Suprisingly addicting book. Hamill transports you to a place and time when life was simple AND more complicated. A teen develops an unlikely friendship with a rabbi who is new to the States. Set in the forties, the two discover new worlds together and realize the real meaning of friendship.
11 yr old Michael Devlin (100% Irish), living in a post-war tenement with his widowed mother, beriends Rabbi Hirsch in 1940's Brooklyn. After witnessing a hate-crime, Michael is terrorized by The Falcons ~ a gang of youths doling out anti-Semitism and other harrassment. Finally, Michael finds he has to evoke the spirit of the golem to help him and his neighborhood.
Pete Hamill brings post-war Brooklyn tangibly to the page. He weaves a heartrending tale of human vulnerability and myth that I enjoyed and will look forward to reading more of his work.
Beautifully written. I really enjoyed this book.
A tender novel ...evokes the sights nd sounds of post-war Brooilyn.
Really like this one although is very fantasical.
A beautiful coming of age story about a young Irish-American Catholic boy who befriends a Rabbi, and teaches him about baseball, during the time Of the Dodgers in Brooklyn when Jackie Robinson was first accepted to the team. It is a story of learning, values, tolerance, & love.
Excellent story - fantasy and fiction - good and evil.
I enjoyed the writing - the history and the sense of wonder. The author takes you there.
I did not enjoy this book; it seemed very contrived and honestly a bit lame; did not have the solid writing of his other book titled called 'Forever.'
I loved it... and already passed it on to a friend. I am a native New Yorker and enjoy stories about "my" city. It helped that I had recently read two of this author's memoirs... gave me some background as to where this "fable" was pulling from his life and where he veered off into the fiction part.
This confluence of the various cultures in Brooklyn post WWII was fascinating to me.
I love his writing.
Excellent, well written, with very interesting characters and story line. Explains various aspects of Orthodox & Kabbalah teachings. There is mystery, lots of emotion and even a story within the story of Jackie Robinson coming to the major leagues!
Both men and women will enjoy this book.
Hamill's writing is wonderfully engaging. The lead character, young Michael Devlin learns many lessons about grace found in diversity of cultures, how perceived outsiders can become your strongest allies. There is certainly pain in his lessons, but much to be learned and loved in this tale.
A touching story between old and young, Catholic and Jewish,right and wrong. I enjoyed the two main characters, this was a well written book. If you like books about cultures learning from one another this is a book to read.
Great book! Takes place in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY. Michael Devlin befriends a Rabbi during a time that relations with the Jewish community did not exist. Their friendship teaches each of them about themselves and about others.
This was one of the best books I read. Very heart warming.
Life in Brooklyn in 1947, told by an 11 year old boy. Part reality but also a wonderful fantasy in which the good guys win.
Another wonderful book by Hamill. It deals with the faith of a little boy and his friedship with a Rabbi. This all takes place during late 1940 in Brooklyn.
A beautiful tale of pain, evil, retribution and hope.
A tender novel. When it comes to evoking the sights and sounds of postwar brooklyn streets Pete Hamill has no peer.
I really liked this book and the characters. Very good story
I would give this book a 5 star rating. Wonderfully writen, the author does a wonderful job of pulling you into the story and the suspense is great, a defnate page turner. This definately a must read!
pete hamill is a wonderful writer.If you like books that have a little depth,are well written,with just a little bit of the mystical you should order this book and then read all of his others.
Set in a working-class Brooklyn neighborhood in 1947, this tale revolves around an 11-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin and Rabbi Judah Hirsch, a refugee from Prague. For Michael, the rabbi's stories of ancient magic and wisdom captivate his imagination and transport him to times and places even his beloved comic book heroes have never visited. For the rabbi, Michael's patient instruction on the language of baseball and American culture opens up an equally strange world.
This is a book I truly enjoyed, real to life, and 11 year old Michael is a treasure, as is the Rabbi. I love the beginning, and you roll right into the depth of this book without thinking of shutting the cover for a long time. It's partially a 'coming of age' book, part a poor mom in the aftermath of the war raising her boy in NYC the best she can,with little food, little resources, and lots of courage and love... part Jewish non fiction / fiction and fantasy. It's very intriguing, but the fantasy ending disappointed a bit, not much. Love this author-loved this subject matter. Great read. Easy to get through.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. That said, I liked the premise, maybe it was just meant for a YA readership. Still - I did enjoy it, I just wanted to like it MORE than I did, and the ending was perfect.
From the back cover:
"In the year 1947, Michael Devlin, 11 yrs old, is about to forge an extraordinary bond w/a refugee of war named Rabbi Hirsch. Standing united against a common enemy, they will summon from ancient sources a power in desperately short supply in modern Brooklyn - a force that's forgotten in most of the world but it know to believers as magic. ... masterful, astonishing story of gritty streets, awakening youth, and undying wonder."
I enjoyed this book both for its reading entertainment, but also for its historical value -- post WWII and Jewish culture.