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The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by [Zimler, Richard]
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The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Richard Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is not a particularly religious novel, but it uses religion to great dramatic effect. Although its story takes place during the 16th- century slaughter of Jews in Portugal, and its main characters are Jewish mystics, Zimler is less interested in describing their spiritual lives than in plotting a fantastic murder mystery. The book purports to be a modern translation of a medieval manuscript telling the story of the murder of a great kabbalist in Lisbon named Abraham. Occasionally, the story invokes a bit of kabbalist wisdom that is every bit as luminous as the ancient texts that inspired this novel: "Books are created from holy letters," one character says. "Just as angels are, according to some. Viewed from this perspective--through a window of Kabbalah, if you like--an angel is nothing but a book given heavenly form." Such moments are too rare for the book to be very perceptive about the tradition to which its title alludes, but nevertheless, it's an absorbing and genuinely suspenseful story. -- Michael Joseph Gross

From Library Journal

Recently, Jewish mysticism has become a popular draw, and this first novel?a best seller in Portugal, where it was first published and where American author Zimler lives?is worthy reading even for those in a nonphilosophical frame of mind. From the moment Berekiah Zarco, a Jewish resident of Lisbon during the early 1500s, discovers the murder of his religious mentor (with a nude female corpse beside the holy man), the story moves quickly. Trailing suspects, Zarco and his cronies navigate the blood-soaked streets of Lisbon during a Christian "purge" of Jewish faithful. Along the way, the reader learns about the age's homeopathic cures and observes a traditional Jewish exorcism. Those who understand and appreciate the history of Kabbalah can revel in the mysticism; the uninitiated will gain perspective while enjoying a literary and historical treat.?Margee Smith, Grace A. Dow Memorial Lib., Midland, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 1367 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; Reprint edition (March 15, 2000)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2000
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B012YDU58W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,633 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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