Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Kaminsky Cure by Christopher New (2016, published by Open Road Media)

The Kaminsky Cure by Christopher New tells the story of the effort of a Jewish woman  married to a non-Jewish man to protect their children from falling victim to the final solution of the Nazis.  The work is set during War War Two in German controlled Austria.  

The family's  youngest son, just five and a half, narrates the story. We see things from his point of view.   His innocence and naivety gives his words freshness and verisimilitude.  He has not yet learned how to prevaricate, he has not learned to distrust adults, to understand the terribly evil he and his family are threatened with every day.  

The father has an admiration for Hitler but he also loves and wants to protect his family.  His wife converts to Catholicism, hoping this will protect her.  Occasionally her husband will lash out her verbally.  From a tutor the wife hired when the children are banned from public schools for being half-Jewish tells the wife that when ever she feels rage building up in her which might cause her to say something she cannot take back she should drink a glass of water and hold it in her mouth until the rage passes.  The tutor is Fraulein Kaminsky so this method is called "The Kaminsky Cure".

The action is fast moving and well plotted with lots of interesting twists and turns.  At times the action gets dangerously close to bringing the family to run.  There are comic elements, albeit dark ones, in the narrative.  The prose is very elegant.  The characters are all well done with nuances of depth in their development.

Christopher New

Author of a number of highly praised novels set in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Christopher New was born in England and educated at Oxford and Princeton Universities. Formerly Head of the Philosophy Department at Hong Kong University, he is also the author of The Philosophy of Literatureand numerous philosophical articles.  From

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