Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rodinsky's Room” as Want to Read:
Rodinsky's Room
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rodinsky's Room

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  11 reviews
David Rodinsky lived above a synagogue in the heart of the old Jewish East End of London, and sometime in the late1960s he disappeared. His room, a chaos of writings, annotated books and maps, gramophone records and clothes, was left undisturbed for20 years. Rodinsky's world captured the imagination of a young artist, Rachel Lichtenstein, whose grandparents had escaped Pol ...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Granta UK (first published January 1st 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rodinsky's Room, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rodinsky's Room

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 253)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Half of this book is pretty interesting stuff (the Lichtenstein parts) - less of an occult mystery as I'd led myself to believe, for sure, but still interesting. The other half (the Iain Sinclair half) is obtuse. Very obtuse. Thick with name-droppings. I skipped his sections. You'd be advised to do so as well unless you are really familiar with London and Londoners. It meant zip to me, sadly.
There's nothing like reading a psychogeographical book about a decrepit Jewish scholar in London's East End.
David Rodinsky was a man who lived in a little attic room above a synagogue in East London. At some time in the late 1960s, he disappeared. The room was locked and not opened again until the 1980s where his belongings were discovered undisturbed, right down to the empty beer bottles on the table and the dried-up tea leaves in a cup. This is a book which stems from Rachel Lichtenstein’s research into the old (and sadly declining) Jewish culture of this part of London, and from her investigations ...more
Carole Tyrrell
This is my second reading of this book as it enjoyed it so much the first time.
In many ways this is a detective story in that a solitary Jewish man, the Rodinsky of the title, who had been living above a decaying and abandoned synagogue, vanishes into complete oblivion one day. He leaves everything behind, even the imprint of his head on the pillow and this book is Rachel Lichtenstein’s account of her search to discover what happened to him and what happened to her along the way.
The synagogue,
So difficult to rate this book. I loved the absorbing story of Rachel Lichtenstein about her quest to find the truth of Rodinsky's life and death. However, the chapters written by Iain Sinclair were very difficult to understand. I also felt some negativity in Rachel Lichtenstein's words towards Bangladeshi community living on Brick Lane.
Other than that i loved it. Very interesting and educational book.
Beide Autoren beschreiben ihre Annäherung an Rodinsky, den angeblichen Hausmeister einer Synagoge in der Princelet Street 19 in London, der in den 60er Jahren spurlos verschwand und nur ein Dachzimmer mit seinen Habseligkeiten, insbesondere Notizen in verschiedensten Sprachen hinterließ.
Das Viertel Spitalfield, seine Geschichte und Wandel werden faszinierend beschrieben: Scheinbar lebten dort immer schon arme Einwanderer: Hugenotten, die als Seidenweber arbeiteten, später osteuropäische Juden, i
Catherine Tomlinson
odd. alternating chapters: i liked the main author's bits, but the other sections (Sinclair) were overlong and added nothing to my experience
David Penn
Memorable and fascinating . Interesting to see how two authors can produce a coherent book and have very distinctive voices.
Mugren Ohaly
Constant backtracking in the narrative makes the story a lot longer than it should be
excellent read: part mystery tale /part personal narrative. includes history of the once thriving immigrant Jewish community in London's East End & its gentrification, the quiet resistance of Polish catholics during the Holocaust, rescuing sacred texts from performance artists , kabblah, & the tenuous presence traced on memory by our existence.
City of Villages
I'm reading this for a course, but it's a very good and very strange collaboration between two extremely different authors. It's worth reading to experience the clash of past and present cultures in East London, as well as the results of intellectual obsession.
Carolyn is currently reading it
May 26, 2015
Katie Kelly
Katie Kelly marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Alex marked it as to-read
May 24, 2015
Jesse Read
Jesse Read marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
Carolyn Riddell
Carolyn Riddell marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
Gabrielle marked it as to-read
May 07, 2015
Dominic marked it as to-read
May 06, 2015
cameron marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Lily marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Lyazzat Shannon
Lyazzat Shannon marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2015
Kamil marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London
  • Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert
  • London: A Life in Maps
  • London: A Social History
  • Dark Quartet: The Story of the Brontës
  • Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu
  • Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City
  • The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects
  • Blake
  • The Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton
  • Hearing Secret Harmonies (A Dance to the Music of Time, #12)
  • 1700: Scenes from a London Life
  • Feminism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love
  • Gabriele D'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War
  • Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  • The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape
  • Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography
On Brick Lane Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden Rodinsky's Whitechapel Add. 17469: A Little Dust Whispered London: City of Disappearances

Share This Book