Friday, July 16, 2010

A Short History of a Tall Jew

Dennis Danziger
ISBN: 978-0-615-31846-2
Publisher: Deal Street Press

A Short History of a Tall Jew, mixing past with present, chronicles a year in the life of Philip Lachman. Philip has been divorced for years, he is an English teacher at a public high school that is literally a melting pot. With lawyer fees and child support he barley makes any money. After celebrating his 39th birthday alone, Philip decides he no longer wants to be alone. Craving a chance at normalcy, Philip announces to his children that by the following Valentines Day he will have found his second wife. The problem is, he has no leads, no numbers, a son into communism, a daughter who is a teenager with lofty aspirations, and a horrible life sucking ex-wife who will do anything to make his life miserable. While battling for his children he attempts his search for happiness, except Philip has no idea how he will find a nice, caring, competent woman who will make a good step-mother, and who he sincerely loves in L.A., a city all about worth.

This novel is laugh out loud funny. There were multiple times I just couldn’t contain myself. It is well thought out and wonderfully composed. I couldn’t imagine the book without every aspect that it has, nor could I add more. The ending fit so well with the book that it left you feeling complete. The book characterizes the life Philip Lachman leads. He is a public school teacher in L.A., a melting pot of cultures and lifestyles with no real minority. The author gracefully includes all aspects of life in this situation, making you feel you are actually there and that this story is not fiction. While it is amusing, it is also heartbreaking, painful and almost tragic at times. It is life. The reader will connect with Philip, laugh at Philip, and want to slap him into wake up mode. The novel is irresistible and will keep you hooked until the end.

I highly suggest A Short History of a Tall Jew to all. While I personally would classify this book as the male version of chick-lit, it is simply a work of fiction. There is an amazing amount of variety in content in this novel. It has something for everyone and the reader will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more works from Dennis in the future.

**Reviewed for**


  1. This book sounds like it will be really funny! I love comedic memoirs but even this fiction piece sounds great. Funny, the whole time I read your review I kept thinking "Lad Lit", like the chick lit for men..and then i saw your last paragraph:)

    I love that you review such a wide variety of books (even the ones you read to your daughter). This mulitiplicity really makes your blog invaluable.

  2. Wow how cool! A male version of Chick-lit?! Definitely planning to pick this one up! :)


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