Isaac: A Modern Fable

Ivan G. Goldman. Permanent, $28 (222p) ISBN 978-1-5796-2229-9
In this fast-paced mashup of Faust and the biblical story of Isaac, former Los Angeles Times reporter Goldman (The Barfighter) twists the screws on a pair of star-crossed lovers as they struggle to overcome the natural and supernatural forces keeping them apart. When clever, gorgeous professor Ruth Canby meets handsome muscle-for-hire Lenny at the L.A. Farmers Market, their mutual attraction overpowers Ruth’s inhibitions. But mysterious Lenny, who is, in fact, Isaac, son of Abraham, physically young after 4,000 years and world-weary but still in love with life—throws her over to protect his secret. Hurt and disappointed, Ruth accepts a too-good-to-be-true offer to join a Columbia University think tank and tries to forget Lenny, while fending off a colleague’s advances. Back in L.A., Lenny avoids his age-old nemesis “The Beast” and attempts to forget Ruth. But he discovers that she’s in grave danger, and only a supreme sacrifice might save her. Goldman’s snappy dialogue and light touch make this sendup of West Coast superficiality, East Coast academia, and the Old Testament an entertaining read full of weighty, nuanced questions about faith, fate, and what makes life precious, even after four millennia. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
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