TIME OUT by Alain Spiraux


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Hot on the Gallic heels of Momo (p. 54), here's Moshe, another little Jewish kid of Paris. Unfortunately, meshugge little Moshe has no old, dying Madame Rosa to fight for (he has an old, boring philosopher-cobbler instead) and no Ralph Manheim to translate his thoughts (Keene's work is often terribly awkward). But most important, Moshe isn't a kid at all but the vehicle for a tired theme; it's 1937, and, after Moshe's nasty Mameh keeps calling the kid ""Hitler"" a while, he begins to develop a split personality: inside him is aggressive Hitlerino, who says ""I'm your true pal, your only ally. . . . Your enemies will be mine, for I'm going to declare war on them!"" It doesn't take long for Moshe to realize that it's not a good idea to shout ""Down with the Jews!"" even if Hitlerino tells him to. As the old cobbler says, ""each of us has little Hiterlinos running around inside him."" And when Moshe reads Mein Kampf, he rejects Hitlerino totally till Hitlerino changes sides inside him--or has Hitlerino just ""taken a pro-Jewish disguise the better to hoax and dominate Moshe's soul?"" It's all very complicated. Also arch, precious, sententious, meaninglessly retitled (from Hitler, ta maman t'appele!), and grossly overpriced.

Pub Date: May 7th, 1978
Publisher: Times Books