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Topic: The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon

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Subject: The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon
Date Posted: 7/7/2008 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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This novel won the 2007 Nebula Award for best sf novel of the year - but it's not being marketed as science fiction, so you may have to look outside our comfortable sf section to find it in a bookstore or library.

It is a murder mystery, a love story, and an alternate history all at the same time. After the collapse of the state of Israel in 1948, the US government reluctantly allowed the temporary resettlement of 3 million Jews in the District of Sitka (in the Alaska panhandle). In the fabulously detailed underworld of this speculative new Jewish diaspora, Chabon has created an authentically gritty world of Hasidic organized crime lords, Tlinkit resentment, and rundown chess halls, during the waning days of the 60 year pseudo-state.

Meyer Landsman is a bottom-feeding homicide detective, drawn into a seemingly insignificant murder, that reveals layer after layer to the very foundations of the Alaskan Yiddish society and Meyer's personal life. I'm not an experienced reader of murder mysteries, but the clues seem well constructed to me. All that background given early on turns out to be relevant, so pay attention!

I give a top rating for this one.  Have you read it?

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 4:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Not yet, but it's on my wish list.  It looks interesting.

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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I just finished this book today - Chabon is excellent and this is a terriffic book!

Subject: YPU & William Gibson's list
Date Posted: 7/13/2008 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/7/2007
Posts: 4
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Great review- Has anyone read or reviewed any of the other books on William Gibson's list  of summer reads published in today's Parade magazine?  The other books listed are: Not Quite Dead by John M. Gray, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and Halting State by Charles Stross.

Subject: Nebula and Hugo both now
Date Posted: 8/12/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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YPU has just won this year's Hugo for best sf novel, as well.

I guess there's some grousing about it not being "real" science fiction.  But I don't care.  Alternate history is sf, as far as I'm concerned.  And this book is just very well written.

-Tom Hl.

Subject: now posted
Date Posted: 8/23/2008 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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I just posted my copy, so someone will be happy... (out of the 198 who have it WL'd at the moment)