BOOKLIST Deems THE BOOK OF STONE a "Rewarding Literary Thriller"

Author: Jonathan Papernick

May 1, 2015

Booklist Jewish Year

“Matthew Stone’s father was a celebrated judge who died disgraced because he went too easy on men who murdered Arabs. Now Matthew, the star of this rich, demanding novel, emerges as inheritor of his father’s books, money, and lethal hatred of Palestinians. Yes, this is a crime novel, but we spend much time in Matthew’s mind as he mopes about, Portnoy-like, among ‘his own internal neuroses.’ (During sex with beautiful Dasi, he thinks about his mother.) Still, it’s those forces swirling around and within Matthew that form the powerful core of the story, as Matthew is pulled into a conspiracy to murder Palestinian dignitaries, the emotion building until he feels, ‘blood red and pulsing behind his ribs, the need to kill.’ Papernick exploits the spooky parallel here with news stories of privileged teenagers sneaking off to join ISIS, but he also finds finds time for charming interludes that show a different side to his character, like the sequence that has a young Matthew crossing out slurs and other hurtful words from a dictionary to sap them of their power to hurt. A rewarding literary thriller for those who will take the time it demands.”

Review by Don Crinklaw for Booklist.