Forgiving Maximo Rothman

Forgiving Maximo Rothman

by A. J. Sidransky


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On a chilly autumn night in New York, the lives of two men born decades and continents apart collide when Max Redmond is found bludgeoned in his Washington Heights apartment. While investigating the crime, Detective Tolya Kurchenko comes across the dead man's diaries, written by Redmond over four decades. He hopes the diaries will lead him to the killer. In fact, they help him sort out the complexities of his own identity.

Spanning 65 years and three continents - from Hitler's Europe to the decaying Soviet Empire of the 1970s, and revealing the little-known history of Sosúa, a Jewish settlement in the jungles of the Dominican Republic - A. J. Sidransky's debut novel leads us into worlds long gone, and the lives of people still touched by those memories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988954007
Publisher: Berwick Court Publishing Co
Publication date: 03/15/2013
Pages: 316
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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Forgiving Maximo Rothman 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Forgiving Maximo Rothman jumps straight into scenes of clashing cultures on the streets of New York. A Jewish son can’t accept a ride to the hospital when he hears his father’s been attacked, because it’s a holy day. A Jewish cop can’t accept an attitude that places faith before family. And a Jewish young man may never fit in because his mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. Add Spanish-speaking locals, surely not to be trusted. Reflect the clash of cultures in everyday relationships. Follow a journey across lands, dreams and history. Then you’ll have a picture of this wonderful book where each voice rings true, each attitude is built on genuine depths of feeling, and each pain and blame has its reasons in the past. While a son (or more than one son) may need to forgive his father, the mystery in this tale is the question of who would have wounded old Maximo Rothman. The novel crosses lands and cultures, bringing Russian and German Jews together, and revealing the hurts of both histories. It’s a tale of fathers and sons, paternal dreams and filial longing for acceptance. The wisdom of the old combines with the innocence of youth, and authority in its many curious guises reigns over all. Forgiving Maximo Rothman is beautifully presented, with Maximo’s diaries neatly threaded into the tale, and unobtrusive footnotes explaining terms that may be foreign to readers. Dialog rings true, authentically rendered with just enough translation to keep it clear. Scenery is gorgeously evocative, from Russia’s Siberia, to Sosua in the Dominican Republic, to the streets of Washington Heights. Characters are pleasingly deep and believable. Tragedy feels real. And history and geography come to life. It’s a beautiful book, with a wonderful message for a world where life may indeed be too short for the pain of unforgiveness. Disclosure: I was given a free copy during the author’s blog tour and I’m just sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
This novel is both a mystery and an historical account of the plight of European and Russian Jews from the time before and during World War II to the present and the consequences of their experiences. It revolves around the life of Max Rothman, who is found dead on his bathroom floor in Washington Heights, New York City, and the effect his life and death has on various persons. Max and his wife managed to escape to the Dominican Republic with a group of Jewish refugees when the dictator Trujillo allowed a settlement on the northern coast of the island in 1939. There, Max found some measure of contentment, even ‘going native,’ learning the language and mixing with the locals. After the war, his brother found a way to bring Max and his wife to New York. Later, his son Steven became ultra-orthodox while Max had already lost his faith after losing his first son as a stillborn, his twin brother and sister-in-law in the Holocaust, and other major sufferings. The murder investigation falls to a pair of detectives, one of whom, Tolya Hurchenko, a half-Jewish Russian émigré, has his own problems with familial relationships and religion. The novel begins slowly as it establishes the necessary background, but picks up steam as it progresses. The story is told through a series of diary entries written by Max over the decades in three languages, and by flashbacks into Tolya’s life in the Soviet Union and his interaction with his father, a brilliant mathematician. Some readers may find it difficult to follow the many deep religious references and words which play an essential part in the telling, although numerous footnotes provide more than adequate translations. (The novel’s sequel is due out in 2015.) Recommended.
IEB More than 1 year ago
I thought that the story lacked literary style. I was not drawn in by its plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Berwick Court Publishing Company in exchange for a fair and honest review.   Seriously, I love when a book comes to me autographed AND personalized!   Forgiving Maximo Rothman by AJ Sidransky is a novel about an elderly man named Max Redmond, found murdered in his apartment.  His very religious son, Shalom and his family (wife Rachel and mentally disabled son Baruch) seem to care more about Judaism than the death of Max.   On the other hand, Detective Tolya Kurchenko delves into another aspect of the story when he finds old journals that Max had written about his experience escaping to the Dominican Republic from the threat of a Hitler's Europe.   Max's diaries describe his life and appreciation of the Dominican language and people, and through them the Detective learns a little more about his own life and appreciations. Forgiving Maximo Rothman is a story about a murder, but also about family. . . mainly relationships between fathers and sons.   Which brings me to one of my favorite things about this book: the acknowledgments at the beginning.  Why did I read these acknowledgements?  I have no idea.  I normally skip over that section in every single book.  But in this one, AJ Sidransky discussed a father and son that he has never met, who helped to inspire him.  The author would see the religious man and his son, who has Downs Syndrome, and can tell from afar that this man is an outstanding father.  Sidransky says, "To this man, I say thank you. You made me a better father."  I just loved that!  It was such a great introduction to this story!  Do you have a story of something that has made you strive to be a better person?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago