Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
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Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  2,856 ratings  ·  591 reviews
«Absolut charmant und sehr witzig.» Paul Torday, Autor von «Lachsfischen im Jemen» In dem Moment, als Jack Rosenblum 1937 in Harwich von Bord geht, fasst er einen Entschluss: Als deutscher Jude, der mit seiner Frau aus Berlin fliehen konnte, möchte er so schnell wie möglich ein echter Engländer werden. Und so erstellt er eine Liste: einen leicht verständlichen Führer durch...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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Amanda
Nice premise but very turgid prose made this a boring book with which I found hard to maintain interest. I cant even explain to myself why I persevered with it when every time I thought of it or picked it up I was filled with irritation. As soon as I completed it I put it in the garbage. I never do that but I couldn't in good conscience donate it to a library sale or goodwill store. I read a rumour that this will soon be a movie, funnily enough this story may be better suited for a movie format...more
Miriam
This is a book that I think many will be talking about this year. It's a lovely, touching and extremely engaging novel about a German attempting to assimilate into British culture after the War and his quest to build a golf course. Really great writing, a compelling plot that breaks your heart but also elates it at every turn.
Banafsheh Serov
Jack and Sadie Rosenblum escape Hitler's Germany and land on the shores of England knowing know one, with very little money and heartsick at having left their loved ones behind. Desperate to regain a sense of belonging Jack immerses himself in becoming a proper English Gentleman, much to his wife's irritation. He follows the guidelines on manners, customs and habits of his new home as set out in the 'helpful list' for immigrants. Overtime he adds to the list his own observations, until he reache...more
Felice
Everyone has their favorite place to read about. The place you secretly wish to live or at least vacation several times a year. As much as I am drawn to stories set in Asia thanks to early exposure to master storyteller James Clavell, novels set in England are still my pets. Thank you Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, George Eliott, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor. England is one of those key words like: historical, colonial and Hilary Mantel that will make me inte...more
Debbi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Quinn
What a wonderful treat this book is: sparkling wit, crystalline prose, characters full of courage and sympathy. The middle-aged Jack Rosenblum is a German Jew who escaped Nazi Germany by moving his family to England - and for twenty years, Jack has devoted himself to becoming the perfect English gentleman. He has the tweed suits from Harrods, the prosperous company job, the pipe and the Jaguar, but one thing eludes him: membership to a golf club. When every good golf club rejects Jack (no Jews a...more
K
Jun 11, 2011 K rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K by: Hadassa
Talk about uneven pacing. Check this out:

1st 40 pages: Jack Rosenblum, a pre-WWII Jewish refugee from Germany, arrives with his wife and infant in England determined to be an Englishman. He strikes it rich almost instantly and makes it in every possible way except for being admitted to a golf club. He finally decides to build his own. Twenty years pass.

Next 210 pages: Jack moves to the countryside and builds the golf course, weathering an endless set of setbacks, only to experience a final blow...more
Rick
This seems like just a quirky book about a stubbornly determined but highly insecure man who is seeking acceptance into a world he can never be part of, but. . .it is really much more than that.

In this short book, we find so many universal themes and truths:

