Review: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon

Rating:

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
2007, HarperCollins Publishing

Review Summary: More speculative fiction than traditional science fiction or fantasy, Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union nevertheless deftly utilizes one of my favorite elements of those genres, the “what if” scenario, playing out experiments in human psychology, sociological relationships, and ethics, by twisting the rules slightly and seeing what results.

Full Review:

More speculative fiction than traditional science fiction or fantasy, Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union nevertheless deftly utilizes one of my favorite elements of those genres, the “what if” scenario, playing out experiments in human psychology, sociological relationships, and ethics, by twisting the rules slightly and seeing what results.

Chabon’s characterization is impressive, his plots and storylines gritty and believable, with the touch of both the mystical and the ludicrous in the mix handled with a healthy dose of skepticism and modern common-sense.

One wishes to know more about the alternate history of this world, how the big players lined up with the necessary tweaks that a temporary Jewish Alaskan settlement would require, but it is still surprisingly satisfying to realize that this novel does not, will not, reach for that kind of scope. This is the characters’ story, not the world’s. Enough is given of both for the reader to imagine what he or she will.

08/01/08 CSL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *