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The Sea Beach Line

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Set in post-Giuliani New York City, The Sea Beach Line melds mid-20th- century pulp fiction and traditional Jewish folklore as it updates the classic story of a young man trying to find his place in the world.

After being expelled from Oberlin for hallucinogenic drug use, Izzy Edel seeks out his estranged father—a Polish Jew turned Israeli soldier turned New York street ven
Paperback, 385 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Fig Tree Books (first published September 8th 2015)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  55 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the book, "Room", by Emma Donaghue, a mother and her son are living in a
storage unit...('not' by choice).

In "The Sea Beach Line", a couple moves into a storage unit together....('by' choice).
They are surrounded by books. Izzy and Rayna commiserate with each other with the endless supply of books - telling each other stories. They are both searching for a deeper sense of purpose and identity ... and the stories they choose to tell each other,
support their inquiry and comfort each other.

Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
They say you “can’t go home again.” Actually, you can. As a former Brooklynite of Jewish descent, I felt as if I were time-traveling back to the “old neighborhood” within the pages of Ben Nadler’s The Sea Beach Line. Mr. Nadler knows Brooklyn well – Borough Park, the D train, the old walk-ups, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach – and he brings the borough (and later, downtown New York) to life.

At the core of this byzantine plot – narrated by Izzy Edel, who learns via postcard that hi
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved The Sea Beach Line!

After he gets kicked out of college for selling drugs, Izzy Edel must pull himself out of the hallucinogenic fantasy wold he was living in and try to exist in the real world. He briefly spends time with his mother and stepfather in New Mexico until he receives news of his father's death. Izzy travels to New York City to uncover the mystery of his estranged father's life. Not willing to believe that his father is dead, Izzy adopts the life his father was livi
Kasa Cotugno
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, loc-usa-nyc
This book succeeds on many levels. At times a mystery, family drama, high comedy, romance, it incorporates themes of survival, coming of age, and never loses focus or interest. Izzy is thrown out of college, makes his way to New York to try and reconnect with his long lost father, and finds himself among the outdoor book vendors of Greenwich Village. Each situation rings true, from the yuppie financial world of his successful sister to the pushcart world of lower Manhattan. Izzy also is coming t ...more
Erika Dreifus
Now it can be told! I read this remarkable book in manuscript--I am part of the team at Fig Tree Books that will be publishing it in October.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the book for book lovers (and as a book lover, I was lucky enough to win a pre-pub copy). When Izzy Edel, the college dropout narrator (and slightly observant Jew), moves from his mother's home in New Mexico to New York to search for his long-estranged father (who is missing, perhaps dead), he inserts himself into his father's life selling books from a cart in Greenwich Village. Izzy sleeps among the books in his father's storage unit, and he searches for clues to his father's whereabout ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
Stacey D.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Incredible read. I can't say enough about this fascinating story that combines the best of New York City, Brooklyn, Jewish mysticism, and a young man's search to find his father. Author Nadler's writing style is clean and rough at the same time, with tinges of a Russian/Middle East immigrant Mafioso-like toughness. The intense plot keeps you engrossed from start to finish, peppered with art, as well as stories and parables from the Torah and the Talmud. You're taken on a tour of New York City, C ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
The Jewish Book Council
Review by Juli Berwald for the Jewish Book Council. ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This thrift store find was a well written novel which never lived up to the 'thriller' description offered by a reviewer. It could be defined more as a coming of age novel, as a young adult attempts to find his missing father and assumes his abandoned work as a street vendor. There is enough plot action to keep up interest.

The central character, Isaac, narrates and he is a likable protagonist. The book is full of Jewish cultural and historical references. Other characters, the New York City sett
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this - part NYC noir, part love story with Old Testament parables mixed in, part post-college adulthood novel. Really compelling throughout, with solid characters and a steady plot despite the enjoyable digressions. Also, Ben, I'm still pretty sure I bought books from you during the years you were on West 4th.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-read-books
I won this book as a First Reads Book. I tried to find interest in this book, however, I had a great deal of difficulty doing so. The story line felt fractured and (for me) hard to follow. I guess this book was not written for me. Sorry.
Lee Parker
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book for free through GoodReads First Reads

I just could not get into this book at all. I didn't connect with the characters or the story. It was well written, just not for me I guess.
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars.
Andrew Worthington
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful tale of Rudolph-era NYC...

Interview I did with the author:
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