Crossing the Hudson

Peter Stephan Jungk, Author, David Dollenmayer, Translator , trans. from the German by David Dollenmayer. Other Press/Handsel $14.95 (219p) ISBN 978-1-59051-275-3

A Viennese fur dealer confronts his life’s failures in this pleasantly bizarre novel from the author of The Perfect American . Gustav Rubin, a historian turned fur dealer, has returned from Europe to Manhattan to fetch his mother for a vacation at his lake house, but the trip goes awry at every turn, culminating in an epic traffic jam on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Lending a note of urgency is Gustav’s need to arrive at his lake house by dusk; as an Orthodox Jew (a faith his mother neither shares nor much respects), he must cease driving before the Sabbath begins. Mother and son bicker and reminisce about Ludwig Rubin, the family’s recently deceased patriarch, until Ludwig’s gigantic body appears beneath the bridge, lolling in the Hudson River. Marveling at his father’s enormous presence as he and his mother hammer out the many disappointments of his life, Gustav becomes increasingly aware of his parents’ power over his life. An unusual and inventive work, Jungk’s refreshingly strange images give some air to the otherwise claustrophobic narrative confines. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 11/17/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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