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Sample: Chapter 1
NAMED ONE OF THE NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2021 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Joshua Cohen’s new audiobook The Netanyahus is read by the author with David Duchovny and Ethan Herschenfeld lending their vocal talents to the audiobook.
Blending history and fiction, The Netanyahus is a hilarious fictionalized retelling of Harold Bloom’s encounter with the Netanyahu family at an upstate New York college in the late 1950s, by an author The Washington Post has called “maybe America’s greatest living writer.”
Corbin College, not quite upstate New York, winter 1959–1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian—but not an historian of the Jews—is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with nonfiction, the campus novel with the lecture, Joshua Cohen’s The Netanyahus audiobook is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers. The New York Times described it as “Absorbing, delightful, hilarious, breathtaking and the best and most relevant novel I’ve read in what feels like forever.”
PRAISE FOR JOSHUA COHEN’S THE NETANYAHUS AUDIOBOOK
Absorbing, delightful, hilarious, breathtaking and the best and most relevant novel I’ve read in what feels like forever.
—Taffy Brodesser-Akner, The New York Times Book Review
Riffing freely on a true story, this brilliant and hilarious new book takes a cozily familiar form, the campus novel, and turns it into a slyly oblique fable about history, identity and the conflicted heart of Jewishness, especially in America.
—John Powers, NPR Fresh Air
With [The Netanyahus] Cohen proves himself not just America’s most perceptive and imaginative Jewish novelist, but one of its best novelists full stop.
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
With its tight time frame, loopy narrator, portrait of Jewish-American life against a semi-rural backdrop, and moments of cruel academic satire, The Netanyahus reads like an attempt, as delightful as it sounds, to cross-breed Roth’s The Ghost Writer and Nabokov’s Pale Fire.
—Leo Robson, The Guardian
With a blend of fiction and nonfiction, Joshua Cohen’s dazzlingly smart campus comedy pursues lofty questions of history, religion and politics.
Clever, funny, dark, deeply moving, full of references to everyone from Nabokov and the Marx Brothers to Jabotinsky and the late Harold Bloom, The Netanyahus is a joy to read.
—David Herman, The Jewish Chronicle
The Netanyahus is constructed with a brilliant comic grace that moves from the sly to the exuberant. Some scenes are funny beyond belief. But even when moments in the book are sharp or melancholy, they keep an undertone of witty and ironic observation. The vision in this book is deeply original, making clear what a superb writer Joshua Cohen is.
Cohen’s writing is vibrant even when ruminating on esoteric details on Jewish identity theories. . . . This blistering portrait is great fun.
Cohen’s new book is among his best: a fastidious and very funny book that is one of the most purely pleasurable works of fiction I’ve read in ages.
—Jon Day, Financial Times
Cohen has performed a literary miracle of sorts, transforming the shadowy, dour figure of Benzion Netanyahu into the protagonist of an uproariously funny book. In its skewering of the small-mindedness of academic culture, The Netanyahus conjures up the hilarity of David Lodge, and in its piercing gaze and over-the-top, transgressive moves, it evokes the late Philip Roth. . . . The reader is likely to explode in laughter.
—David N. Myers, Los Angeles Review of Books
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