Book Review

The Wrong Heaven

I’ve had this book recommended to me:

“A Heaven of Others,” Joshua Cohen’s fourth book of fiction, is an Israeli boy’s account of the wrong heaven — the Muslim heaven of his murderer, a young Palestinian suicide bomber. Mistakenly transported to an afterlife of oases, obliging virgins and ravenous serpents that dwell in valleys of nails, 10-year-old Jonathan Schwarzstein narrates his attempted pilgrimage to the heaven of his own people, even while leading the reader through memories of his life on earth, with “Aba” and “the Queen” in their home on Tchernichovsky Street, Jerusalem. Full of holiness and profanity, “A Heaven of Others” (Starcherone Books, $16) is a story of an individual in the modern world, and beyond — a victim both trapped and free in his eternal victimhood.

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