Of the book for me Just beautiful and enduring And private Seemingly no one else had the relationship with Farid no one valued him nor knew how smart and insightful committed and loyal he was What is unknown to most is that Arab Jewish or Gentile Jewish tight friendships like these have existed for centuries and still today So glad that was an element featured in the book The Strength of WeaknessMystics Are The Smart Alecks are the smart alecks the religious world always exhibiting some degree of ironic detachment from the average believer They re tolerated but generally everyone is annoyed by their aloof strangeness The main gripe comes from religious leaders Religious authority is exercised through two channels creedal attestation and conformity to ritual But mystics have as much regard for creeds as The Inuisition and the persecution of Jews are topics that always interested me so I was curious to read this book because it s focused precisely on them and it s set in ancient Portugal If you like historical fiction and to learn about historical events which are entangled in a fictional narrative you should probably give this novel a try I really enjoyed Zimler s writing style as well as his way of narrating and I sure want to read from him It s difficult for me to express ust how much I adored this book I picked it up intending
to read a couple chapters in the tub before going to bed early I ended reading until read a couple chapters in the tub before going to bed early I ended reading until water was cold and my room mates banged on the door When I finally finished I immediately wanted to reread it to get of the detailsreturnreturnIt s captivating and exciting making you want to devour the text in big gulps Putting this down is painful because you want to know The loose ends are not neatly tied up at the end of each chapter nor at the end which is wonderful I hate it when an author ties up the story with a neat little bowreturnreturnThe book operates on several levels It s a historical novel about Jews in Portugal anti semitism forced conversion reactions to the plague kabbalah and bonds of friendship and blood It also deals with the masks that people wear in varying social situations and losing yourself in those masks Jewish religious practice and the Kaballah are not surpisingly very important to how the mystery plays itself out Then there is the murder mystery friends and family lost and feared dead and stolen property I m making this sound ponderous but Zimler keeps all those balls in the air and doesn t ram his opinions down our throatreturnreturnThis novel isn t only for Jews or mystery fans It s a brilliant work of fiction that most anyone would love Buy a copy for yourself and a copy to give away The hero of this historical mystery is Berekiah Zarco a Portuguese secret Jew who is determined to find out who murdered his uncle even though Lisbon is teeming with maddened Christians determined to attack
anyone they suspect may be a JewThis was my favorite of they suspect may be a JewThis was my favorite of 54 books I read in 2011 for several reasons It takes place in fascinating time period about a century after the Spanish Reconuista when the Inuisition was wreaking terror in Spain and Portugal was in danger of being next Part of the book takes place in Istanbul a city I love Zimler writes beautifully The book is rich in period details that bring both Lisbon and Istanbul then Constantinople to life The plot is complex This is a book about relationships as much as it is a mystery novel The interactions between Berekiah and his Uncle Abraham between Berekiah and his best friend and between Berekiah and his extended family both moved the plot along and made one care about all the characters I enjoyed learning about kabbalism in the early 16th centuryThis is a book I plan to read again in part because the plot was so complex and in part ust to enjoy being with these characters again I recommend The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon to anyone who likes historical fiction or historical mysteries or who has an interest in the history of the Sephardic Jews. Kabbalist and manuscript illuminator discovered murdered in a hidden synagogue along with a young girl in dishabille Risking his life in streets seething with mayhem Berekiah tracks down answers among Christians New Christians Jews and the fellow kabbalists of his uncle whose secret language and codes by turns light and obscure the way to the truth he see. Sidekick which I wouldn t mind except that the other characters seem to find this completely unremarkable because being gay a modern construction in the early
1500 s in one of the most Catholic countries in the universe is perfectly normal At s in one of the most Catholic countries in the universe is perfectly normal At end the gay man even has a long term committed relationship and adopts two kids and nobody bats an eyelash It reminds me of this horrible novel some of my suitemates had to read our freshman year in college It was pretty clear the characters were designed to meet some sort of diversity uotaI only gave it three stars because I m so interested in the era in which the book is set This was not a book but a landscape the landscape of Portugal into which the Spanish Inuisition had spread The author gives us many details of the daily life of the New Christians the Jews forced to convert to Christianity and then shows in graphic detail how that life was shattered and the blood ran out What he doesn t give us are characters who make any sense I couldn t sympathize with the main characters or visualize the minor ones they all ran together The Muslim friend of the hero of the book is a magic token much like the magic Negro in a lot of American literature The prose is florid and overwrought while the mystery is half baked A Dickensian chapter at the end reveals what happens to all the characters in later life but since I didn t care for them in the main body of the story I had no interest in their further adventures I also "Believe That Some Of "that some of thoughts in the mind of the major character belong to our century not his and they are thoughts about Judaism from someone who thinks that belief or secularism are the only two options and mutually exclusive That s not how Judaism has been lived and certainly that is not the choice todayIt s disappointing that a book with a promising premise a kabbalist is murdered at home in a locked hiding place during anti Jewish riots in Lisbon and his nephew and heir has to figure out what happened without getting killed himself lost so much in the execution A fascinating story of the Jewish remnant hidden in Lisbon in plain sight Living as Catholic and holding