Saturday, October 26, 2013
Still talking about Potok
Earlier this year I read several Potok novels, my favorite being My Name is Asher Lev. Potok has a distinctive writing style that is very consistent throughout all of his books, which I had enjoyed in his other works but found repetitive in In the Beginning, which tells the story of David Lurie's upbringing in the 1920s in the Bronx and follows his young life through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust. While Potok's novels are all page-turners, In the Beginning was not one of my favorite of his works, but perhaps only because Potok's dialogue and family scenes are very similar to other novels of his that I already read. Also, while In the Beginning is more sweeping in scope and slightly less insular than his other works, it lacks the focus and intensity that I appreciated in Potok's other novels. Regardless, Potok is a wonderful writer and an important voice in American literature, though I would recommend starting with The Chosen or My Name is Asher Lev.