Fans of Nathan Englander's For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union will relish to Ben Nadler's combined mystery, love story, and homage to text and custom. Set in post-Giuliani New York City, The Sea Beach Line melds mid-20th- century pulp fiction and traditional Jewish folklore as it updates the classic story of a young man trying to find his place in the world. After being expelled from Oberlin for hallucinogenic drug use, Izzy Edel seeks out his estranged father--a Polish Jew turned Israeli soldier turned New York Street vendor named Alojzy who is reported to be missing, possibly dead. To learn about Alojzy's life and discover the truth behind his disappearance, Izzy takes over his father's outdoor bookselling business and meets the hustlers, gangsters, and members of a religious sect who peopled his father's world. He also falls in love. As Izzy soon discovers, appearances can deceive; no one, not even his own father, is quite whom he seems to be. Vowing to prove himself equal to Alojzy's legacy of fearlessness, Izzy plunges forward on a criminal enterprise that will bring him answers--at great personal cost.
The Sea Beach Line A Novel
Ben Nadler, a writer based in New York State, received his BA from the New School and a MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at SUNY Albany. His previous publications include the punk rock novel, Harvitz, As to War, and a nonfiction book, Punk in NYC’s Lower East Side: 1981-1991.
“The confluence of a byzantine plot, intriguing references to Jewish folktales and the Talmud, and an epic storm results in an updated noir providing a glimpse of the Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan hidden from tourists and hipsters alike.” – Kirkus “A brilliant and profound tale of one young man’s search for identity, and the stories we tell ourselves.” - Foreword Reviews Magazine INDIES Bronze Winner, Adult Fiction “Astonishingly powerful, thoughtful, and more than a bit troubling, but it is not to be missed.” - Philip K. Jason, Washington Independent Review of Books "Nadler's Sea Beach Line is a hypnotizing mosaic of stories within stories whose layers piece together a fascinating mystery of a young man's search for his father." - Brendan Kiely, author of The Gospel of Winter The Sea Beach Line is a thriller, and a very good one. Beyond that, it’s a thriller informed by the lore of Jewish mysticism, with its sacred texts and burning words and true and false messiahs, and by themes of paternity and patrimony: what it is our fathers leave us, even the fathers we never knew. It gripped me by the throat and wouldn't let go.” - Peter Trachtenberg, author of Another Insane Devotion