ISBN: 1681376075
EAN13: 9781681376073
Language: English
Release Date: Jun 22, 2021
Pages: 240
Weight: 0.81 lbs.
Format: Paperback

The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family

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Book Overview


Absorbing, delightful, hilarious, breathtaking and the best and most relevant novel I've read in what feels like forever. --Taffy Brodesser-Akner, The New York Times Book Review

Corbin College, not quite upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian--but not an historian of the Jews--is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with nonfiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers.

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Book Reviews (4)

2
  |   4  reviews
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2
   Perhaps more negligible than the author would like to think
I admire his way with words, his felicity in replacing a phrase, his natural inventiveness in dealing with the cliche and his cleverness with the language. After having said as much, this novel is much too polemical, as though the author had trouble deciding exactly what he hoped to achieve with the novel. The dissertations of Nentanyahuish are too long and too uninteresting. Jeffrey is luxuriating in his wealth of knowledge, Is Cohen? is this pendantic - folderol and little more? I am afraid that it amounts to nothing more, if he had concentrated on character the novel may have worked. All characters are, however, one dimensional, flat. At almost any juncture, not one character surprises. This is certainly a major design flaw. Yes, there are several jokes in the book, but at the end of the day or the psudo-novel the book is disposable.
 
1
   Trite and Insulting
I can 't believe that anyone liked this book. The attempts at humor are all old AllenRoth type and the portrayal of the Netanyahus, absent any truths, seems mean and spiteful. If you don 't like BN, write a fictional account of them as the worst house guests ever ranging from sexually problematic to rude, and hope it sells. Shame, I thought that this would have some literary value.
 
2
   pretentious and insulting
Oh my twisted feelings about this book. This is based on a true experience, that American literary critic and Cornell professor Bibi Netanayahu had in 1958 with the family of Harold Bloom. Some of the book was extremely witty and funny, but most of the book was annoyingly stereotypical Jews, a teen girl who hates her nose, a strident, entitled, demanding mother-in-law, and really disgusting Netanyahu. But I hated it mostly for its pretension. The author was trying to follow the voice of a fictional insecure, out of place college professor? I think I have a fairly good vocabulary, but in deep frustration, at page 30 I started writing and looking up words I had never seen or heard before... 33 at the last count. sambatyon, crepitus, blucher, eisegetical, peripety, adumbration, horripilation, hyemal nugatory... well, you get the idea.
 
1
   Over-hyped.
Just finished reading Joshua Cohen's NETANYAHUS, a much-hyped novel ostensibly about the Netanyahu family. One half highly derivative and shaped depiction of American Jewish life in the years after WWWII, half depiction of an Israeli Jewish family, as it would have been pictured in DER STÃœRMER. All because of a novelist who is seemingly incapable of presenting authentic human emotions, but driven by and aversions to the prejudices and predilections of his contemporary American leftist audience.
 
1