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Jacob Green, a young Jewish boy growing up in 1970s suburban New Jersey, struggles to deal with his fear of disappointing and yearning to escape the demands and expectations of his tyrannical and narcissistic father, Abram. A first novel. Reprint.
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Joshua Braff has an MFA in creative writing.From Publishers Weekly:
A witty, sensitive boy observes the darkly humorous goings-on in his Orthodox Jewish family in 1970s New Jersey. Jacob Green idolizes his older brother, Asher, and misses his withdrawn mother, Claire, but his father, the charismatic, tyrannical Abram, dominates the family. At 10, Jacob's unthinkable sin of forgetting to wear his tzitzit to yeshiva sets off an amusing chain of events—Asher's scheming to trick the rabbi, the destruction of the rabbi's tzitzit and Jacob's suspension—that quickly turns sober when Jacob faces his father's rage. At 13, Jacob lives in a state of anxiety—his learning disability and his father's resulting disappointment erode his confidence; Asher withdraws into adolescence; his mother flees the house to pursue a Ph.D. and another man. Jacob would love to rebel (he's got "a father so far up my ass you can see him performing in my pupils"), but mostly he mentally rewrites his bar mitzvah thank-yous as rants and fantasizes about his live-in babysitter, Megan. When Claire and Abram divorce and Megan moves out, Jacob conveys his angst through a series of letters addressed to Megan. By the time he's 15, Jacob is painfully lonely, as he shuttles between his father's oppressiveness and his mother's honeymooning obliviousness. Although Jacob is a likable, funny narrator, his keen observation and vibrant imagination falter under the weight of Abram's presence and Claire's absence.
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Book Description Plume, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0452286700
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