Blue by Benjamin Zucker

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Synopsis

A stunningly original first novel--modeled after the Talmud--in which the central story is surrounded by the voices and images of numerous characters, real and imagined.

Blue is the story of Abraham Tal, a diamond merchant in New York City who spends his days counseling friends and neighbors in what has come to be referred to as his "advice shop." It is here that his real passion lies, for Abraham is a commentator--a man who prefers to sit back and discuss the finer points of life rather than to go out and live.

In this kaleidoscopic novel the great irony is that Abraham's story itself is, page by page, surrounded by the stories of others. Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Bob Dylan, Elie Wiesel, Chief Crazy Horse, various Jewish Mystics and Rebbes, Vermeer, Kierkegaard, Abraham's mother, his father, his girlfriend--all are allowed their commentaries, often in the form of parallel stories from their own lives. Each page of text is also accompanied by a piece of art--a color photo, a painting or an illustration--that further comments upon the story. The result is a novel that can be read over and over again, in a seemingly endless variety of ways. Like Perec's Life: A User's Manual or Breton's Nadja, Blue makes a claim to enlarge the boundaries of literature.
 

About Benjamin Zucker

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Benjamin Zucker, a New York gem merchant, was born on the French Riviera, educated at Yale and Harvard Law School, and followed his grandfather and father into the family business. He travels regularly to the gem capitals of the world purchasing precious stones. He has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History.
 
Published October 2, 2001 by Overlook Books. 248 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Before that, though, Abraham smartly advises Dosha, a local painter, on how to win in marriage her Yalie boyfriend, Fisher, an aspiring author hoping to write The Great American Novel.

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Publishers Weekly

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An imaginative, unusual layout inflates Zucker's novel into a true novelty as well as a detailed, heartfelt love story. Modeling his book on the Talmud, Zucker places a brief chapter of the tale in th

Jun 26 2000 | Read Full Review of Blue

Publishers Weekly

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An imaginative, unusual layout inflates Zucker's novel into a true novelty as well as a detailed, heartfelt love story.

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