The Seventh Gate

Richard Zimler, Author
Richard Zimler. Overlook, $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-1590207130
Reviewed on: 04/02/2012
Release date: 05/10/2012
Paperback - 577 pages - 978-1-84529-487-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-4829-1390-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-1393-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-1392-7
Paperback - 446 pages - 978-1-4683-0823-5
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-78033-250-5
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4683-0323-0
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4683-0322-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4829-3309-3
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Zimler (The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon) surpasses himself with this coming-of-age epic set in Berlin at the start of the Nazi era. In 1932, precocious 14-year-old Sophie Riedesel is adjusting to her changing body and desires, but she soon has other concerns as Hitler consolidates his power in 1933. Although Sophie herself isn’t Jewish, she’s alarmed by the uptick in anti-Semitism and the threats posed to her Jewish friends. She develops a special affinity for Isaac Zarco, a neighbor who instructs her on kabbalistic theology and who years earlier founded the Ring, a group that originally helped retired circus performers find other work. The Ring now focuses on improving the working conditions in breweries, a pursuit that the Nazis view as threatening. When the Ring’s head, Georg Hirsch, is strangled, Sophie devotes herself to solving the crime amid indications that a colleague may have betrayed Hirsch. The whodunit is captivating enough, but the book’s power lies in its stark and unflinching portrayal of the impact of Hitler’s eugenic policies on the infirm and disabled. Agent: Cynthia Cannell, Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency. (June)
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