Reviews for Lawgiver

Library Journal Reviews 2013 March #2

Wouk's brief 2012 epistolary novel, in which he and his wife are characters, is a mashup of Hollywood life, the writing game, Judaism, and the screwy machinations of everyday existence. The plot concerns the impossibility of Wouk's capturing the immensity of Moses's life in a novel while a rabbi's twentysomething daughter, who has rejected her religion to make art films, nails it perfectly in a screenplay. Along with the hurdles of constructing an epic film and book, this title includes ruminations on love, marriage, and the oil business. The narrative unfurls through emails, letters, texts, faxes, phone calls, etc. Narrators Peter Riegert and Zosia Mamet enliven the text, but repeated readings of addresses down to the zip codes (items you'd skip in print) quickly get monotonous, and the frequent use of characters' initials often makes it hard to identify the speaker. Although the dialog is superb, the plot is thin. The characters and story also are so rooted in Judaism that listeners outside that faith may be perplexed. VERDICT While charming, this title is a lesser work by a literary master. ["May Wouk have other tales in him and live to be 120," read the starred review of the S. & S. hc, LJ 11/1/12.--Ed.]--Mike Rogers, Library Journal

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