Are You Listening, Rabbi Low

James Patrick Donleavy, Author, Marjorie Braman, Editor, Carl Navarre, Editor Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (404p) ISBN 978-0-87113-237-6
Sigmund Franz Isadore Schultz, the hero of this crass, unfunny comic novel by the author of The Ginger Man , is a caricature without a single redeeming feature. The suddenly wealthy producer of the lowbrow London revue Kiss It, Don't Hold It, It's Too Hot , Schultz is an unabashed vulgarian who crashes through upper-crust British society with the finesse of a rutting bull. Entranced by his genital and excretory functions, almost literally self-castrating, bombastically horny, socially and verbally inept and determined not to lose a penny of profit, Schultz will set off alarm bells in more than a few readers; one character's comment that ``anti-Semitism was invented because of people like you'' seems designed to defuse accusations that the rest of the book encourages. In prose that's repetitive, garbled and bereft of wit, Schultz rambles on about his obsessions and occasionally prays to his ancestor, the late rabbi of the title, for guidance. Only the most determined reader will stick around to learn whether Schultz vanquishes the snobs and shrews battling against him. Donleavy's first novel in five years is a stunning disappointment. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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