The Golem of Brooklyn

Books on Tape Sept. 2023. 6:32 hrs. ISBN 9780593822524. $66.50. F
In Jewish folklore, a golem is a Frankenstein-type creature made of earth, created and brought to life to protect the Jewish people in times of crisis. According to legend, the golem was given life by the great rabbi of Prague, Judah Loew. However, in Mansbach’s (The End of the Jews) latest, secular Jew Len Bronstein steals clay from the upscale school where he is the art teacher and, while high on drugs, creates his own nine-and-a-half-foot, 400-pound golem. Since Len’s golem only speaks Yiddish when he first comes to life, Len finds Miri, a lapsed young Chasidic woman, to translate for him. Soon the golem learns English by binge-watching Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then Miri, Len, and the golem travel to an antisemitic rally in Kentucky. The book becomes serious at this point, and the three confront a complex problem. Narrator Danny Hoch’s Yiddish pronunciation is spot on. When the golem speaks English, he has an Eastern European accent that adds fun to Mansbach’s romp of a novel.
VERDICT Mansbach’s irreverent and farcical retelling of Jewish golem folktales will have listeners laughing aloud.
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