-- the search for acceptance from those who will never give it
-- the very different ways in which immigrants with similar backgrounds approach life in their adoptive countries
-- the value of perseverance
-- the upside and downside of pursuing...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Jack Rosenblum and his young family were some of the fortunate Jews who escaped Berlin before WWII started. When they disembarked in Great Britain, they were given a pamphlet entitled While you are in England: Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for every Refugee. Mr. Rosenblum becomes obsessed with the idea of living his life according to these rules and becoming a perfect English gentleman. As time goes by, he realizes that the list is incomplete. He begins to add to it and to cross item...more
Lavinia
Many years ago I read (or was told, cannot remember exactly) that if you emigrate to USA you can be an American sooner or later, while if you emigrate to England you can never be an Englishman.
Now, trying to save himself and his family, Mr. Rosenblum flees Berlin right before WWII and goes straight to London, to start a new life. But he doesn't just want to live there, he wants to be a proper gentleman. (He obviously hadn't read the thing I had). Therefore, he has a list of things to do in orde...more
Sally
I found this completely unreadable - the writing was all over the place; there was no structure; the characters were flat. I struggled trhough about three chapters and gave up - something I rarely do.
Abigail
Eh. I almost gave up on this and I can't say that I am particularly glad that I didn't. While it had some cute, poignant moments and some valuable insights into cross-cultural adaptation, belonging, acceptance, and identity, it was also verrrry slow moving and the cheesiness and mystical/folklore element took away from the historical context. The end was predictable, but at the same time I kept waiting for some kind of twist or lesson or something that never came. I couldn't help thinking it wou...more
Tilly
At times whilst reading this book I couldn't decide whether I loved it or hated it! I definatley enjoyed the people in it and found the subtleties of Jacks character, such as his self-critisicm whenever he did something he deemed un-English, to be very entertaining and endearing.
Curtis too was excellently portrayed by the author in a way which forced the reader to love him and although sadie was a little too downtrodden sometimes, we are able to sympathize thanks to the background solomons has s...more
Sarah
I might come back to this one, because I'm hoping my lack of excitement for it stems from my overabundance of excitement for re-reading the Hunger Games series in anticipation of next week's Mockingjay release. Besides, look at that beautiful cover! Gorgeous -- logically it means it's a great book, right? Right? Hm.
Paula Margulies
I loved this book -- utterly charming and well-written. There were a few POV shifts here and there, but in this novel, they were forgivable. At times the story reminded me of a fairy tale; at one point, the main character, Jack Rosenblum, and his wife, Sadie, fall asleep in a field of bluebells and wake up to a rainfall, like children in a Brothers Grimm story. I loved that Jack really yearned for something -- to be English, to be a member of a golf club, and finally, when he can't find the acce...more
Sandie
From the day in 1937 that he and his wife and infant daughter left their German homeland and relocated to London, Jack Rosenblum has been trying to leave the remnants of his own culture behind and "become English" much to the chagrin of his wife who he drags along into his assimilation pipedream while she longs only for the old days and old ways.

Once you get past the first 35 to 40 pages chances are very likely that you will find MR. ROSENBLUM DREAMS IN ENGLISH to be one of the most engaging bo...more
Catherine
The original UK title for this book, Mr Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman, is so much better. I don't know why the publisher felt the need to change it.

Jakob "Jack" Rosenblum, his wife, and their infant daughter seek asylum in England just before World War II. Unfortunately, they find themselves treated poorly because of both their German accents and their Jewish surname. (I didn't realize that England "detained" citizens of German ancestry during WWII, much like...more
Meagan
This book caught me off guard. I don't think everyone will love it the way I did, but there are qualities within these pages to please most everyone.
It starts off with a quirky tone which lasts throughout the whole book but underneath there are deep undertones of grief, love and survival. I laughed and cried and found found myself criticizing characters only to analyze them a little more and feel as if I understood them to their very core.
It is a post WWII story about human nature hidden withi...more
Sandra
I'm torn. Was this a two star or a three star book? On one hand, I had a hard time getting into it. On the other hand, once I did, I couldn't put it down.

