The Yid

The Yid A debut novel of daring originality The Yid guarantees that you will never think of Stalinist Russia Shakespeare theater Yiddish or history in the same way againMoscow February A week befor

A debut novel of daring originality, The Yid guarantees that you will never think of Stalinist Russia, Shakespeare, theater, Yiddish, or history in the same way againMoscow, February 1953 A week before Stalin s death, his final pogrom, one that would forever rid the Motherland of the vermin, is in full swing Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to aA debut novel of daring originality, The Yid guarantees that you will never think of Stalinist Russia, Shakespeare, theater, Yiddish, or history in the same way againMoscow, February 1953 A week before Stalin s death, his final pogrom, one that would forever rid the Motherland of the vermin, is in full swing Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater But Levinson, though an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and his shocking response to the intruders sets in motion a series of events both zany and deadly as he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad brilliant plot the assassination of a tyrant.While the setting is Soviet Russia, the backdrop is Shakespeare A mad king has a diabolical plan to exterminate and deport his country s remaining Jews Levinson s cast of unlikely heroes includes Aleksandr Kogan, a machine gunner in Levinson s Red Army band who has since become one of Moscow s premier surgeons Frederick Lewis, an African American who came to the USSR to build smelters and stayed to work as an engineer, learning Russian, Esperanto, and Yiddish and Kima Petrova, an enigmatic young woman with a score to settle And wandering through the narrative, like a crazy Soviet Ragtime, are such historical figures as Paul Robeson, Solomon Mikhoels, and Marc Chagall.As hilarious as it is moving,

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The Yid

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  1. What an odd little book It was recommended on Twitter by Gary Shteyngart, so I knew I was in for a ride With elements of Shakespeare and Yiddish theater, a rag tag group decides to assassinate Stalin just before the pogroms of 1953 are to begin The book is structured in three acts including lines of dialogue formatted as though part of a script and throughout I kept imagining this on a stage rather than a screen The patchwork of characters and absurdities is never dull and The Yid is filled with [...]

  2. Lately I ve been devouring books about Stalinist Russia and this was no exception The Yid is largely based on factual events that occurred in February 1953 when Stalin ordered a pogram to solve Russia s Jewish problem with massive deportations to Siberia A group of misfits come together to commit regicide by killing Stalin There is an abundance of humor in this book that made me laugh out loud multiple times and I really appreciated the Russian and Yiddish that was peppered throughout I learned [...]

  3. It s Moscow in 1953, a week before Stalin s death, and the government arrives to arrest an elderly Jewish actor, Solomon Shimonovich Levinson But looks, and age, can be deceiving and instead their actions set off a series of wild events all with one goal assassinate Stalin Fearless, violent, and fierce, and featuring a ragtag gang of conspirators, The Yid is a wildly imaginative look at an attempt on Stalin s life, and an inventive historical novel.Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all [...]

  4. Fascinating Original Obviously, it spoke to me on a personal level since I am a Russian Jew, emigrated from Moscow in 79 at the age of 20 Many places and names were very familiar Malakhovka, Kuntsevo, all of center of Moscow I even met the widow of Alexis Granovsky, founder of GOSET I do hope that despite such specific references this book would be read and appreciated by American readers, not necessarily of Jewish or Russian background, but anyone who appreciates alternative history, dark humor [...]

  5. A political, theatrical, racial, philosophical, comical, horrific romp through a few days at the end of February 1953, as Stalin prepares to eradicate the Jews from Russia What if, instead of dying of natural causes at his dacha, his end was hastened along by an unlikely band of Jewish, African American, and Russian resistance fighters It probably helps to know a little about Russian history to enjoy this book but I know almost nothing and I picked a lot up from context clues.

  6. I am surprised by the good reviews of this claptrap It is like a schlocky Soviet version of The King and I than like Catch 22 as a few reviewers claimed It begins well enough The Jewish actor Solomon Levinson elegantly eviscerates three Stalinist goons who come to his apartment to disappear him It was an elegant surprising beginning I thought I was going to love the book The problem is that this motif is repeated over and over again until it becomes mere shtick It gets two stars only because of [...]

  7. The YidMysterious Book Report No 245by John Dwaine McKennaThe legacy of Joseph Stalin, the ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union during the 1930s, 40s and early 50s, is one of famine, endless bloodshed and tens of millions of deaths due to malfeasance, malevolence and gross mismanagement It was an era of terror for ordinary citizens a time when neighbor spied upon neighbor and a careless word of criticism could result in torture, imprisonment in a Siberian gulag, or even execution in some cases [...]

  8. Paul Goldberg s The Yid is such an original work that it s hard to know where to begin with a review Goldberg tells the stories of six friends four of them Jewish who cook up a plan to kill Stalin at the same time that Stalin is developing plans to expel with some other kinds of elimination as well all Jews from Russia Solomon Levinson, who sets the novel s action in motion is a former Red Russian fighter who later became an actor in the Moscow State Jewish Theater no longer in existence When me [...]

  9. This was a 3.5 read for me My thoughts A satirical mad cap adventure tale makes excellent use of effectively blending history, family stories and ingenious imagination It is February 1953 and Stalin is about to unleash his biggest pogrom the elimination of Jewish people from Russia, but as the reader will learn in the first pages the cast of eclectic characters have a plan to foil this plan I quickly became endeared to the characters as every time it looked like they were doomed their imperturba [...]

  10. The stuff about being persecuted in Russia is old The Yiddish humor is sporadic so theatrical The pages of backstory are deadly.Life is too short for this one.

