Monday, June 2, 2014

The Chosen One? - The Book of Jonah by Joshua Max Feldman

The Book of Jonah is the story of a young Jewish man living the so-called “good life” in New York City. A studious man his entire young life in line for partnership in a prestigious law firm, Jonah has been willing to work very hard for years to reach his goal. But, what does the goal of partner offer him that he doesn’t already have? Good food, booze, grass, two girlfriends, and a place to sleep in the Big Apple – he already has these maintainers of daily life. Now, as his final test of potential club membership in his firm, he is asked to support the efforts of senior partners to protect a corporate client that has committed multi-million dollar patent theft. Jonah thinks why not, this immoral activity will lead to the peace of mind payoff for all his efforts at success.

Similar to the Biblical description of Jonah, God steps in at a booze and drug fueled party and shocks him in the bathroom with a revelation of the destruction of New York City. It is such stunning negative information that Jonah rejects it and refuses to play the role of warning the people of the world. He tries to run away by ratting out his own firm’s dirty deeds. Jonah is swallowed by the Millennium whale, finding himself fired and footloose with a hefty severance package. Leaving New York aimlessly, Jonah finds himself stoned every day in Amsterdam, the belly of the whale. Is this the fate of the man “chosen by God?” Fate has something in store for Jonah in the form of a chance meeting in Amsterdam with a kindred spirit. But, true to his character, Jonah rejects her too – at first.

In the Bible, Jonah reluctantly accepts his role as prophet. Does the Millennium Jonah make good with God through his relationship with his Jewish kindred spirit? The reader will find the answer in the intelligent but slightly flat prose of Mr. Feldman in his first novel. I predict that the author will find his way and breath a bit more life into his characters in future novels with great success.

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