- CHF 16.00
Beschreibung des Verlags
On Christmas Eve 1999, all the Jews in the world die in a strange, millennial plague, with the exception of the firstborn males, who are soon adopted by a cabal of powerful people in the American government. By the following Passover, however, only one is still alive: Benjamin Israelien; a kindly, innocent, ignorant man-child. As he finds himself transformed into an international superstar, Jewishness becomes all the rage: matzo-ball soup is in every bowl, sidelocks are hip; and the only truly Jewish Jew left is increasingly stigmatized for not being religious. Since his very existence exposes the illegitimacy of the newly converted, Israelien becomes the object of a worldwide hunt . . .
Meanwhile, in the not-too-distant future of our own, “real” world, another last Jew—the last living Holocaust survivor—sits alone in a snowbound Manhattan, providing a final melancholy witness to his experiences in the form of the punch lines to half-remembered jokes.
An extravagant poeticism combined with an unbridled imagination burst from each considerable page of Cohen's futuristic biblical opus (after A Heaven of Others). Following his singular birth, Ben Israelien survives a peculiarly genocidal, apocalyptic plague, ends up the last Jew on the planet, and must contend with a new brand of religious fanaticism that hijacks the faith and perverts it into a form of Born-Again Judaism for overzealous converts. While these crusaders burn churches and transform roadhouses into synagogues, the secular Ben strives to escape his messiahlike status, eventually embarking on an odyssey across a kitchified, radicalized America in which his face adorns the new currency. A towering experiment, Cohen's postmodern parable skewers the commodification of religion and decries a ballooning cultural bankruptcy, but navigating this doomsday picaresque's nearly half-a-million words many of them neologisms trapped inside labyrinthine, haphazardly punctuated sentences is itself a taxing odyssey. Following in the tracks of James Joyce, Cohen strives to reinvent the English language, but the result is a kind of epic narrative poem that is only compelling in spurts.