to their own religion behind the facade and eventually fleeing or worse A beautifully written story laced with historical truth 1 NOV 2015 it s a re read 7 NOV 2015 this is a book to read slowly in order to savor the goodness It is still a 5 35 This book set in Portugal ust after the Inuisition where Jews New Christians were massacred the nephew of the famous Kabbalist Abraham is at the center of both a mystery and the race to save the lives of his remaining family neighbors and community while also saving a genezia full of books and torahs and other sacred writings largely done by members of his familyWhat is it about Geniziahs these days I swear to God this is like the fifth book I have read in the last six months which features a geniziah as its central character and plot twist And it sounds like the author wrote the novel out of actual pages from an actual person detailing his adventures leaving Portugal in 1506 as the Last Kabbalist in Lisbon The book was filled with violence and hatred and that was painful but also mysticism and mystical experiencing and the unveiling of all the characters of how they survived keeping pieces of their old identities alive as their very lives were at risk It was interesting painful and the whole mystical mystery and the saving of the sacred writings and illustrated works is at the center of the tale Just one detail to mention that for me makes the book and in no way destroys the plot Its the friendship Beri has with his deaf Arab friend Farid As children they played together and they had developed a sophisticated language of communication using sign and spelling totally that they had devised Watching the friends communicate in a deeply profound way and witnessing their precious friendship even in the most perilous of times was the absolute heart and soul. Jewish prayers and rituals in secret and at great risk; the hidden arcane practices of the kabbalists a mystical sect of Jews continued as wellOne such secret Jew was Berekiah Zarco an intelligent young manuscript illuminator Inflamed by love and revenge he searches in the crucible of the raging pogrom for the killer of his beloved uncle Abraham a renowned. .
Review í PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ó Richard Zimler.
Do you know what it means to look at a headless baby sitting in a shovel It is as if all the languages in the world have been forgotten as if all the books ever written have given up to dust And that you are glad for it In this extraordinary book Zimler takes us back to the beginning of the 16th century in Portugal a time of unspeakable cruelty against Jews for no reason but their faith making us live the bloody and horrific events along with Bereuias Zarco who being a new Christian witnesses first hand the terrible conseuences of that irrational hatred But The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is even than that report about the cruelty humans are capable of It is a story about loss pain revenge and faith all of them so well conjugated with the plot that I couldn t help feeling like I was there too I was there when Bereuias found the dead body of his beloved uncle the reason why everything started and felt his loss and pain I was there when inside him started to burn a desire of revenge a need stronger than anything else to find the assassin and kill him I was there when the Jews were mourning the loss of so many loved ones burned alive by the old Christians I was there when Bereuias realized that there are things his faith can t survive that he was losing his faith in God I was there during the whole time he was investigating the murder unconvering secrets his uncle kept from him while dealing with everything else I was there when he finally found the killer felt his rage his pain his loss And along with such an amazing well built plot comes also realistic and extremelly well created characters Bereuias our clever protagonist who found in himself the strenght to go after an assassin while dealing with his inner demons his own grief and his pain that were making him doubt everything even his faith and allowing an intense hatred towards the old Christians to grow inside him an undeniable proof of what irrational hatred can receive in return Farid a deaf mute Muslin who was Bereuias best friend and help while solving the case gifted with
eye for detail and an unwavering faith o Carlos and Diego friends of Bereuias uncle and living proofs of what fear is capable of However a book like this isn t the type of book anyone can read References to the Judaist tradition and philosofic conversations can be found almost every page making the reading even harder than it had necessarily to be considering the theme The little and sudden appeareances of the supernatural out of nowhere in a book that seems such an awfully realist report of human crueltyan eye for detail and an unwavering faith
are also a negative point as it broke my whole mood while readingalso a negative point as it broke my whole mood while reading me feel confused But overall this book is good The way Zimler is capable of picturing all that unreasonable violence all that hatred and its devasting conseuences the struggles to keep faith alive when you can t help but wonder how God could allow something like that happen the fear that makes people capable of the most awful actions the pain of losing the loved ones under such terrible cirscunstaces at the same time that develops a mystery plot is surely extraordinary and proof of his talent Therefore I would recommed it to any reader who is fan of Historical Fiction stories Blesssd are all of God s self portraits You can also find this review on my blog I ve seen this book praised for its historical detail but I found it grating because it imposed a lot of modern sensibilities on the past It proposes itself as a translation of a period manuscript but it captures nothing of the writing style of the era and asks us to suspend our disbelief that a 16th century Portuguese Jew would have written a thoroughly modern novel complete with sexual references I ve read medieval texts and while they talk about sex sometimes in a ribald way they don t how can I put this focus on it the way we moderns do For medievals sex is a plot element not a scene or character developmentAnother modernity the protagonist has a deaf gay. The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon an international bestseller is an extraordinary novel that transports listeners into the universe of Jewish Kabbalah during the Lisbon massacre of April 1506 Just a few years earlier Jews living in Portugal were dragged to the baptismal font and forced to convert to Christianity Many of these New Christians persevered in their.