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Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman: Sex And Romance In God's House Paperback – March 31, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Morgenstein's three previous novels were Take Me Out to the Ballgame, The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees, and Jesse's Girl, available worldwide on Amazon.com. His play Ponzi Man played to sell-out crowds at the New York International Fringe Festival. His previous play was You Can't Grow Tomatoes in the Bronx. He is currently working on his fifth novel. A veteran of more than 20 years in media, Morgenstein has held public relations positions at ABC News, Lifetime Networks, A&E, History and WNET/Thirteen. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442114606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442114609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,778,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jess Katz was in love again. But this time it was way different than the 30ish woman with curling brown hair reading a Jodi Picoult novel on the F train, who'd met his dimpled smile as if he were Michael Myers . . . No, hello, this was true love, right here in God's shrine.

Jess sort of crashed a bat-mitzvah and instantly fell in love - or was it lust - when he set his eyes upon the lovely Thalia Kelinman. But wait, how can Jess be in love with Rabbi Kleinman when he's still love his ex-wife, Ellen, who berated him for showing up at the Bar Mitzvah in the first place? And so begins Loving Rabbi Tahalia Kleinman: Sex and Romance In God's House by Gary Morgenstein.

What follows is a crazy, twisting journey into love, longing, desire - and yes, even sex - filled will a cast of fractured but loveable characters all involved in odd crusades for lost causes.

Ellen can't quite function on her own without calling Jess to "fix" her latest catastrophe. Jess finds himself living with his quirky best friend, who wants to start an organization for straight men who are happy living without women. Rabbi Thalia is struggling to help her traumatized brother, Bobby, lead a normal life, maintain her place in the community and find a loving relationship. Thalia and Bobby's uncle who draws Jess into the midst of his scheme is trying to create a new homeland for the Jews. Through all of this Jess and Thalia strive to find a place in their hearts and in their lives for each other.

Mr. Morgenstien takes this cast of diverse characters and weaves them together into a nubby but interesting story that delves into the hearts of middle-aged men and takes a good look at changes life thrusts on all of us as time marches past.
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Format: Paperback
WHY I LOVED LOVING RABBI THALIA KLEINMAN
What I loved about this book is the very flawed but very human main character, Joss. After his divorce from Ellen (a woman he seems to love and hate in equal measure) and a number of other disastrous attempts at dating, Josh is bitter and frustrated. In fact, he and long time best friend Mandy trade grueling war stories about the fairer sex on a regular basis. The way these two view their lady loves and women in general is somewhat shocking, albeit hysterically funny, but there is an undertone of sadness as well. As much as they find women (apparently all women) to be obnoxiously self absorbed and critical creatures, always nagging and finding fault, there is obvious disdain for themselves, as men, as well. Both feel like losers- Joss especially, for not being able to make their women love them enough to stay.
Despite all the bitching and moaning and self-loathing, however, Joss falls madly in love with the beautiful Rabbi from the moment he lays eyes on her. She is feminine perfection and seems to be part of a different species than all other women- either that or Joss reveals himself for the true romantic that he really is. Women are only the enemy if they hurt him, but if he can just love this one woman and if she will love him back, completely, that is all he really wants.
Of course, Joss is willing to jump through some crazy hoops to win his beloved, like getting involved with her somewhat unstable younger brother, Bobby, and her very political, maybe even dangerous Uncle, Meir Schlom. Meir's plan to fight world-wide anti-Semitism is an ambitious one, indeed. Although Joss is sympathetic to the cause, he becomes more entangled than he normally would to keep an eye on Bobby. And do his efforts pay off in the end?
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Format: Paperback
Let me preface this review by stating that I was anxious to read Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman. After reading my first Gary Morgenstein (or Morgy, as I like to call him) about a month ago, I was sold. That being said, Loving was a slightly different beast than How to Find a Woman...or Not. This novel was well-written, interesting, and witty, but it didn't have me giggling uncontrollably as the last one did. It wasn't supposed to, either.

That being said, Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman was a good read. This book is not one of those novels that you can read mindlessly -- you know the type, the ones you can breeze through in a few hours. This demands your attention. But that's not a bad thing. Sometimes a book should challenge you -- it should make you pay attention and think, right? Right.

The book follows Joss Katz, a recently divorced, middle-aged Jewish New Yorker who unsuccessfully tries his hand at the online dating thing until he meets and falls in love with a rabbi. There's a lot more to the book than that...including a range of characters who will annoy you, intrigue you, amuse you, or all three, in the case of Joss' best friend Mandy.

Morgy's style is one that puts you at ease, if that makes sense. From beginning to end, I felt as though I were familiar with Joss, with all his hang-ups, angst, and disappointment. When reading Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, you feel comfortable, as though you are among friends. Granted, ones who bitch and moan about work and dating and divorce and bills, but who doesn't?
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