Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 29, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
Yiddish is certainly not dead in Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union". In fact, the primary language of Jews throughout the "Pale of Settlement" (where Jews were allowed to live in Imperial Russia) suffuses this book with the rich aroma of a language whose every word can take on a paragraph or even chapter of meaning in the hands of the right speaker. Chabon is one such speaker (or writer) and "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" is a book that is rich in enjoyment.
"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" is an artful blend of genres, a blend of crime fiction and alternate history. I think of it as a blend of Dashiell Hammett's dark crime stories like "Red Harvest" and Philip Roth's alternate-history novel "The Plot Against America".
Chabon has created a world in which there is no Israel. Rather, Israel had been crushed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Since that time the United States, partly as a result of guilt over the Holocaust has created a temporary homeland for displaced European Jews in and around Sitka, Alaska. Yiddish, not Hebrew, is the primary language. As the book opens, close to 60-years after the end of Israel, Sitka is due to revert back to U.S. control and the million or so inhabitants face the prospect of being stateless refugees. The hero, or protagonist, is Detective Meyer Landsman.Read more ›
This book is unique as it's not a speculative novel masquerading as Jewish noir, nor is it noir with a glossy veneer: it's everything at once. The questions of Jewish identity and what will happen to the community once the Reversion happens never takes away from the main tale; it's so well tucked in with the main action that Chabon never goes off on a tangent. All the while, Chabon plows ahead with a mystery that will set off chuckles of recognition as he hits and bounces upon every noir convention like a pinball. Informers, grieving mothers, loyal partners, the obligatory moment when an unconnected crime enters the frame - it's all there, but with its overlay of the Jewish community in the north, it feels fresh.
A few reviewers have commented that they missed out on Jewish in-jokes.Read more ›
Chabon is a genius and a madman, a wizard and a mensch. He's a wrecking crew, a culture-blender, and a rebbe packing heat. Who else would, or could, take Nick Charles and put him in Shalom Shachna's body? (Or maybe it's the other way around.) Equal parts Kabbalah and Ka-Bar, it's funny and gripping, and entertaining, and so heartbreaking at times it's hard to breathe.
In sum, I found it extraordinary - the concept, the language, the characters and the plot. It's not perfect, but it is simply one of the best novels I've read in a decade. Is that "helpful"? I doubt it. If I were you, I wouldn't want to know more. Spoilers are odious, irrelevant, and available elsewhere. If you love Chandler, Hammett, Roth, and I.B. Singer, I suspect you will love this.
Put some Manischewitz in a lowball and sit by the electric fire and crack this book open.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite of Michael Chabon's books. If you like a good juicy murder mystery, and you have and understanding of the Jewish people's history, this would be a good choice for you. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Rose Shapiro
The story was very creative, but the character relationships and pace of the story was too confusing. Also, on a Kindle, take note of the glossary at the back of the book. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Ian Scott
I really like my "Hard boiled" detective stories and this was very satisfying. I was a bit disappointed that a character and "back story" that really lead itself to... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Joseph Bottero
I don't know because i got all the way through all of the short stories and when i tried to open "Yiddish Policeman's" I got a message that my Kindle was not a supported... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Reader
a well-constructed setting in an alternate reality. Swapping Inuit for Palestinian, Chabon creates a believable and intriguing premise, and then elaborates. Read morePublished 2 months ago
Poetic language, excellent story telling. Can't wait to read his other books. Is that 20 words yet? Nope nope yup.Published 2 months ago by Alan
I am not Jewish and yet I enjoyed "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"--though I suspect that if I were Jewish I would have enjoyed it much more. Read morePublished 3 months ago by GL Davis
Any alternate history novel must have a plausible alternate time line in which to set the action. Mr. Chabon does this excellently., Itis a quite possible . happened . Read morePublished 3 months ago by SharkHunterSFO
The visual imagery in this book requires you to read it slowly. It's not a book you can skim. Just when you think you've got it figured out, it changes direction. Read morePublished 4 months ago by jpnlpinlove