Among The Living


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After Anthrax finished touring for their second album — their first with vocalist Joey Belladonna — the band was on fire. They had just experienced their first taste of mainstream exposure and had even played eight shows as the opening band on a bill with Black Sabbath on their ill-fated "Seventh Star" tour. There are several ways Anthrax captured lighting on Among the Living. The track begins with an elegiac acoustic passage and builds into a chugging mosh riff, ending with a flailing guitar solo and a storm of hardcore beats.

Yeah, we were pissed. Lyrically, Among the Living addressed a mix of real and fictional subjects. Elsewhere Ian penned songs based on tales by the U. Most of my world at that time was either horror books or movies and comic books. They recorded quickly and performed with urgency and enthusiasm. We felt the wave around us, we had caught a perfect wave and we were in the tube and it just never ended.

The planets were aligned. It was the right songs at the right time. They recorded much of the record live in the studio and at the time, the chemistry between, Ian, guitarist Danny Spitz , bassist Frank Bello and drummer Charlie Benante was undeniable. We were in our element. We were killing it and we had all the confidence in the world. When Anthrax finished recording the album, Kramer told them to take off for a few hours while he worked on the mix.

At the time, Anthrax thought they were on the same page as Kramer when it came to the brutal sound they wanted from the record.


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However, Kramer had something else in mind. Everything in your face. At first Kramer tried to pull rank, but Anthrax held their ground. We want it to sound like this record was made in They have a bond that remains unsaid in so many words, but is a silent understanding. I don't want to add any spoilers here, but a complication occurs with Ike and Eva that is quite challenging.

It is a battle of good conscious versus the will to find their own happiness and move forward. This is a fantastic book! Please go out and read it. You will really enjoy it. The writing here is so beautiful and if you check out my blog page, you can read all of the quotes I highlighted. See this review and others at: www. While it wasn't a story that had me constantly intrigued, I did find it easy to read and follow, and interesting enough for the most part.

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I think that of everything in this novel, the characters are the most compelling and realistic in the way they are portrayed. Rabb does an excellent job of painting with words the atmosphere of a southern town as well as the characters themselves as Conservative and Reform Jews. I do wish Rabb had gone more in depth into the relations between the two denominations of Jews as well as the Jews and the African Americans who live in Savannah at that time. While he made some interesting points about it at times, I felt that that part of the story got side-skirted in preference to an unnecessary storyline about some illegal dealings on the part of Jesler, a storyline which I felt never even really got a decent conclusion.

Overall, the story is interesting, giving the reader a different perspective on the years post-Holocaust, and the relationships between the different people who were discovering and rediscovering themselves and their place in the world after the war. There was a lot of subtext to read through, unfortunately. So much so that at times I felt like I was having trouble understanding some parts of the story completely, but for the most part it was a decent read with some compelling ideas about the 'us vs. I give it 3. Dec 30, Joanne Lessner rated it it was amazing.

Anthrax - Among The Living (Live 1987)

Rabb's engrossing novel illuminates the life of Jews in Savannah after World War II as three distinct points of view collide: the assimilated Reform "temple" Jews of German and Sephardic descent, the Conservative Eastern-European "shul" Jews, and the protagonist, Yitzhak Goldah, a Czech refugee and Holocaust survivor, to whom such distinctions are meaningless. As Goldah reclaims his humanity, he struggles against ingrained prejudices within his community that threaten to derail his romance with Rabb's engrossing novel illuminates the life of Jews in Savannah after World War II as three distinct points of view collide: the assimilated Reform "temple" Jews of German and Sephardic descent, the Conservative Eastern-European "shul" Jews, and the protagonist, Yitzhak Goldah, a Czech refugee and Holocaust survivor, to whom such distinctions are meaningless.

As Goldah reclaims his humanity, he struggles against ingrained prejudices within his community that threaten to derail his romance with a sympathetic young widow, as well as with the easy racism of the South, which aligns him uncomfortably with the oppressors. In addition to the vivid, evocative setting, one of the best things about the book is the way Rabb keeps his characters refreshingly free from saintliness. Goldah survives the Holocaust with his flaws, foibles and analytical self-awarness intact. As a result, he is relatable, neither pitiable nor self-righteous, and his choices and actions ring true.

