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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)
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Michael
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.
Bekah
There's nothing like reading a psychogeographical book about a decrepit Jewish scholar in London's East End.
Patrick
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,
...more
Da-ri-ko
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.
Steffi
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
...more
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
Neal
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.
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On Brick Lane Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden Rodinsky's Whitechapel Add. 17469: A Little Dust Whispered London: City of Disappearances

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