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Welcome to the audiobook review of ‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen. In this review, we will take a closer look at one of the most intriguing books of the year and explore why it has captured the attention of readers worldwide. Through this review, we will examine the plot, characters, writing style, and critical reception of ‘The Netanyahus’, providing our personal opinion and recommendation for listeners. Joshua Cohen’s ability to capture the essence of his characters and deliver a gripping story has established him as a prominent author in the literary community. Let’s dive into ‘The Netanyahus’ and see how he continues to mesmerize his readers.

About the Author – Joshua Cohen

Joshua Cohen is a writer, novelist, and critic based in New York City. Born in 1980 in New Jersey, Cohen’s literary career began in his early twenties, garnering attention with his debut novel ‘Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto’.

Cohen’s works have been praised for their intellectual rigor and innovative style, earning him critical acclaim and multiple literary awards. His notable works include ‘Witz’, ‘Book of Numbers’, and ‘Moving Kings’, among others.

In addition to his writing, Cohen is also an accomplished critic, contributing to publications such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Bookforum.

The Works of Joshua Cohen

Title Type Awards
‘Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto’ Novel 2010 Bard Fiction Prize
‘Witz’ Novel PEN/Faulkner Award finalist
‘Book of Numbers’ Novel New York Times Notable Book
‘Moving Kings’ Novel Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize finalist

Cohen’s writing is known for its philosophical depth and intricate syntax, exploring timeless themes such as identity, language, and history.

“Cohen is a phenomenon, and ‘Book of Numbers’ is a staggering achievement.” – The New York Times

As an accomplished writer and critic, Joshua Cohen’s unique perspective and style have firmly established him as a major voice in contemporary literature.

The Concept and Synopsis

‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen is a complex family saga that takes readers on a journey through generations of the Netanyahus, a Jewish-American family. The book’s plot follows the lives of the Netanyahus, starting with Walter – a failed actor and alcoholic – and his wife, Rosalie, who dreams of being a writer.

Plot Synopsis
In the 1950s to 1980s, we follow the Netanyahus through their misadventures and experiences in America. The story is told through a series of flashbacks, letters, and other forms of correspondence that provide a unique perspective on the Netanyahus’ lives and how they come to terms with their Jewish heritage.
As the story unravels, we see how the Netanyahus must confront the challenges of being Jewish in America while grappling with familial expectations and personal desires. The book weaves together historical storytelling and Jewish tradition with wit and humor, offering readers a fresh and unique perspective on the American Jewish experience.

Throughout the story, Cohen explores the complexities of identity, family dynamics, and the American Jewish experience. The book’s themes and symbolism offer a rich and thought-provoking reading experience that is sure to challenge and entertain readers.

Narration and Performance

As an audiobook, ‘The Netanyahus’ requires strong narration and performance skills by the voice actor(s) to effectively capture the story’s intricate portrait. The audiobook version of ‘The Netanyahus’ is narrated by Derek Perkins, who delivers a remarkable performance that effectively captures the essence of the story.

Perkins’ narration style is engaging and expressive, bringing the characters to life with his nuanced delivery. His pacing is aligned with the overall tone of the book, keeping the listener engaged without rushing the plot. Furthermore, his ability to transition between characters and scenes is seamless, effectively conveying the various moods and attitudes present throughout the story.

Perkins’ performance is especially effective in conveying the humor and irony present in ‘The Netanyahus.’ His delivery of witty dialogue and satirical moments keeps the listener engaged, highlighting Cohen’s skillful writing style. Overall, Perkins’ narration and performance skills enhance the audiobook experience, making ‘The Netanyahus’ an enjoyable and engaging listen for all.

Character Development

‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen is a masterful work that explores the intricacies of human nature through its richly drawn characters. The author takes great care to provide each character with a distinct voice and personality, allowing them to develop organically throughout the narrative.

From the self-absorbed patriarch, Benzion Netanyahu, to the rebellious and conflicted Bibi, Cohen creates a cast of characters that are both flawed and relatable, making it easy for readers to invest in their stories. As the plot unfolds, the characters are tested in various ways, and their actions have a significant impact on the outcome of the story.

One of the standout features of the character development in ‘The Netanyahus’ is the way in which Cohen portrays the relationship between the family members. The complex dynamics between the characters add depth and nuance to the story and are a testament to the author’s skill at crafting realistic and emotionally resonant narratives.

Overall, the character development in ‘The Netanyahus’ is exceptional, and readers are sure to be drawn in by the fascinating and multi-layered individuals that populate Cohen’s world.

Writing Style and Language

‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen stands out for its intricate portrayal of complex characters and deeply moving themes, all of which are conveyed through the author’s unique writing style and language choices. Cohen’s use of dense and challenging prose may require readers to devote their full attention to the narrative, but the effort is well worth it.

One of the most striking aspects of ‘The Netanyahus’ is Cohen’s ability to combine multiple literary techniques into a cohesive and engaging narrative. He incorporates stream of consciousness, fragmented memories, and other experimental styles to create a vivid and realistic portrayal of the characters and the world they inhabit.

