Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Favorite Son, by Uvi Poznansky (author), David Kudler (narrator)

Uvi Poznansky, March 2013

This is a retold version of the story of Jacob and Esau, or, in this telling, Yankle and Esav, their bitter rivalry, and the conflict between Isaac and Rebecca, about who is the "favorite son."

It's a modern retelling, with cars and planes and a chain of restaurants named after Yankle, who is the true chef in this family. Yet in many ways it retains the setting of the Bible's original story, with the family being desert nomads, with herds to care for, and the constant concern over enough water, and, most bemusing for me, we're explicitly told that the Scriptures haven't been written yet, and that Yankle and Esav's story will be part of those scriptures. To me, this last bit seems a very strange choice.

I did not at first immediately love the story. Yankle, especially at first, is just not likable. As the story proceeds, though, Yankle becomes, if not exactly likable, at least human and understandable, and anyone who has been Not the Favorite Child will surely have some understanding of where he's coming from. Rebecca is also an interesting character, while Isaac, a little oddly, is barely present.

As I listened, the story grew on me, and I came to really care about the ultimate fates of both Yankle and Esav, and the price Yankle eventually pays for his trickery.

It's definitely worth a listen.

I received a copy of this audiobook as a gift from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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