Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Sea Beach Line - Ben Nadler

The Sea Beach Line
Ben Nadler
Fig Tree Books, Oct 13 2015, $15.95
ISBN: 9781941493083

Kicked out of Oberlin for drug abuse, Isaac “Izzy” Edel stays with his mom and accountant stepfather in New Mexico.  When he receives a letter from his estranged dad Alojzy the street schemer, Izzy ignores it though the ramblings shake him up.  Two days later a second post from a stranger Semyon Goldov arrives claiming Alojzy is dead.

With a need to know the truth about the alleged demise of his sire and learn more about his paternal post WWII Polish roots, Izzy heads to New York, the site of Alojzy’s book peddling business.  Moving into a storage unit, he begins his odyssey by taking over his dad’s Greenwich Village street books for sale business and works odd jobs for an Uzbeki gangster.  He meets Brooklynite Rayna who helps him on his quest, but the more Izzy finds out the more convoluted and confusing his father’s world proves.

The Sea Beach Line is a mesmerizing Jewish street lit odyssey starring an enigmatic individual who readers will at times despise and yet also adore.  The serpentine storyline merges Americanized assimilated Jewish mythos and the Talmud as the foundations of a confused young man’s search for who his father truly was.

Harriet Klausner

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