Similarly, the distant cousins who take him in, Abe and Pearl, are fighting their own demons, and although their attentions to Goldah are rooted in selflessness, they can't resist using him for private purposes. A compelling and enlightening read. Jan 20, John Findlay rated it it was amazing. I became aware of this book because Jonathan Rabb was doing a book signing at a local bookstore.

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The topic seemed intriguing, so I decided to read it. I'm glad I did. The story is set in Savannah in He has lost his immediate family and is trying to move forward. While received warmly by most of the city, he encounters bigotry amongst the various Jewish se I became aware of this book because Jonathan Rabb was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. While received warmly by most of the city, he encounters bigotry amongst the various Jewish sects in town.

He also sees firsthand the racism towards blacks, and their position as far less than equal in society. Adding suspense to the story is a reappearance from his past, and a conflicting love interest. I found the book hard to put down; wanted to see how things were eventually resolved. But I also loved the historical context, knowing nothing about the history of Jews in Savannah. All in all, I would highly recommend Among the Living. Jan 15, Rachel rated it it was amazing. I nearly put this book down after about 10 pages, I am so glad I read it. WWII and the horrors it produced are well documented and I have read many books with that subject matter.

So much so I don't want to read anymore. The framework for this book is a Holocaust survivor who is relocated to Savannah to live with cousins he has never met. Rabb's story successfully combines the story of the Jews of the American South with the plight of the African Americans living in Jim Crow south with a sen I nearly put this book down after about 10 pages, I am so glad I read it.

Rabb's story successfully combines the story of the Jews of the American South with the plight of the African Americans living in Jim Crow south with a sensitive and masterly touch. Some of the twists and turns of the narrative are not quite believable but the book really touched me. A meaningful and enjoyable book "Among the Living" has several threads intertwined in one excellent read.

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32 Years Ago: Anthrax Make Thrash History With ‘Among the Living’

Jonathan Rabb skillfully handles the psychology of Holocaust survivors, the intra-faith tensions of post-WW2 American Jewry, and the Southern Black experience, without ever being heavy-handed or condescending. The main characters are all good people, struggling with their inner demons. I found the book to be absorbing and thought-provoking. Rabb writing is elegant but readable. His characters A meaningful and enjoyable book "Among the Living" has several threads intertwined in one excellent read.

His characters are sympathetic.

Among the Living 1987

This is a book worth reading. Absorbing but slightly difficult to wade through. The characters are well developed - the most enjoyable part of this book is the author's talent in creating riveting characters with just a brief phrase or two. Poignant juxtaposition between recently arrived Holocaust survivor, Ike, and the treatment of the "negroes" in the south in the 's. I liked this novel a lot but didn't love it as there were too many subplots to keep track of. But I really enjoyed the authors talent and I will read mor Absorbing but slightly difficult to wade through.

But I really enjoyed the authors talent and I will read more of his works. Nov 10, Frances Bahr rated it it was amazing. I loved this book. A couple from a long standing Jewish community is sponsoring him as he struggles to put the war behind him and look to the future. The contrast between the experiences of American versus European Jews is fascinating as he struggles with guilt, painful memories, and the choice he must make between two women.

Feb 05, Nelda Brangwin rated it it was amazing. A Holocaust survivor is sent to Savannah Georgia, which has a large population of Jews. Not only does the reader learn about the complexity of the Savannah Jewish community, but comes to realize that after surviving a concentration camp, returning to life in a new country is not easy, especially in a community where hate of the negro is strong. Oct 01, Arnold Adey rated it liked it. I found the book a little difficult to read at struggled to follow the plot at times.

I liked the book but felt the conflicts seemed to need a little development. The parallel between the Jews in Germany, and blacks in America was alluded, but not overly developed. Still the book picked up in the second half and was enjoyable. Dec 23, Sondra rated it it was amazing. I loved the setting and the characters for this new point of view of a holocaust survivor. I was committed to each character's story line and couldn't wait to see how it would all play out.