The language used throughout the book is also noteworthy. Cohen’s writing is highly evocative, using rich imagery and metaphors to bring alive the scenes and situations described. His use of humor and irony to offset the darker themes adds depth and nuance to the overall reading experience.

‘Cohen’s prose is both challenging and rewarding, one that will appeal to readers seeking a unique and thought-provoking book.’

If you are unfamiliar with Cohen’s writing style, ‘The Netanyahus’ may be a good introduction. The blending of various styles and techniques creates an immersive and unforgettable experience. The audiobook version, with its expert narration, only adds to the richness of the story.

writing style and language

Themes and Symbolism

‘The Netanyahus’ is a thought-provoking novel, rich with symbolism and themes that add layers of complexity to the narrative. One of the prevailing themes is the idea of family, specifically the complex and often fraught relationships between family members. The novel explores these relationships through the lens of the Netanyahu family, weaving a nuanced and intricate portrait of a family grappling with the weight of their past and their uncertain future.

The novel also touches on themes of identity and belonging, particularly in the context of Jewish identity and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These themes are underscored by the symbolism present throughout the narrative, from the repeated references to Jewish history and culture to the recurring imagery of walls and borders.

Importantly, while the novel deals with weighty and at times heavy subject matter, it does so with a deft touch and a nuanced understanding of the complexities at play. Cohen’s writing is both evocative and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to reflect on the topics and themes presented in the novel long after the final page has been turned.

Pacing and Plot Structure

‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen offers a compelling and intricately woven narrative that keeps readers engaged throughout. The pacing of the book is expertly crafted, with each chapter building upon the last and propelling the story forward. Cohen strategically utilizes moments of tension and release, providing readers with an immersive reading experience that keeps them invested in the plot.

The plot structure of ‘The Netanyahus’ is also noteworthy, as Cohen seamlessly weaves together multiple storylines and themes into a cohesive whole. Each element of the plot is carefully considered and contributes to the overall narrative, resulting in a well-crafted and satisfying conclusion. Readers will appreciate the level of detail and thought put into the plot, as well as the way it unfolds throughout the book.

Overall, ‘The Netanyahus’ is a masterful work of fiction that showcases Joshua Cohen’s talent for crafting intricate and engaging narratives, with well-crafted pacing and a sophisticated plot structure. It is a must-read for anyone seeking a rich and rewarding reading experience.’

Historical and Cultural Context

‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen is a book that is deeply rooted in both historical and cultural context. As a work of fiction set in the 1950s and 1960s, the book evokes a sense of nostalgia for those who are familiar with that time period.

At the same time, ‘The Netanyahus’ provides a window into a specific cultural moment, a time when the American Jewish community was deeply invested in the creation of the State of Israel. The book explores the tensions and conflicts that arose between American Jews who wholeheartedly supported Israel and those who were more critical of the country’s policies.

The Netanyahus themselves were a real family living in the United States during this time period, and their connection to Israel and Zionism adds an extra layer of historical and cultural significance to the book.

Critical Reception

‘The Netanyahus’ has garnered mixed critical reception since its release. Some reviewers praised Joshua Cohen’s skillful writing and the book’s intricate plot and character development. For example, The New York Times Book Review called it, “A brilliant examination of family dynamics and cultural identity in mid-century America.”

However, other reviewers felt that the book’s complexities made it difficult to follow and ultimately unsatisfying. The Washington Post, for instance, criticized it for being “overly dense and self-indulgent.”

Despite the mixed reviews, ‘The Netanyahus’ continues to provoke thoughtful analysis and conversation.

Personal Opinion and Recommendation

Having assessed ‘The Netanyahus’ audiobook by Joshua Cohen, my personal opinion is that it is a fascinating and intricate portrait of a complex family, filled with rich symbolism and deep themes. The narration and performance are top-notch, capturing the essence of the story with nuance and skill, while the writing style and language are a masterclass in literary craftsmanship. The pacing and plot structure keep listeners engaged throughout, and the historical and cultural context adds depth and layers to the narrative. Overall, I highly recommend ‘The Netanyahus’ to anyone looking for an immersive and thought-provoking audiobook experience.

“A fascinating and intricate portrait of a complex family, filled with rich symbolism and deep themes.”


To sum up, ‘The Netanyahus’ by Joshua Cohen is an intricate and engaging portrait of a complex family dynamic. The author’s writing style, language choices, and literary techniques are commendable, contributing to the overall effectiveness of the narrative. The audiobook version of the book also deserves praise for the excellent narration and performance, which captures the essence of the story and brings it to life.

The characters are well-developed and contribute to the themes and symbolism present in the book. The pacing and plot structure keep the readers engaged throughout the book. The historical and cultural context surrounding the story adds depth and enhances the reader’s understanding of the narrative.

The critical reception of ‘The Netanyahus’ has been mostly positive, with several notable reviews praising the book’s complexity and depth. Based on our assessment of the audiobook, we highly recommend ‘The Netanyahus’ to anyone interested in a thought-provoking and well-written family drama.

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