Название:The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
Richard Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is not a particularly religious novel, but it uses religion to great dramatic effect. Although its story takes place during the 16th- century slaughter of Jews in Portugal, and its main characters are Jewish mystics, Zimler is less interested in describing their spiritual lives than in plotting a fantastic murder mystery. The book purports to be a modern translation of a medieval manuscript telling the story of the murder of a great kabbalist in Lisbon named Abraham. Occasionally, the story invokes a bit of kabbalist wisdom that is every bit as luminous as the ancient texts that inspired this novel: "Books are created from holy letters," one character says. "Just as angels are, according to some. Viewed from this perspective--through a window of Kabbalah, if you like--an angel is nothing but a book given heavenly form." Such moments are too rare for the book to be very perceptive about the tradition to which its title alludes, but nevertheless, it's an absorbing and genuinely suspenseful story. -- Michael Joseph Gross
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