After the War

Frederic Raphael, Author Viking Books $19.95 (544p) ISBN 978-0-670-82563-9
Epic in length, breadth of canvas and assemblage of characters, this latest work by the author of The Glittering Prizes chronicles the life of Michael Jordan from his undistinguished schooldays during WW II to his success as a playwright. Proud to be English, Michael is made to confront the fact that he is also Jewish when a refugee from Nazi Germany, Joe Hirsch, comes to his school. Ambivalence about his identity and self-worth continues to trouble him, in spite of the many women who love him and the men in high places who seek him out. Michael's uncertainties contrast with the directness of his sister Rachel, whose life in East Africa, at the center of political maneuvering and revolution, runs in tandem with his. The book is loaded with plots and counter-plots that take us to France, Greece and Germany, and expose Nazi collaborators and British compromisers, with Joe Hirsch popping up from time to time to threaten Michael's always shaky peace of mind. Accomplished, acerbic and one-liner-witty, this is nonetheless a novel whose huge and handsome cast, complex plot ting and terribly clever dialogue keep the reader at a distance. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-14-011696-0
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