My Name is Asher Lev
February 14, 2012 by 5 Comments
If you are a reader of fiction and have not yet read My Nameis Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev… stop what you are doing, logon to Amazon.com, buy An Evangelical Social Gospel, then both of these books by author, painter, rabbi & my new hero – Chaim Potok. Just kidding, forget the first one and just by the two Asher Lev books.
Seriously, my wife read this book a long time ago and told me I would like it. But I ignored her advice. I’m an idiot. Potok is a great writer.
Top 5 reasons I love Asher Lev:
1. It is a great way to learn about Jewish culture and customs. As a theology nerd, the peek inside Hassidic culture was hypnotic.
2. Asher is a great misfit male lead – which are usually my favorite leads. My top 5 misfit male leads in order are: Owen Meany, Asher Lev, Holden Caulfield, Lloyd Dobbler (I know it’s a movie, but deal with it), and Martin Eden. (Ed from the TV show ED gets honorable mention).
3. It is beautiful and sad. I’m reading The Chosen by Potok right now and it doesn’t have the magic Asher Lev has. It’s good, but Potok really hit on something in Asher Lev’s character, and especially in the literary voice of these two novels. They are stunning works of art.
4. The first book really functions as a great meditation on the meaning and role art plays in society, as well as an aesthetic primer for people who love art, but have not majored in art history. Both really delve deeply into the internal struggle of the artist.
5. If you read it we can talk about it. I’m dying to visit with people about this book.