The Brothers Ashkenazi - Israel Joshua Singer, Michael Greenberg

This was not an easy read for me. I really don't like immersing myself in stories about man's inhumanity towards man but I stuck with it because I decided that I really needed to hear this particular story to the very end. It is a very depressing story. It was written in 1937, just as the Nazis were coming to power, but is an epic story covering the mid 1800s right through to the post WWI/Russian Revolution in Poland. Most of the characters were flawed and unlikeable individuals. It is a story of man's depravity. In fact, Singer writes in the book, "Man is essentially depraved." Well, that just about summed up the whole book--greed, jealousy, fear, loathing, bigotry, racism--the cadence of our earthly existence. Worst of all, we haven't changed.


All of that aside, the book is a masterpiece-- well written and beautifully translated by the author's son--and I highly recommend it to those looking for a deep and rewarding read.


(I was going to say 'something you can sink your teeth into' but then realized that it might be a bit of false advertising.)