Read Snow in August by Pete Hamill Free Online
Book Title: Snow in August|
The author of the book: Pete Hamill
Edition: Grand Central Publishing
Date of issue: October 31st 2009
ISBN 13: 9780446569668
Loaded: 2050 times
Reader ratings: 6.3
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 648 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
I have mixed feelings about this book. It started out pretty good, and for most part, I really enjoyed it, but there were parts that bothered me.
Snow in August is about an eleven year old boy, Michael and his friends who live in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1947 just after WWII had ended. They go into a candy store one day and see a crime that is being committed; the Jewish shopkeeper is being beat up. The gang leader sees the boys in the store and threatens them to keep quiet.
Michael and his friends have false beliefs about the Jewish people, for examples, they believe they eat babies and hide their gold and jewels in the synagogues. These beliefs play a big part in this book, causing a rift between Michael and his friends.
On Michael’s way to Mass one day, he passed the synagogue, and the rabbi was standing in the door calling out to him. Michael went over, and the rabbi asked if he could come inside and turn on the light for him. Due to Michael’s fear of Jews, he was reluctant to go inside, but he did as asked, and he was glad that he had, for after this, Michael returns often to the synagogue and teaches Rabbi Hirsch English, and in turn the rabbi teaches him Yiddish and tells him stories about Prague before the war, as well as during the war when the Jews had to flee the country. Michael quickly learns that the rabbi is a good person, and that what he had heard about the Jews was untrue. His friends, well…You will have to read the story.
I was carried away by the beautiful descriptions of Prague, a place that I would love to see. Twenty Years ago a friend sent me a postcard from Prague that was given to her. I have kept it all these years and use it for a bookmark that gets lost in one of my books for long periods of time, just as it has now. It is of a photo taken in the corridor of a very ancient building in Prague. Someday, I will find the postcard again and tell you more about the photo, which actually isn’t very much.
I found the postcard in a box. It is of the Arcade of the Old Town:
So this book is full of history, Jewish and U.S. In regards to U.S. history, you learn about the first black baseball player, Jackie Robinson, and about racism in America. You also learn about the books that Michael reads and movies that he goes to see. The movies bring back memories for me, the books don’t, for you see, even in the 1950s movies made in the 40s were still playing at the theaters in our home town. I spent my weekends there, spending my allowance on them, popcorn, Flicks, Milk Duds and coke-a-cola. I even collected coke bottles and sold them to our small grocery store, Ken’s Market, and I would use that money for movies, and if not movies, then candy bars and soda pop. My mother spent her money taking me to the dentist due to all the cavities that I was getting from eating so much sugary stuff.
And then I learned some Jewish mysticism that was in the book, and about Golem, the clay figure that becomes a powerful man when certain rituals bring the clay to life. This was actually an interesting piece of Jewish folklore, and while I loved learning about it, how the only mention of it is in the book of Psalms, it is also one the reasons why I didn’t enjoy the some of the book.
But I also felt that this story got carried away as it became too violent, and this all because Michael and his friends wouldn’t snitch on the gang members who beat up the Jewish shopkeeper. Still, it was a lesson on what happens when you see a crime being committed and don’t report it out of fear.
Note: If you go to google and type in “golem in the bible,” Wikipedia will give you some great information. The word golem occurs once in the in the bible, in Psalms 139:16, which uses the word גלמי (galmi; my golem) that means "my light form", "raw" material, connoting the unfinished human being before God's eyes.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem
Golem could also be the Gollum in Tolkien’s books. I thought it might be and began researching. Gollum becomes a fallen Hobbit in need of pity and mercy, just as Adam had fallen, and Adam, to the Jews, was a golem.
The PDF article, “The Riddle of Gollum: Was Tolkien Inspired by Old Norse Gold, the Jewish Golem, and the Christian Gospel?” explores this issue and tells about golem.
Note: Today as I began reading another story by Isaac Singer, I thought of this rabbi and the boy who came to his door to help him turn on a light. What story was that? I thought. Was it one of Singers? Then I came on here to look and found it. It was this book. For a book that I was uncertain about, this story of Michael and the rabbi stayed with me. I find that I love common stories about Jewish life, and by common I mean, the common man.
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Read information about the authorPete Hamill is a novelist, essayist and journalist whose career has endured for more than forty years. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1935, the oldest of seven children of immigrants from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Catholic schools as a child. He left school at 16 to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheetmetal worker, and then went on to the United States Navy. While serving in the Navy, he completed his high school education. Then, using the educational benefits of the G.I. Bill of Rights, he attended Mexico City College in 1956-1957, studying painting and writing, and later went to Pratt Institute. For several years, he worked as a graphic designer. Then in 1960, he went to work as a reporter for the New York Post. A long career in journalism followed. He has been a columnist for the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and New York Newsday, the Village Voice, New York magazine and Esquire. He has served as editor-in-chief of both the Post and the Daily News. As a journalist, he has covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Northern Ireland, and has lived for extended periods in Mexico City, Dublin, Barcelona, San Juan and Rome. From his base in New York he has also covered murders, fires, World Series, championship fights and the great domestic disturbances of the 1960s, and has written extensively on art, jazz, immigration and politics. He witnessed the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath and wrote about them for the Daily News.
At the same time, Hamill has written much fiction, including movie and TV scripts. He has published nine novels and two collections of short stories. His 1997 novel, Snow in August, was on the New York Times bestseller list for four months. His memoir, A Drinking Life, was on the same New York Times list for 13 weeks. He has published two collections of his journalism (Irrational Ravings and Piecework), an extended essay on journalism called News Is a Verb, a book about the relationship of tools to art, a biographical essay called Why Sinatra Matters, dealing with the music of the late singer and the social forces that made his work unique. In 1999, Harry N. Abrams published his acclaimed book on the Mexican painter Diego Rivera. His novel, Forever, was published by Little, Brown in January 2003 and became a New York Times bestseller. His most recently published novel is North River (2007).
In 2004, he published Downtown: My Manhattan, a non-fiction account of his love affair with New York, and received much critical acclaim. Hamill is the father of two daughters, and has a grandson. He is married to the Japanese journalist, Fukiko Aoki, and they divide their time between New York City and Cuernavaca, Mexico. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University and is writing a new novel.
Author photo by David Shankbone (September 2007) - permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
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