"A lighthearted and delightful tour de force" (The Washington Times).
A romantic and suspenseful epistolary novel about a group of people trying to make a movie about Moses in the present day, The Lawgiver is a story that emerges from letters, memos, e-mails, journals, news articles, Skype transcripts, and text messages.
At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multibillionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including reunite with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business. Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than sixty years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the movie.
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses and marriage, the force of tradition, rebellion and reunion, The Lawgiver reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great nineteenth-century novelists, one of America’s most beloved twentieth-century authors has now written a remarkable twenty-first-century work of fiction.
Moses, star of the Hebrew Bible; major figure in the New Testament and the Qur an; played on screen by Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, and Val Kilmer; now the inspiration for both Wouk s novel and the big-budget movie production it chronicles. At 97, Wouk has created a tale that, for all its modern trappings (it s told in e-mails, faxes, and transcripts, and relies on the movements of the very rich and the very Hollywood), is essentially old-fashioned. This is not a bad thing: after an exposition-heavy start that sets up an Australian billionaire intent on financing a film about the Lawgiver, various screenwriters, producers, actors, lawyers, and even scientists with various agendas; Hollywood wunderkind and lapsed Jew Margo Solovei, who learned Moses s story from her rabbi father; and Wouk playing himself, the novel comes into its own as a suspenseful narrative that asks fundamental questions: is Moses still relevant? Can this movie get made? Will true love prevail? The answers will not necessarily surprise, but getting to them is a fun ride, and though the epilogue, an address from Wouk, has the feel of a vanity project, in creating a contemporary version of Marjorie Morningstar, Wouk the author has made something old, and something very old, new again.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great book by my favorite author!
I loved this epistolary novel.
Not what I thought it would be.
Hard to follow.
20% in and still no feeling for, don't care about, any of the characters.
This book definitely did not need to be written.