The July 3rd issue of The New York Times Book Review gave a full page rave for The Frozen Rabbi:
“Tradition is too modest a word for the extraordinary story behind the icebound rabbi’s journey, across several countries and a century of time … The adventure, recounted by Stern with manic virtuosity, starts in a small Polish village, where Rabbi Eliezer is so blissed out during a pond-side meditation that he doesn’t notice a storm lifting the waters around him. In one of the effortless liberties the master fabulist Stern takes with reality, the rabbi survives underwater until winter comes and he’s encased in ice. This all happens before page 7, testament to how rapidly this book chews through plot, characters, decades and continents. The voracious pace lets Stern spill a hundred years of vivid Jewish history onto the page. But it doesn’t keep him from revealing, with depth and subtlety, the yearning and agony of all the characters who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have their fates lashed to that of the frozen rabbi … Stern’s intimacy with Jewish mysticism does not seem to come from Internet research. He writes with piercing zeal about religious concepts that are, by their very definition, impossible to describe—impossible, perhaps, even to understand … Yet Stern brings the esoteric ideas handily to life and lodges them, often hilariously, in the unlikely body of Bernie Karp, holy teenager of Memphis … Along with the difficult questions of just what is lost when assimilation is gained, Stern also raises the hope that even the most unwitting among us cannot fully escape the passions of our ancestors.”
Read the rest of Ben Marcus’s review HERE.
No surprise, but this best-selling novel clocked in at #4 on the Most Wanted list of “The Year’s Page-Turners.” Check out the other “Most Wanted” books, as well as TV shows, films, albums, and magazines HERE.