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Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  5,078 ratings  ·  889 reviews
At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum, his wife Sadie, and their baby daughter escape Berlin, bound for London. They are greeted with a pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like "the English." Jack acquires Saville Row suits and a Jaguar. He buys his marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and learns to list the entire British monarchy back to 913 A.D. He never speaks ...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published June 21st 2010 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  5,078 ratings  ·  889 reviews

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Jul 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dale Harcombe
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars.
German born Jack Rosenblum escapes Berlin with his wife and ends up in London. Using the welcome pamphlet provided to immigrants, Jack (originally Jacob) sets about modelling himself on the English gentleman. Business wise he becomes successful with a thriving carpet manufacturing factory. He manages many transformations but one eludes him His aim is to join a golf club but as a German Jew he is repeatedly rejected. He resolves to build his own golf course. His wife Sadie i
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Banafsheh Serov
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Kate Quinn
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction, in-en
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
This wasn’t what I was expecting. I had anticipated a story of how Jack and Sadie Rosenblum assimilated into their lives in Britain after escaping from Nazi Germany just before WWII - what they struggled with and whether they were enjoying their new life. What I got instead, was a golf-course-making manual. Because Jack was making a list of what constituted a proper English gentleman (one point of which was playing golf), when Jack was unable to join the established golf clubs, he decided to mak ...more
JG (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
Paula Margulies
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
This one is plagued by inconsistent writing and lethargic - almost stagnant - pacing. And even worse, for me, Mr. Rosenblum is a dull and unlikable character.

Natasha Solomons presented a story about Mr Jack Rosenblum, who brings his family to England from Germany just before WWII. Jack wants to fully assimilate. He wants to be English, rather than an immigrant. He was given a pamphlet entitled “Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for Every Refugee” and he is following it -- every tiny deta
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
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.
Loes Dissel
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
" 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". " ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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
May 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As so often happens, I find through no planning on my part that I read succeeding books similar or in the same location. This book is the second I've read lately that deals with the protagonist's love of England. They are very different in tone and in depth. Jack Rosenblum and his wife, Sadie, are German Jewish exiles during WWII. Jack does everything he can to become a perfect English gentleman, but Sadie is lonely for her homeland and her family, whom we understand were not fortunate enough to ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Being a foreigner in London, I could understand his feelings. Definitely worth reading it
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
More than a 3, but I get worried about giving too many 4's. I do enjoy a certain type of amusing, quaint, sentimental English novel. They are sweet and always make a nice break from other things I might be reading. They are also full of things uniquely British, which is entertaining. ...more
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Natasha Solomons is a writer and the New York Times bestselling author of The Gallery of Vanished Husbands, The House at Tyneford, and Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English. She lives in Dorset England, with her husband, the writer David Solomons, and their two young children. Song of Hartgrove Hall is her fourth novel.

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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.” 4 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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