Review: 'The Pinch' by Steve Stern

Review: 'The Pinch' by Steve Stern

Steve Stern opens his latest novel, "The Pinch," with a twist on the first line of Genesis: "In the beginning was the book." It's a fitting start to his epic story, an inventive novel that brims with Jewish folklore and history. The book Stern refers to in his opening is in fact a "bible-thick," dusty old volume also titled "The Pinch," found by protagonist Lenny Sklarew in The Book Asylum, a used bookstore where he works. After paging through it, Lenny turns to his boss, Avrom Slutsky, gasping "I'm a character!" "This is news?" Avrom responds. Lenny is indeed quite literally a character in the book he's...