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An Alternate Reality, with Yiddish in Alaska

The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon

Reviewed by Erik Spanberg
Christian Science Monitor

"'These are strange times to be a Jew.' In The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon's new novel, characters utter that phrase with frequency — and with ample justification. After all, their homeland, a tiny portion of Alaska (in this universe, the Jews lost the 1948 war and were sent scurrying for real estate wherever it could be found), will soon 'revert' back to the United States government as part of a 60-year settlement scheduled to expire in two months...." Read the entire Christian Science Monitor review.

2 Responses to "An Alternate Reality, with Yiddish in Alaska"

    franQ May 8th, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Hearing all this talk of the new Chabon release makes me a little sad…

    A year ago, I would have been thrilled and probably obtained an advanced reading copy. He’s been my “favorite” author since I first read his debut novel THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH back in the early 90s.

    But I can no longer support the work of an author who has no regard for the story and characters that put him on the literary map.

    In case you haven’t heard, there’s a film version of MOP coming out later this year… Written and directed by the guy who brought us DODGEBALL, in which he’s CHANGED 85% of Chabon’s original story. And the sad part is… Michael Chabon himself APPROVED of the script!

    WHY would he do this? I can only think of one possible answer: $$

    If you are a Chabon fan, esp MOP, I suggest you do NOT see this movie. You will be sadly disappointed at the COMPLETE removal of the gay character, Arthur Lecomte, and the fabrication of a romantic love triangle between Art Bechstein, Jane Bellwether, and a bi-sexual Cleveland Arning. And really, what is MOP without the presence of Phlox Lombardi? Alas, she’s barely in it.

    Done2Death May 8th, 2007 at 10:31 am

    The other reason, franQ, might be that movies and books are two entirely different mediums, with different storytelling demands. What reads well on the page doesn't necessarily translate to the screen.

    It would be really awesome if every single person could just make their own film version of their favorite book--but sadly that's not the case. If these changes really bother you, please do everyone a favor and DON'T see the movie. What the world doesn't need is one more person bitching that a movie "wasn't like the book."

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