A major literary debut, an epic tale of love, failure, and unexpected faith set in New York, Amsterdam, and Las Vegas.
The modern-day Jonah at the center of Joshua Max Feldman's brilliantly conceived retelling of the book of Jonah is a young Manhattan lawyer named Jonah Jacobstein. He's a lucky man: healthy and handsome, with two beautiful women ready to spend the rest of their lives with him and an enormously successful career that gets more promising by the minute. He's celebrating a deal that will surely make him partner when a bizarre, unexpected biblical vision at a party changes everything. Hard as he tries to forget what he saw, this disturbing sign is only the first of many Jonah will witness, and before long his life is unrecognizable. Though this perhaps divine intervention will be responsible for more than one irreversible loss in Jonah's life, it will also cross his path with that of Judith Bulbrook, an intense, breathtakingly intelligent woman who's no stranger to loss herself.
As this funny and bold audiobook moves to Amsterdam and then Las Vegas, Feldman examines the way we live now while asking an age-old question: How do you know if you're chosen?
©2014 Joshua Max Feldman (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
"Feldman’s expansive tale offers an invigorating, timeless exploration of existential crises within a contemporary world." (Booklist)
"Feldman is clever in his use of the Jonah story, and his novel is of the same strange and enigmatic quality as the original." (Kirkus Reviews)
"David Pittu is one of those expert narrators who disappear into a story. You don't hear him interpreting it, or commenting on it; he becomes part of it.... Pittu puts you inside Jonah, makes you feel what he feels.... a bravura performance." (AudioFile)
Did anyone else get the notice that this was one of Amazon's Best Books of February; the monthly e-mail from Audible stating that this was one of the new releases they were most excited about? I am flummoxed, seriously baffled. I would have just requested a refund, but I kept listening, trying to assure myself that I wasn't crazy. I'm still concerned about that status.
Let me just warn those of you that like an occasional cataclysmic thriller with a biblical twist, 'Flee for your lives! Don't look back...' There is no flood, no water, no Armeggedon, and no freakin' whale. I would continue with: no plot, horrible writing; but, the fact that Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, even Amazon/Audible found this praiseworthy...I must have lost my mind. If this really is good, I'm going out to look for four guys on different colored horses, 'human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria!'
Looking over my "Listener Page", it appears I review about one out of twenty books completed on Audible. Generally, reviewed books seem to fall into one of two categories: gems I hope to persuade fellow members to try or big disappointments to be avoided. "The Book of Jonah" is one of the latter. After setting aside the clumsy, uneven way the book tried to echo the biblical story, I attempted to read the novel on its own terms: young high flyer stopped short in his tracks by apparent brush with the supernatural. Nope.The goal then became to satisfy my curiosity about how a parallel storyline would be woven into the book's resolution. Oh dear. The last hours were predictable and disappointing. One final heavy handed biblical allusion - The Babylon Gallery - extinguished and then ground into the dirt the tiny flicker of hope I still held for this novel's redemption.
Author Joshua Max Feldman had some good ideas here: Las Vegas as a modern day Nineveh, how society sees those who claim to have a message from God, even the morality of practicing modern corporate law. Unfortunately, his MFA group or editor didn't give him the tough love needed to bring these good ideas into fascinating fruition.
I was really disappointed in this book. It isn't that the story lacked, it was just not what I expected at all. I thought this book was about Faith and Religion. In a very far, round about way, I guess you could say it was, but I didn't think so.
I thought David Pittu's performance was grand.
Sadness and very much disappointment.
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