The End of the Jews

book coverThis spring, JDub expanded its work into literature with Adam Mansbach’s novel, The End of the Jews. We took this on because we really loved this book. If you haven’t read it yet, i highly suggest you add it to your spring/summer reading list. It’s a multi-generational Jewish family epic tracing assimilation, family disintegration, and the unending (and sometimes uncontrollable) artistic pursuit.
Its something of a Jewish remix of the American race novel: stoned bar mitzvah DJs coercing people to dance the hora to Eric B & Rakim’s “Microphone Fiend,” a Czech girl passing for black in America, swaggering Jewish geniuses remaking postwar American culture, and grandfather-and-grandson graffiti missions:(caught in part here).
Have you read it? What do you think?

3 thoughts on “The End of the Jews

  1. I read it. It took me about a week after I read it to sit back and say: Well that was a good book. It takes a while to figure out exactly what is going on and perhaps we don’t ever really know what the main point should be (perhaps the beauty of the story). ((I am done with the word perhaps)).
    That said I would say it is worth a read. Not the lightest summer book but still I would pick it up.

  2. I was entirely unimpressed by this book, and thought it was more an attempt to play to the “ethnic literature is hot” cliche. It contained a disjointed narrative, superfluous attempts to bring Jewish imagery into hip-hop’s language, and summed up for me Mansbach’s little respect for Jewish tradition – there was little talk of the spiritual foundations that have shaped Jewish culture, and while he seemed to have wanted to make broad statements about Jews, even naming the book after their end, he doesn’t really sufficiently answer any of the questions he poses. He has clearly never read Berysh Vaynshteyn or Jacque Faitlovich.

  3. I bought the book because I love what JDub does. I very much enjoyed it — couldn’t put it down. However, there was one point in the book, when a character acted so out of character, that it left me feeling duped by the author. Anyone else feel the same way about the “hot lesbo action”? I got over the disappointment and finished the book. It’s been a couple of weeks and I can’t decide if the title ties the book together somehow — how?– or is equivalent to the sex scene mentioned above: totally irrelevant but attention grabbing. I did enjoy it and felt the Czeck girl thread was fresh and interesting.

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