Brand : Thane Rosenbaum

The Golems of Gotham: A Novel

Midwest book review |

An ancient legend revived in an unsual and engaging story.

Years have passed since the famous mystery writer has thought of his parents' terrible past and death and his wife's disappearance ten years ago; but eventually his repressed memories surface and only his teen daughter is aware of his plight. she's determined to use her interest in the occult to raise his dead parents; but they resurrect with plans of their own, and ancient legend is revived in this unusual story which excels in twists and turns.

James j. sexton |

The story inside the story

Having enjoyed immensely rosenbaum's other works (second hand smoke and elijah visible) i had high expectations for golems of gotham. i was not disappointed. once again, the author explores the familiar terrain of love, fear, atrocity, beauty, and art. however this time, he does so with a depth and patience that permeates every page and far surpasses his earlier work. although the surface plot of the book is compelling and makes for a wonderful read - there is another story (found within that story) equally compelling and even more beautiful. it is found in the narratives and in the simplest of asides - and speaks of the highs (and lows) of parental love and the beauty (and ugliness) of the city of new york (a city which is so prevalent herein - and described with such sweeping prose as to qualify the 10023 zip code itself as a main character). once again thane rosenbaum offers us an excellent book and a compelling glimpse into the realm of human emotional complexity.

Jon linden |

Why continue to live?

In this book, rosenbaum has captured some incredible reflection on the concept of suicide. while the book is ostensibly about the holocaust, wrapped in a fairy tale of kabbalistic spirituality, rosenbaum's story, is only a vehicle. it is the mode by which he transmits so many thoughts and feelings on why people should go on with life, philosophically, not just biologically. starting with several holocaust survivors who committed suicide, rosenbaum investigates the reasons why they might have done so. one would think that after auschwitz, buchenwald or bergen-belson, life would be a virtual cakewalk. nothing could possibly be as bad as that again. and as a general class, that is true. yet, there is a small component of holocaust survivors, who eventually decide that they can no longer live with the memory of what they saw, and eventually take their own life. and not surprisingly, a high percentage of them are artists, poets and writers, the people who would be most susceptible to feeling the pain of others and themselves. in crafting his book, rosenbaum illustrates many reasons to live. and he equally poses many questions about life. but in some respects, he does manage to find reasons to live, which are undeniable, if not difficult to accept sometimes. as an added bonus, rosenbaum's descriptions of midtown manhattan are some of the best present day representations of the area i have ever read in my life. since he teaches at fordham law school, he would be quite familiar with 59th st. & broadway. the incredible precision of his pictures of manhattan are truly picturesque and artistic. rosenbaum has succeeded in creating a truly wonderful work that handles difficult life subjects with great aplomb. it is recommended to those who think about life and the meaning therein.