Review The Jew of New York by Ben Katchor - An overstuffed, Pynchonesque graphic novel by one of the medium's best, set, as all of Katchor's comics are, in a quasi-historical Gotham(ish) fantasia that will make you nostalgic for block-long button districts that probably never actually existed. His two collections of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer strips cover similar terrain, and are also highly recommended. -- Mark Binelli, Publisher's Weekly, Nov. 9, 1012". . . Katchor has an extravagantly assemblagist imagination. At one point he interrupts the narrative simply to catalogue the contents of Mr. Marah's desk drawer -- ''assorted leather straps, a Haggadah in the Iroquois language, a Masonic pin, a half-dozen miniature scrolls of black parchment, a series of French boudoir prints in a phylactery bag, a wax esrog, a map of Odessa. . .The Jew of New York' is not only something to read but to ponder -- an object nearly as strange and striking as the story it contains. --J. Hoberman, The New York Times Book Review, January 10, 1999Possessing a devilishly dry wit, Katchor seamlessly blends footnotes from historical obscurity with his twisted imagination to create his own unique literary form-- "megillah à clef"-- that packs a sizable comedic punch. . . there's a magical quality to Katchor's imagery that transports The Jew of New York beyond the world of our fathers into the realm of timeless fiction. -- Mike Rubin, The Village Voice, January 26, 1999.One man, a student of the kabbalah, spends his days recording words to describe bodily functions. FYI: "Greptz" is his onomatopoeic rendering of a loud burp. What comes across more loudly than this greptz is Katchor's compassion for those on the fringe--in his mind, seemingly, almost everybody. And if everyone's an outsider, then perhaps Katchor is suggesting something bigger and, perhaps, a bit more profound: Is anybody on the inside? --Peter Ephross, City Pages, February 10, 1999. . . Ben Katchor (creator of the comic Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer) lets his imagination run wild, introducing a trouserless Jewish fur trader who ends up stuffed in a Manhattan museum; an entrepreneur who dreams of carbonating Lake Erie; and a Hebrew-speaking American Indian who performs live. Loosely stitched together, Katchor's absurdist 19th-century vignettes may lose some readers along the way. But his cinematic drawings, eye for period detail, and dry asides will keep Katchor devotees riveted. -- Margot Mifflin, Entertainment Weekly, February 5, 1999. Product Description In 1825, Mordecai Noah, a New York politician and amateur playwright possessed of a utopian vision, summoned all the lost tribes of Israel to an island near Buffalo in the hope of establishing a Jewish state. His failed plan, a mere footnote in Jewish-American history, is the starting point for Ben Katchor's brilliantly imagined epic that unfolds on the streets of New York a few years later.A disgraced kosher slaughterer, an importer of religious articles and women's hosiery, a pilgrim peddling soil from the Holy Land, a latter-day Kabbalist, a man with plans to carbonate Lake Erie--these are just some of the characters who move through Katchor's universe, their lives interwoven in a common struggle to settle into the New World even as it erupts into a financial frenzy that could as easily leave them bankrupt as carry them into the future. From the Inside Flap In 1825, Mordecai Noah, a New York politician and amateur playwright possessed of a utopian vision, summoned all the lost tribes of Israel to an island near Buffalo in the hope of establishing a Jewish state. His failed plan, a mere footnote in Jewish-American history, is the starting point for Ben Katchor's brilliantly imagined epic that unfolds on the streets of New York a few years later.A disgraced kosher slaughterer, an importer of religious articles and women's hosiery, a pilgrim peddling soil from the Holy Land, a latter-day K
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