Friday, December 12, 2008

Best-Loved Books of 2008, #12: Favorite multigenerational family saga

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The End of the Jews by Adam Mansbach (Spiegel & Grau)
(Bonus: great book design!)

This book made me antisocial, keeping me breathless at home in my pajamas for days. I don’t know if it was the energy of a Jewish kid from the Bronx in the 1930s; the master-class descriptions of hip hop, photography and Harlem jazz; the drama and suspense of 1990s Eastern Europe; the compassionate depiction of an overshadowed female artist as well as her Great Man husband; or the best party scene I’ve ever read (start on page 19). Adam Mansbach is a whirlwind, epic talent, not perfect, but full of a cross-pollinated American energy that is well-nigh irresistible. And the cover Spiegel & Grau decided on is even better than the one on the galley I originally read. Great for those with a taste for the epic, the energetic, the cross cultural, the ambitious, the pure story. Buy it, already!