extreme and starts settling into the standard life that Teddy seeks to flee. What comforts Oren alarms Teddy, and their paths overlap as Teddy’s quest for the unknown and surprising event takes him on a rash journey to Africa, leaving Oren to imagine the trimmings of his existence, together with Teddy’s spouse Gail.
Amateur Barbarians showcases a author on the top of hispowers, tracing household ambivalence, the comedian perils of introspection and hope, and the phobia of an unlived lifestyles with Cohen’s signature wit and uncanny notion, proving all over again why he was once touted through The long island instances e-book Review because the “heir to Saul Bellow and Philip Roth.”

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Additional info for Amateur Barbarians: A Novel

Example text

He would stand in the door of his shop and wring his hands in grief, or would sit on the chair and lean his head back and blow out his lungs inside him. If you haven’t seen Simon Kumer, the father of Isaac Kumer, sitting in front of his son you never saw a father’s grief. Before his son Isaac was grown up, his wife was his helpmate, and when she passed away leaving behind her a house full of orphans, Simon expected his son would help him. And what does the son do? Is it not bad enough that he doesn’t help him, but he also drives the customers away to other shops?

Some look with angry eyes at Isaac because he is sitting in his seat while they are wandering from place to place, and some look with angry eyes because their heart is pressed and making a living is hard. Isaac ponders, those people are Hasidim of that Rebbe who didn’t miss a time or place to revile and vilify the Zionists. Last year, Between the Straits, between the seventeenth day of Tamuz when the walls of Jerusalem were breached and the ninth day of Av when the Temple was destroyed, on the Sabbath when we bless the consoling month of Av, he sat amid his Hasids before the prayer and maligned the Zionists as was his wont.

Parts of the manuscript were read by Robert Alter, Carol Cosman, and Michal Govrin; Esther Fuchs carefully read the entire book. All of them contributed helpful suggestions and comments. And, as always, Benjamin Harshav makes it all possible. I attempted to discover allusions in the text to sources in the “Jewish library,” and to track down their accepted English translations. In only one instance did I deliberately deviate from the original: in Book Four, Chapter One, the author presents an elaborate wordplay using biblical and talmudic passages to interpret the dream of a Hasid.

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Amateur Barbarians: A Novel by Robert Cohen


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