Moving Kings by Joshua Cohen
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews

...but like its fluid biblical analogies the novel defies any one definitive allegory. Moving Kings is an accessible introduction to Cohen’s longer fiction that rewards rereading.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from Joshua Cohen, “a major American writer” (The New York Times)

One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a powerful and provocative novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.

The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King’s Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the tri-state area’s moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it’s not easy to move beyond their traumatic pasts when their days are spent kicking down doors as eviction-movers in the ungentrified corners of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, throwing out delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job—an “Occupation”—quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.

Praise for Moving Kings

“A Jewish Sopranos . . . burly with particularities and vibrant with voice . . . utterly engrossing, full of passionate sympathy . . . Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious in American fiction today. . . . His sentences are all-season journeyers, able to do everything everywhere at once.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

“Brilliant. . . . It feels master-planned to slowly unsettle your convictions, as the best novels do. . . . Cohen has a brain-on-fire intellect and a Balzac-grade enthusiasm for understanding varieties of experience.”—Los Angeles Times

“A swift-moving highbrow comic adventure.”—Vulture

“A svelte comic triumph that concentrates [Cohen’s] genius . . . a fantastically agile style . . . Cohen explores themes of power and Jewish identity with the same insight that has justly attracted praise from some of the country’s most sophisticated writers.”—The Washington Post
 

About Joshua Cohen

See more books from this Author
Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in New Jersey. He is the author of five books, including A Heaven of Others and Witz. His nonfiction has appeared in Bookforum, The Forward, Harper's and other publications. He lives in New York City.
 
Published July 11, 2017 by Random House. 257 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Moving Kings
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 18 2017

He touches on two wars and two combat zones (counting brief allusions to Afghanistan). He is funny and caustic and has a marvelous snap in his dialogue.

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by David Cooper on Jul 10 2017

...but like its fluid biblical analogies the novel defies any one definitive allegory. Moving Kings is an accessible introduction to Cohen’s longer fiction that rewards rereading.

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by ZACHARY LAZAR on Aug 11 2017

I see this schematic, but Cohen’s book has no capacity for real outrage, sorrow or grief. In this way, like its antihero David, it’s a victim of its own safe distance.

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Mark Athitakis on Jul 06 2017

If any contemporary novelist is primed to write with such breadth and command, it’s Cohen, who’s best known for a pair of hypermaximalist novels...

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Ian Sansom on Sep 09 2017

It’s all rather subtle and intelligent and compelling – and quite brilliantly composed, every page wriggling with little riffs and sallies...

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Sep 03 2017

This is an astute and often penetrating look at a divided world, lightened with sympathy for all its flawed protagonists.

Read Full Review of Moving Kings: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Moving Kings
65%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 27 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×