Fitzcarraldo Editions delivers again! This is one of the best and most entertaining books I’ve read in a while, possibly ever.
The subtitle of the novel is “An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family”. In it, Joshua Cohen reimagines a meeting between a Jewish American academic and Benzion Netanyahu — father of Benjamin — as he is cajoled into joining the hiring panel for Netanyahu at the university, as the only Jewish member of staff.
I can’t possibly do it justice but it is a comic masterpiece that made me laugh out loud again and again. The characters are so fantastically constructed; each as compelling as the next — from bumptious history department chair Dr Morse, to Blum’s precocious teenaged daughter, to Netanyahu himself.
Despite extreme travel fatigue and the book’s richness and depth, I rattled through it. I am so excited to read more Joshua Cohen and cannot recommend this enough.