Rabb did not disappoint. Fantastic read. Mar 20, Elise rated it liked it. Jan 28, David Hartley rated it it was amazing. An incredibly moving book that offers a fresh take on a Holocaust survivor's journey. A wonderfully researched piece, I felt transported back to s Savannah even though I knew very little about the city.

Rich characters that in the end I was sad to say goodbye to. Great read. I have mixed feelings about this one. I wonder if part of my dislike has to do with the writing style. Anywho, the premise is that Yitzhak Goldah, a Holocaust survivor, comes to Savannah to live with his last remaining relatives.

There, he gets entangled, directly or indirectly, with his cousin, Abe's, shady business dealings; the Reform vs Conservative Jewish divide because he's seeing someone on "the other side"; the newspaper business, hearkening back to his pre-war life and also tying into s I have mixed feelings about this one. There, he gets entangled, directly or indirectly, with his cousin, Abe's, shady business dealings; the Reform vs Conservative Jewish divide because he's seeing someone on "the other side"; the newspaper business, hearkening back to his pre-war life and also tying into said shady business dealings and Jewish rumination about the fate of Palestine ; and the racism, violent and otherwise, that his family's African American servants have to endure in the world.

I agree with other critics that Rabb bit off a little more than he could chew. This came at the expense of building up his characters. Like his Black characters--I appreciate that they aren't stereotypes of the meekly oppressed same, too, with his Holocaust survivors --but their motivations never transcended the needs of the plot. Then there's the female characters who--I know I'm hard on male authors sometimes, but it's only when I think they deserve it! These women are one dimensional.

The Black women are barely present, and then there's Mrs. Weiss, the stereotype of the fierce Jewish mama bear, and Pearl, the stereotype of the frail southern housewife, given to hysterics when things aren't picture perfect. Maybe I'm being nitpicky but I think Rabb could have done more to explore Eva's sense of grief at widowhood and where she wanted to be in her life, too. I'll give a pass to Malke. What I struggle with most is the rather indirect way that Rabb approaches most of the action of his story.

He doesn't hold readers by the hand when chronicling the story, and he doesn't load us down with too much drama or explanatory details. Part of me appreciates that, but another part wants a little bit larger of a window into the characters and these situations. One area where I think it works really well, though, is with regards to the Holocaust. We already have a ton of fiction and nonfiction that deals, head on, with exactly what happened in the camps and elsewhere. What we have less of, and what's covered here, is the complexity of the mental trauma inflicted, and an explanation of the survivors, pre and post-war, as more than victims.

That's why I'm cool with Malke's cynicism and post traumatic stress. But obviously Goldah is the real heart of the story, as he navigates his way back to the land of the living. Still, even with Goldah and Abe Jessler , Rabb was sometimes taken with making sweeping pronouncements in their narratives that I'm not sure were entirely earned. I'm particularly sensitive to this because it might be a weakness in my own writing--proclaiming some big feeling or conclusion about life that my characters come to, possibly without doing all of the leg work first.

One can see the hand of the author a little too much, perhaps, trying to make the audience consider whatever issue or theme. I also wish that Rabb had focused more attention on the actual ideological schisms in the Savannah Jewish community--even though he also shouldn't have, because there was too much going on. We had Pearl poo-pooing the idea of "temple" Jews, which Goldah later reciprocates to a degree by finding the Reform synagogue to be rather Americanized. The Conservative synagogue gets a nod for egalitarian seating and the rabbi mentioning Palestine in a Rosh Hashanah sermon.

Then there's a minor taschlisch altercation between both groups at the ocean and that's about it. It was there, just Made the dramatic tension between characters feel kinda weightless.

Among the Living () - IMDb

Td;lr--there were a lot of intriguing rabbit holes in this book, but not enough time and space to follow all of them through. Plus some issues that I had with the character build up and writing style. I really like how Rabb handled Holocaust survivors, but is it enough to give this four stars? I'm getting a little too generous with my fours. Maybe I should just stop rating books unless I absolutely love or hate them But I'm also talking myself into a three stars. I may be back to revise my review afterwards. Jan 02, Judy Mathis rated it it was amazing. I had never heard of this author, but tried it as the distinguished authors on the back cover gave it outstanding reviews.

