The author, Joanthan Rabb is American writer and has earlier published essays and novels. Apart from the current novel, his earlier works include – The Berlin Trilogy (Rosa, Shadow and Light and the Second Son). The series has been critically acclaimed in the genre of historical thrillers and the first book Rosa was awarded the Director’s Special Prize (2006) at the Semana Negra Festival of Spain. Rosa was also awarded as the January Magazine’s Best Books (2005). Jonathan Rabb is currently a professor in writing department at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has taught at the Columbia Univeristy (NYU).
About the Book
Among the Living has been released on October 4, 2016 by Other Press. The book is about the story of a holocaust survivor who is Czechoslovakian and named as Yitzhak Goldah. To being anew with his liberated life, Goldah (31) arrives at Savannah, Georgia. The novel is set in 1947. Upon arrival at the new place, Goldah is named as ‘Ike’ by his cousins named as Abe and Pearl who are his current companions. Navigating his life as a former prisoner, Goldah figures out the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people among the Jew Community which is unknown to him.
The novel is set in past days when racism was persistent in America and Goldah becomes a miscreant amongst the eyes of others when he shakes hand with a black man. The novel deals with the subject of racism in a critical manner and analyses the way Jews were treated in Germany and the way Afro-Americans fared in Americas before the implementation of Civil Rights. All of this and other prevailing circumstances depicted in the novel make the story a compelling one.
Goldah gets used to the phrase “What you have been through” and although the people of Savannah are seeing the tapes of death camps, Goldah has actually lived it. Later in the story, Goldah meets a young woman who isn’t quite as per the liking of his cousins – Pearl and Abe. The plot complicates as someone from Goldah’s past comes back into his life and the readers get flashbacks of his life in the death camps. How the past haunts his life currently and how Goldah adapts to his changed life and atmosphere forms the rest of the story.
The novel is immensely well-paced, crisp and readable. The readers are not at all bored even for a single page. One can find love story, history, action, racism elements and their impacts on the society, in a single story. As far as the critic reviews are concerned, the novel can be easily transformed into a play or television series that one would love to watch.