Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mr. Rosenblum's List

This is a post from my Goodreads Bookshelf.

Mr Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring EnglishmanMr Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman by Natasha Solomons

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It has taken so much longer than it needed, to finish this book. It was a very painful ordeal, during which I gave up several times. I finally forced myself to finish so I would know that something good happened to this poor man. He was mistreated and abused by his family and the people in the newly adopted country where he and his family sought refuge from the persecution of German Jews. He was misunderstood and mistreated by his wife. His daughter was an overindulged, spoiled brat, who did come through eventually, naturally.

A solid 7/8ths of this book, if not more, is misery applied liberally on top of sadness and despair. I finally managed to finish by skipping large portions of meanness and abuse.

In the end {and by end, I mean the VERY end}, there was a little upswing, but talk about "too little too late"! The author found it necessary to finally break what seemed to be the indomitable spirit of the main character, Jack, before she tossed him a crumb. I think the attempt was to feel like real life, but in reality, it was just plain painful to read. I don't know how many nights I closed the book before it could get worse.

I think there is a premise here for the wonderful, cheerful, uplifting story that I was told to expect, but if you read it, don't go into it expecting anything less than a story of sadness and a poor miserably mistreated, sweet old man.

At the time of this writing, this book is not yet available for sale in the United States. I purchased it from an English Bookseller. I have heard a rumbling that it is to be made into a movie. Naturally. It will probably be an award winner.

{I am certain that the author is a very sweet and lovely person, and I don't want to pick on her . . . it's just that this book, for my taste, went a bit too far with the sadness and misery, and not far enough pulling it out of the downward spiral. I was mislead into reading it by a professional reviewer. It is she I think, who is responsible for leading me down the proverbial primrose path . . . and myself for following her.}


  1. So how do you feel after forcing yourself to finish? I always have mixed feelings about things like this. I tell myself I "should" read serious things like this, but if it doesn't in some way uplift or enrich me it feels like a bummer. But kudos to you for "committing" to it!

  2. VMichelle . . . That is a good question . . . and after you asked, I added one more paragraph, the last one. . . I am pleased that there was SOME pleasantness in the poor man's life, because I get so deeply invested in a story . . . I still maintain that it wasn't enough . . . And to quote, you, "but if it doesn't in some way uplift or enrich me it feels like a bummer." ~ And here it is that I stand beside you. ~ Kind of a bummer. New information Yes. But do I want it cluttering up the beautiful, happy, butterfly-ti-ness of my spirit? I think not.
    ~Fondly, Debbi

  3. Thanks for the review. Not good for someone with depression to read I gather. I will scratch it off my list. xo