  11. Combines comedy and drama as a rag tag band of Russian Jews and an American Black plot Stalin s assassination.

  12. Why Read I found the Yid already purchased on my Kindle But then again, considering the amount of random book buying moments I find myself in on a daily basis, it s not too surprising to find books that I may or may not have bought waiting for me After reading the description, I was fairly sold Who says no to fun Russian absurdism after all Review There is no question that this book was weird I m not even thinking about the plot or the insane characters that come and go t this point I m purely t [...]

  13. There s no lock on a mouth There s no one as deaf as he who will not listen Thieves and those in love both love darkness Things are not as quickly achieved as conceived Things can t be bad all the time, nor good all the time Things may get worse before they get better Thistle sticks to clothes and disease to the body Those who can t bite should not show their teeth Three things cannot be hidden love, coughing and poverty Time brings wounds and heals them Time can alter everything Time is the bes [...]

  14. Perhaps I am too generous with my praise How else to honor friends and heroes To condemn cowards and tyrants Here we have a small group of people who recognize the signs, who have learned from history They realize Stalin is about to purge again, this time Russian Jews Faced with what for them is irrefutable fact, they choose to act, one by one pulled into the conspiracy one by one choosing to stay.The premise is outrageous, the humor mordant, blunt, and dark by turns and blends The characters de [...]

  15. Okay, an old Jewish actor, a Jewish doctor, and an African American engineer try to get rid of the bodies of three of Stalin s police sent to arrest the old comedian It s not a joke It s Moscow in 1953, during Stalin s Doctors War when he arrested as many physicians as possible who were mostly Jewish in advance of his plan for a pogrom the size of which would dwarf Hitler s effort There s schtick and Shakespeare, some history of the Yiddish theater in Russia The characters are surprising, and yo [...]

  16. This was actually 3 1 2 stars for me I liked the combination of fiction and nonfiction While I recognized that this was a good book that had me laughing out loud in places, and dealt with an interesting topic Stalin s plan to carry out a final solution of his Russian Jews , I got bogged down repeatedly in the Russian and Yiddish languages, even though they were usually translated into English Also there were long monologues that had me reading twice I don t mind doing that in a nonfiction book, [...]

  17. A very strange book and hard to follow in places because of the non English words Russian, Yiddish spread liberally through out Some sly humor and violence but nothing too hard to take Definitely different than any other book I have read and I am not sure I would want to read many like it The horribleness and hopelessness of Stalin s USSR shows through on every page Ugh what a time Let us hope never to be there again.

  18. A crazy old Jewish actor and an African American engineer plot to kill Stalin Not quite as historically improbable as it sounds the engineer is very, very loosely based on real people Stalin maybe did not die in his sleep etc Absurd, funny, fast moving, I liked the book, though I wondered how much it ll appeal to people not already interested in Jewish or Russian history.

  19. Black comedy, spiced with Yiddish humor, which is already black, no I give it four stars only because I have a hard time finding the funny in Jewish genocide, but I would recommend this book still A rag tag group of misfits sets out to assassinate Stalin what s not to like

  20. Like Isaak Bashevis Singer Shakespeare directed by the Coen brothers Paul Robeson is impersonated Russian, Yiddish, English.It s funny, but it s setup as King Lear The Death of Stalin There may be stuff I m missing.

  21. I couldn t get past Act I The story line was interesting but I found the pages of backstory, written as asides, totally confusing Mix in the liberal use of Russian and Yiddish and I was lost Read about 100 pages and gave up.

  22. A wonderful little book with some wonderful actors The author has mixed history Stalin and Shakespeare with an oddball band of actors who are determined to kill the one who is going to kill all the Jews I love Levinson

  23. This book feels like the literary version of Quentin Tarantino s INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, though admittedly I haven t seen the film Both of these are revenge chronicles and that s not really my thing.Goldberg is clever here His language, plot and characterization are satirical and certainly keep things moving along even if the plot to kill Stalin was only directly addressed in the third act, though it was supposed to be the driving force of all three I also, surprisingly, thought that he pulled off [...]

  24. Very absorbing Thanks for the recommendation Copying Sue s review, which copied another I really don t know how to describe this absolutely original novel, set in Stalinist Russia in late February of 1953, one week before Stalin s mysterious death.So instead I m copying from the review on BOOKLIST slightly edited Paul Goldberg emigrated from Moscow to the U.S at 14 in 1973 and became a reporter focused on Soviet dissidents and cancer research His firsthand knowledge of Soviet life and his medica [...]

  25. I don t know Yiddish, so I wasn t able to appreciate the Yiddish verses and phrases, but my college Russian classes helped me really enjoy the Russian passages This is novel that plays with language English, Yiddish Russian , narrative forms, Russian history, anti Semitic myths, and Marxist politics If you find that confusing, you ll get bogged down But for me, this novel hit a sweet spot, especially since its tone is darkly comic As the character of Doctor Kogan says, near the end of the novel [...]

  26. The Yid was a very well written historical tale that wove in history and fiction It incorporates real people and real stories, while also creating an intricate narrative about the USSR and some of those inside Bits of Yiddish, Russian, and German are sprinkled throughout, as is the connecting theme of Jewish theater, in terms of content, plot, and writing style Although at times it moves potentially too quickly, on the whole, everything comes together so well, and the book is masterfully written [...]

  27. This is a sweet sad story with deep historical resonance Goldberg manages to move the narrative along I understood why the events depicted were hugely significant in Goldberg s family history, why the tales of them from his grandmother made such a deep impression The Doctor s Plot was truly so awful a lie, so monumental a betrayal, and so bizarre in its many contours The prose is OK, sometimes a bit overripe.

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