Jonathan Rabb is a talented storyteller! Aug 11, Janet Morrison rated it really liked it. The tone of the book is set early on as the author reveals Mr. And she talks all the time — many times saying the wrong thing. Abe Jesler is in the retail shoe business and is well-connected in Jewish circles in Savannah. I don't want to give away any more of the plot, but Ike's life gets quite complicated.

Feb 07, Julie rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , own , bea. Holocaust survivor Ike Goldah is given a second chance at life in Savannah, Georgia. Pearl is nurturing but a bit overbearing and Abe is often distracted by his business ventures. Despite being given a chance at happiness, Ike is confounded by this religious division as well as adapting to the harsh realities of Jim Crow south.

The overall theme of identity and guilt is presented with thoughtful cadence. Despite the conflicts Ike encounters, the stoicism which he accepts his life in Savannah sets the tone for the entire novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. Jul 06, Laura rated it liked it.

Rating: 3. There's not much Holocaust to the story, although the aftermath of the experience clearly abides. Ike works in Abs's shoe store, experiences the tensions between the Reform and Conservative Jewish congregations in Savannah, deals with the strang Rating: 3. Ike works in Abs's shoe store, experiences the tensions between the Reform and Conservative Jewish congregations in Savannah, deals with the strange relationships between black and white in the community, falls in love with the newspaper editor's daughter.

His character is really interesting and very well-developed. He's a quit and observant man, and sees much that gets by others in the world around him. At the end, though there are many unresolved plot fragments, and they are frustrating, because as a reader I thought they were actually going somewhere - hence the markdown.


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  7. May 16, Cheyanne rated it really liked it. Savannah's large and diverse Jewish community, dating back to the colonial era, is viewed through the eyes of Yitzak Goldah, a young Holocaust survivor who arrives in and struggles to remake himself as an American called "Ike. Ultimat Savannah's large and diverse Jewish community, dating back to the colonial era, is viewed through the eyes of Yitzak Goldah, a young Holocaust survivor who arrives in and struggles to remake himself as an American called "Ike. Ultimately, there are a few too many themes and characters to be fully developed in this brief novel.

    Conversations about race relations in America seem forced and a subplot about organized crime is distracting. But these complications aside, Among the Living is deeply satisfying as the story of one man's emotional rebirth. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Adult Fiction. About Jonathan Rabb. Jonathan Rabb. Jonathan Rabb grew up knowing he would be an academic. As an undergraduate at Yale, Rabb divided his time among Locke and Hobbes and Hegel while spending his more reckless hours singing with the Whiffenpoofs and galloping across stage in such roles as Harry the Jonathan Rabb grew up knowing he would be an academic.

    As an undergraduate at Yale, Rabb divided his time among Locke and Hobbes and Hegel while spending his more reckless hours singing with the Whiffenpoofs and galloping across stage in such roles as Harry the Horse and a perfectly bean-poled Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

    He even went so far as to make his living his first years out of college as an actor in New York before settling on a PhD program at Columbia. Somehow, though, that was not to be. Suddenly theater and history had come together in the form of historical fiction and, leaving his Fulbright and academia behind, Rabb spent the next two years teaching test prep and writing furiously.

    In , his first novel, The Overseer, reached bookshelves, followed three years later by The Book of Q—another historical thriller—and his marriage to Andra Reeve, the director of prime time casting at CBS television. Having discovered a new kind of bliss in his private life, Rabb decided it was time to dive into the decay and despair of Berlin between the wars. He set to work on what would be the first in his Berlin Trilogy, Rosa, and also began to teach fiction at the 92nd Street Y.

    In July his wife had twins, and for the next two years, while writing and researching Shadow and Light, Rabb became their primary caretaker. Somehow, they continued to grow and flourish, and Shadow and Light found its way to the page. Rabb is now deep into the final book of the trilogy, and still finds time to perform Gilbert and Sullivan with the Blue Hill Troupe of New York, the Harrisburg Symphony, and anyone else willing to indulge his love of Patter roles. Books by Jonathan Rabb. Trivia About Among the Living. No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from Among the Living.

    And I know you know better than most.

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