The ruthlessly engrossing and beautifully rendered story of the Brodskys, a family of artists who realize, too late, one elemental truth: Creation’s necessary consequence is destruction.
Each member of the mercurial clan in Adam Mansbach’s bold new novel faces the impossible choice between the people they love and the art that sustains them. Tristan Brodsky, sprung from the asphalt of the depression-era Bronx, goes on to become one of the swaggering Jewish geniuses who remakes American culture while slowly suffocating his poet wife, who harbors secrets of her own. Nina Hricek, a driven young Czech photographer escapes from behind the Iron Curtain with a group of black musicians only to find herself trapped yet again, this time in a doomed love affair. And finally, Tris Freedman, grandson of Tristan and lover of Nina, a graffiti artist and unanchored revolutionary, cannibalizes his family history to feed his muse. In the end, their stories converge and the survival of each requires the sacrifice of another.
The End of the Jews offers all the rewards of the traditional family epic, but Mansbach’s irreverent wit and rich, kinetic prose shed new light on the genre. It runs on its own chronometer, somersaulting gracefully through time and space, interweaving the tales of these three protagonists who, separated by generation and geography, are leading parallel lives.
…smart and cynical …Mansbach narrates in a syncopated style, moving back and forth among Tristan, Nina and Tris until the three stories finally merge at the novel's conclusion. His writing is adjective-happy and sometimes ungainly, but it charms with an almost goofy persistence.