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Jew Gangster: A Father's Admonition Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Jew Gangster
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Byron Preiss Graphic Novels (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596878274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596878273
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ruby, the protagonist of veteran cartoonist Kubert's graphic novel, is a handsome young man growing up in a poor Brooklyn Jewish family during the Depression. He falls in with a local mobster called Monk, and his initial eagerness to make a few dollars to support his saintly, hardworking parents ends up getting him in way over his head in the organized crime world. He's caught up in both a war between the Jewish and Italian mobs over unionizing factories and an affair with his dangerous mentor's gorgeous moll. If you think you know where this story is going, you're probably right. Kubert indulges in every gangster cliché in the book and all the expected characters: the heartbroken papa, the angelic little sister, the overeager best pal who gets whacked. But his drawings lovingly evoke a long-gone moment in New York history, especially the gorgeous chapter headings, and his command of thin, sketchy pen lines that suggest facial expressions and motion is magisterial. A brutally kinetic fight scene near the end is a reminder that Kubert drew some of the finest war comics of the '60s. As a story, Jew Gangster is mostly a B-movie– esque historical piece, but the economy and style of its draftsmanship puts its visual side near the rank of Will Eisner's finest later work. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Veteran comics artist Kubert took a major leap out of genre comics with Yossel (2003), the tragic story of a teenager trapped with his family in the Warsaw ghetto. The venture invigorated him, and now he offers another departure from his usual war and superhero work. Jew Gangster is about young Ruby, who rejects his immigrant parents' aspirations to respectability and falls in with a brutal mob. The story shares the milieu of Will Eisner's graphic novels, Jewish New York in the first half of the twentieth century. Unlike Eisner, who seems to draw directly from real life, Kubert appears to be inspired by 1930s Warner Brothers crime films. Even so, Kubert is one of the few comics artists alive who lived through the Depression, and his way with Brooklyn street scenes and Ruby's family's tenement apartment conjures an aura of authenticity. His full-bodied drawing style has always made most other comics artists look pallid, and he works with even greater vigor here. Admirers of Eisner's graphic novels should like Kubert's recent works, too. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Glodek on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like Kubert's drawings and I am interested in the 1930s New York setting (though I think Eisner is better when it comes to architecture and portraying the urban landscape) but I'm afraid the writing here is a little weak. Kubert tries to put you into the era with mentions of FDR, "King Kong" and Jack Benny, which is a good idea, though I think Jack Benny's radio show was on Sundays, not weekdays, as it is portrayed here.

The plot is the problem; it seems like a bunch of gangster cliches strung together, not bad, but with little new added by Kubert. For example, the title led me to expect more Jewish-centric aspects than I found; the story Kubert tells could almost as easily have been told of an Italian or Irish or whatever gangster who was son of hardworking but poor immigrants and abandons school and his family to make money, etc.

Definitely worth looking at, but maybe not worth paying for; I read a library copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Arguelles on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book is a solid one, a good read. My only complaint is the feeling that Kubert hasn't brought anything new to the whole gangster thing.

Read it if you haven't read a hundred other mob books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paige Turner on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Joe Kubert, one of the early greats in the comic medium, wrote and drew this entertaining graphic novel, "Jew Gangster," the story of a young gangster Reuben Kaplan. Ruby joins the Jewish mob during the Great Depression and falls into a predictable spiral of violence. The story of lost innocence and the inevitable ending feels familiar, yet fresh.

This entertaining graphic novel is part of what I am calling the "Depression Era New York" school of stories - "Kings In Disguise" and Eisner's "Contract With God Trilogy" are among this group of works. This story is not as powerful as those, but a worthy member of the serious graphic novel genre. This powerful short novel is another display of how much the Great Depression affected an entire generation of artists. With fine artwork and a fast-paced story, this novel has me writing it again: we live in an incredible age for the comic medium.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Levine on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Comic illustrations go deeper than visual...you can feel each panel and the emotion of the great Joe Kubert. Top additon to my "Speigelman Collection"
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