Joseph Olshan
February 16, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Here and Now

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Robert Cohen
publisher
Scribner
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A

Sam Karnish, a thirtysomething, half-Jewish New York intellectual, is sitting on a plane, ruminating over his unfulfilled career as a low-level magazine editor as well as his inability to find lasting love, when he is drawn into conversation with Aaron Brenner, a brash Hasidic man traveling with his quietly sexy wife, Magda. Initially put off, a week after returning to New York Sam honors a Sabbath dinner invitation to the Brenners’ home. So begins a clash of secularism and Jewishness that breeds a sudden and complicated friendship. Robert Cohen’s The Here and Now is an intelligent, searching novel, with a great comedic vein running through it.

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