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The Book of Jonah: A Novel Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: This novel reads like the literary lovechild of filmmaker Albert "Lost in America" Brooks and author Joshua "Then We Came to the End" Ferris. On the surface, it’s a comedy about a smart, successful guy--a young Manhattan lawyer--who, despite his big-deal job and not-one-but-two wonderful women in love with him, can’t seem to be happy. So far, so annoying, right? But wait: don’t throw the book across the room just yet. The task Feldman has set for himself is to make us understand, even to like, Jonah--and by the time our hero has maneuvered himself out of his glam life (through a half-hearted attempt at corporate whistleblowing), we’re rooting for him. And then there’s Judith, Jonah’s brainiac counterpart: a young woman orphaned by 9/11, a young woman also seeking solace, albeit in different ways. (Her sections of the novel are so strong you might ask why Feldman didn’t name his debut The Book of Judith.) When a chance meeting puts these two lost souls together, they are both forever changed. While it’s based very loosely (mercifully) on the biblical story of the same name, and for all that Jonah’s and Judith’s Jewishness is a factor in the novel, The Book of Jonah is more than a religious parable. It’s a universal, timeless tale of loss and the longing for meaning. --Sara Nelson
Feldman’s intriguing first novel, a modern retelling of the Bible’s Book of Jonah, examines the dilemma of faith amid life’s failures and loss. Blessed with ambition and good looks, Jonah Jacobstein is a 32-year-old New York City corporate lawyer who has recently been placed on a high-profile case. While out celebrating that evening, he experiences a vision of the city being destroyed, a catastrophic vision right out of the Bible. As Jonah struggles to comprehend this inexplicable vision, the first of several, and the questions it brings, his life spirals out of control. He calls it quits with an on-again, off-again lover, confesses his infidelity to his girlfriend, destroys a family member’s relationship, and sends an incriminating email that leads to his termination at work. Alone and unemployed, Jonah journeys abroad, living an aimless life with no recognizable ties to his past. While wandering, he crosses paths with Judith, a hardened young woman whose own tale of loss and struggle for meaning parallels Jonah’s. Feldman’s expansive tale offers an invigorating, timeless exploration of existential crises within a contemporary world. --Leah Strauss
Top customer reviews
Read it in and you'll find yourself second-guessing the author on what happens. And that's a good thing. It's part of what makes this a good read.
This book was very well written, and the two main characters were quite compelling. The plot got a bit slow at times, with a bit too much exposition, but I found myself not rushing to get to the end, which is usually a sign of a 4 or 5 star book for me. I'll definitely keep my eye out for more books by this promising author.