Jack and Sadie Rosenblum immigrate to England from Berlin during WWII and then settle into an outsider's life. Jack tries everything he can do to become the proper Englishman, but to no avail. He will always be known as the Jew. He crafts a neverending list of things proper Englishmen do and tries to do them to the best of his ability. The fina...more
Camilla
Only finished one third. The same point repeated over and over: you can't assimilate by doing homework; there is no ONE national identity. It's farsical and the (anti)hero is so annoying, I caught myself hoping his wife woyld bump him off. If there are unexpected and surprising developements around the corner, please let me know and I,ll finish the book and, perhaps, change my rating.
Rosario (http://rosario.blogspot.com/)
Being an immigrant, I'm always on the lookout for stories that might reflect my experience in some way. Most of the ones set in the present-day, though, seem to be about the difficulties and the culture clashes and present immigration as a sort of necessary evil. This has not been my experience at all, and so while I do find these accounts valuable and interesting, I don't particularly identify with them. Me, I actually like England. I could go back and have a perfectly good life back in Uruguay...more
Erin
I find the Holocaust to be a fascinating time in history and usually like books set in this time frame. Usually. This is the story of a German jew and his family that settle in England to escape the horrors that are sure to come. In many ways I connected more with his wife. Mr. Rosenblum wants to be considered completely British and does everything to be thought of as British. The story really dragged in the middle and I had to force myself to finish. This novel did not live up to its reviews.
Lisa
I love England, but man, this guy is obsessed! Jack Rosenblum flees Germany with his family at the start of WWII and wants nothing more than to become English. But he loses sight of everything else. Interesting premise, no? Problem is, I just didn't like Jack. Or the book. I couldn't get into it. The plot didn't flow smoothly and felt tedious. Now I'm off to bed, where I'm going to have pleasant dreams in English, but not about being English, like Jack. Good riddance, and Cheerio!
Abby
i didn't finish this book. i got about 1/3 of the way in and i was so bored and uninterested in the characters that i had to stop. i never do that. i appreciated the little details of english rural life, but felt irritated by everything and everyone else. weird.
Margery
Whimsical, comical, pathetic struggle of a German immigrant to become a proper English gentleman. It was a send up of the British class that thinks so much of itself but it was too-too too silly to be believable or enjoyable.
Amy
I love the premise of the book and the beginning. After the first 100 pages the author becomes extremely verbose and it was hard to get through. It also become a bit cheesy, especially at the end.
Jennifer
Nice story. Reminded me of the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. I would have preferred a little less golf and bit more romance.
C.S. Boag
It is terrifying that a book like this can become a no.1 bestseller. But is understandable when you realise that Kellogg's Cornflakes outsells all competition in the way of breakfast cereals.
This is a truly light weight jaunt in the country. It is down there with "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" complete with poor attempts to capture accents.
The book provides its own metaphor, the blasted molehills. This is a mountain made of a mole hill.The only humour in it the odd snigger, there is little art...more
Susan
Natasha Solomons' first novel, drawn from the experiences of her grandparents, recounts in an elegiac tone replete with bird song, the making of a British Hyman Kaplan who arrives in London in 1937 with his wife and baby daughter. After optimistic Jack Rosenblum overcomes all his disadvantages, lack of education, lack of money, short stature, Jewishness, and German background, to become one of three major manufacturers of carpets in the UK, his mind naturally turns to golf. Rejected by 100 Engli...more
Lorri
I like to read novels that inspire, that are filled with beautiful prose and have a story line that captures me from the beginning straight through to the end. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons, is such a novel.

From the first page to the last, I was enthralled with the story of Jack Rosenblum, and his wife Sadie. They manage to flee Nazi Germany just before World War II with their young daughter, Elizabeth, and emigrate to England. Once they arrive there, they are given a pamp...more
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Hopeful Wanderers: Mr. Rosenblum 3 4 Jul 15, 2013 04:44PM  
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Natasha Solomons is a writer who lives with her husband in rural Dorset. Her first novel, Mr Rosenblum's List or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman (titled in the US Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English) was published in 2010. According to her website, she is currently trying to finish a PhD on eighteenth-century poetry.
More about Natasha Solomons...
The House at Tyneford The Gallery of Vanished Husbands Reader's Digest Select Editions 2010 - The Chosen One, Mr Rosenblum's List, Nowhere To Run, Safe Haven

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“He liked the English and their peculiarities. He liked their stoicism under pressure; on the wall in his factory he kept a copy of a war poster emblazoned with the Crown of King George and underneath the words “Keep Calm and Carry On.” 3 likes
“It was much better to share it with him; if he was a madman then at least they were crazy together.” 0 likes
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