The Yiddish Policemen's Union

The Yiddish Policemen's Union

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2016
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From the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize winner Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay comes an equally dazzling, original, and imaginative work of fiction. For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descen-dants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka Dis-trict have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex fron-tier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half-forgotten in a backwater of history. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown. But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can't catch a break in any of their outstanding cases. Landsman's new supervisor is the love of his life-and also his worst nightmare. And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder-right under Landsman's nose. Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy. But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritage-and with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears. At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an hom-age to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.
Publisher: New York : Harper Audio, ℗2016
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062640864
0062640860
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: audio file
1 online resource (12 hr., 37 min.)

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

"It's a strange time to be a Jew" is the phrase repeated throughout this alternate historical mystery. In this novel's universe, the Sitka District in Alaska is a sixty year lease of land to provide Jews with a homeland after the state of Israel failed in 1948. It is now almost 2008, and the "Frozen Chosen" must deal with the imminent reversion back to American control of the land they have come to call home. It is against this bleak backdrop that an alcoholic detective named Meyer Landsman encounters a strung-out chess prodigy found dead from a gunshot wound in the same seedy hotel that he calls home. As he and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko, try to unearth why this man was killed, they uncover a sinister plot that pervades even the highest ranking members of society.

The theme of chess and the immersion into the Yiddish culture create a terrific sense of setting, especially when listening to the pronunciation of select Yiddish words sprinkled throughout the novel on the audiobook. Don't be a nudnik, grab a latke and read this book!

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