Father-and-son bestselling novelists Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman—the latter a contributor to COMMENTARY, author of the hilarious memoir “Let My People Go to the Buffet”—have collaborated on one of the craziest, wildest, and most compelling works of popular fiction in years. It is certainly, if you will forgive the term, the Jew-iest. The Golem of Hollywood, just published, begins as a classic serial-killer book set in Prague—until the serial killer is suddenly dispatched in a supernatural way.
Then it morphs into a classic L.A. crime story (in the tradition of Jonathan’s immensely popular Alex Delaware series) with a depressed cop and a mystery woman and a bizarre murder in the Hills. Then it flashes back to…the Garden of Eden, where Cain and Abel are just starting to find themselves at cross purposes over a woman. The L.A. cop is a 31 year-old kid, an apostate of a kind both from the Orthodox Judaism in which he was raised and from the Harvard education he fled just before he was to receive his degree. The book cross-cuts between Genesis and Hollywood, with stops in 16th century Prague to visit the legendary wonder rabbi Judah Loew and elsewhere on the European continent.
Popular fiction is often so generic that you can’t remember what you read a day after you read it. The Golem of Hollywood is the very opposite of generic. It traverses genres, blasts them wide open, and moves on to explode yet another cliche. It’s a pretty remarkable thing, this Golem of Hollywood. Give it a go.