The Book Of Jonah-Joshua Max Feldman

The Book Of Jonah
Joshua Max Feldman
Holt, Feb 4 2014, $28.00
ISBN 9780805097764

Manhattan lawyer Jonah Jacobstein lives the good life as a success at his firm and with two girlfriends in love with him. During a storm, Jonah and a Hasidic Jew rush into the subway where the stranger warns him about his biblical namesake seeing the naked wicked. After his latest triumph assures him partnership at Cunningham Wolf, Jonah celebrates at a party until he sees a photo of someone named Judith and almost immediately afterward a disturbing apocalyptic vision of New York under the sea and those at the gala naked. Not long after those twin nightmares and more haunt him, Jonah ends his relationship with GF 2 Zoey and confesses his transgression to GF 1 Sylvia who dumps him. Meanwhile his performance at work falters until he is fired.

Jonah becomes depressed as he still sees visions including the Hasid admonishing him that he cannot run from his fate. Jonah flees to Amsterdam where he meets another non-practicing Jew Judith Bulbrook, the star of that triggering photo. She has suffered from tragedy that has shaped her life.

This is an entertaining allegory that places the Old Testament tale of Jonah into a modern day context as anything can lead to a religious renewal of faith as there is no place to flee from one’s destiny. Character-driven, readers obtain a deep look into the souls of Jonah and Judith as they struggle to avoid a path neither wants to travel, but whether it is God, alcohol or something else; Joe Louis proves the prophet with his famous comment: “you can run but you can’t hide.”

Harriet Klausner

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