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Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale
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Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  762 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Against a backdrop of racial tensions and spanning four decades, Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale explores the entanglements of three lives: Joshua Eubanks, a young black man struggling to overcome the crime, drugs, and despair of the streets; Rachel Weissman, daughter of a Hassidic rabbi, wrestling pangs of rebelliousness against the insular and restrictive practices of her religi ...more
Paperback, 484 pages
Published December 5th 2011 by Abbott Press
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(showing 1-30 of 1,402)
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Carol Lief
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kati Berman
This is one of those books, you can't put down and then you are sorry when it is finished. Through three main characters, Joshua, Rachel and Paul/Pincas the reader is taken to Brooklyn, NY from the late 1950's to the 1991 Crown Heights riots. It describes the changing neighborhoods, the life of the Lubbavitcher Hasidic Jews , their isolation from main stream society and their relationship to the African American community. Prejudices are deep set not only between the Jews and the blacks, but eve ...more
Joshua: A Brooklyn Tale was an interesting story with lots of potential. Perhaps it was too ambitious. The author brings nothing original to the way he tells this story that wasn’t well written.
Sharon Weissman
Wow. Love story mixed with the never ending issues between race and religion. Historical fiction ... Makes you wonder how such events could happen but based on current events I guess it's not so unbelievable.
It took me awhile to get to know and keep the characters straight. I enjoyed the story but it made me sad to read about such racial tension. Growing up in New York I was able to relate to the diversified neighborhood however I never witnessed the problems as in the book. I was very sad at the end however. I didn't really expect that ending.
I gave up on this book after the first third as I found it too difficult to believe and the early depiction of the characters seemed too stereotypical. Then a friend recommended I return to it and I am delighted that I did. Joshua is a Black boy growing up in Brooklyn. He has a strong hardworking mother and no father. His youth is spent getting into trouble with petty (and then major) crime and getting into an early sexual relationship. His misdeeds lead to his being assigned to work as a cleane ...more
Juliet Lewin
My favourite books always tell me a little something about a time or place I don't know enough about and bring me into that world - as well as having great plot and characterisation. This book ticks all those boxes. If I was to find any faults it would be that Paul/Pinkus' character was hard to understand after the first half of the book...otherwise brilliant!
I gave this book 4 stars - not because it is wonderfully written but it is a good story - set in Brooklyn when there was a lot of tension. Found both the history and the story interesting although a little implausible but again - truth can be strange then so can fiction. In all - did enjoy reading this book.
Sylvia Sierra
I hated this book. I felt committed to finishing it once I'd started because the plot had promise, and I had ILL'd it from a distant library after hearing it was good. It was so predictable though - every time a scene started out nice, with an optimistic description, something terrible would happen. That got very repetitive. The characters' dialogue was terrible. It was flat and unbelievable. The author would also do this annoying thing where a character would say something, like "I don't know" ...more
Great story, but not very well written. If I could give 3.5 stars I would.
It was fine. But add a star if you grew up in Brooklyn.

I read the book with intense interest , heading every word concerned about misunderstanding and injustice. Love must have no boundaries tolerance and forgiveness must be a part of who we are and what our world must become. Joshua and Rachel are well developed characters who teach us so much the world would have been a beautiful place they could have shared their love for all the world to see
This was a wonderfully written novel based on some facts - it takes place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and when I saw it at a sale in my library, I just had to buy it. It was well worth the 50 cents. It was very nostalgic for me to read about the street I grew up on, and the surrounding streets and landmarks that made up the neighborhood.

Aside from that Mr Kane put a lot of thought into the characterizations of each person. They were very realistic and he knows a great deal of Hassidic life as we
I couldn't get past the first 100 pages, I'm sure the story line is good but way too many unnecessary details and I just do not like the writing style at all. If you are from Crown Heights or know about the Jewish faith I think you would appreciate this book a lot more despite the writing style. It doesn't read very well for my unfortunately.
esther benezra
Powerful and emotional!

A tale of many kinds of love and many kinds of hate.
I found the resilience of the characters to create a life
Regardless of the life they were dealt and whatever the circumstances amazing. From the Holocaust and bigotry
For race each fought to .survive and lead a life worth living.
This book took place over several decades, the 60's, 70's, 80's, and early 90's in the Crown Heights part of Brooklyn where racial tensions between African-Americans and Hasidic Jews increased. While I thought some of the characters were stereotyped, I still enjoyed the entire story and setting.
Street Smarts

If we don' t know anything about the people of our cities, their culture and traditions, and if we don't respect them as who they are, we will never solve any of the problems we all face. This story is a first step toward educating ourselves.
3.5 stars really

Started slow but by then couldn't put it down. Thought the Joshua character made some unrealistic moves w $ in the beginning and not sure he and Rachel's relationship would have survived that long. Also the Esther character never really came back....
I found the subject matter interesting, but the characters fell flat. I was engrossed at times, but ultimately the ending killed it for me. No idea what the author was insinuating between Paul and Joshua. Would have appreciated a more solid close.
Inspiring Story

Inspiring Story

This story is extremely informative regarding tensions between African-American and Hasidic Jews in New York City. Great storyline that also educates and sends an important message.
Started off great with an emotional and intriguing plot. Joshua was my favorite character and I wanted more of him. The rest of the tale dragged on and way too much political and religious extremism for my tastes.
Jul 04, 2015 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heather by: Michelle Hanover
This book had a lot of substance. I felt like I could relate personally to the Crown Heights bit because It was actually a part of me and my life back when I was 18-20 years-old. I was actually at many of those streets and places, and the story just seemed so real to me. I know all about the strifes between the Chasidim and Blacks in Crown Heights, and it saddens and angers me much. The world there really is like this book, and there is much that needs to learned and done there to fix it. Having ...more
Julie Stein
Absorbing Novel

This is a story about the love between a black lawyer and a Hasidic Jewish woman. Racial prejudice and anti- semetism sadly continue to exist in today's world
This is one of those books you just can't put down. I loved this sweet and tragic story and loved learning about the history of Brooklyn through the years. I also think the character development was amazing. I will miss Rachel, the Rabbi, Joshua, and Pinchas. What a great read. I wish I hadn't finished this one. I highly recommend this.
A.J. Sidransky
A compelling and interesting story. The author brings us back quite accurately to a time when lines were quite clearly drawn and not crossed withour much trepidation. A good read.
Interesting story if you are Jewish and from Brooklyn. The writing is a bit on the amateurish side. Characters are one dimensional.
I liked it because all the places in Brooklyn were familiar. Otherwise, I thought it fell short of my expectations.
Beth Appell
Such a fast and interesting read. I waited 3 months on the library waitlist for this and it was well worth the wait!!
Cheryl Hand
Great read - I would've given it 5 stars if the main character Rachel hadn't gone through what she did towards the end. Don't want to give it away - love the Hasidic/Black Crown Heights stories - shame it's still going on today.
Recommend this book!
Interesting portrayal of a very sad history. A little unbelievable, but a good read, nevertheless.
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