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THE GRANDMOTHERS’ CLUB by Alan Cheuse...

THE GRANDMOTHERS’ CLUB by Alan Cheuse (Southern Methodist University Press: 333 pages). Minnie Bloch, who narrates the rise and fall of her rabbi/businessman son, Manny, makes Philip Roth’s Mrs. Portnoy sound like a quiet old dear. Minnie knows every detail of everyone’s life: Having her in the family would be like sharing a dorm room with Sherlock Holmes. Cheuse presents a moving account of an ambitious man caught between his desires for spiritual purity and secular achievement. But the novel would be more credible if he avoided the jarring discontinuity between the broken syntax of an Eastern European immigrant and the elaborate metaphors of a professional novelist.


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