THE TRIBE by Bari Wood


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The golem walks again--in a serviceably plotted but unconvincingly syrupy horror story. The prologue is set in a Nazi death camp in 1945--where a US major discovers one well-kept building full of Polish Jews in fine health and stocked with food! How can this be, when Nazis themselves are starving? The action then moves to present-day Brooklyn, where Jacob Levy--one of those well-fed 1945 inmates--is now a rabbi and small-bookstore owner with a professor-son and a best friend in black detective-inspector Roger Hawkins (a totally unbelievable, saccharine relationship). But then Jacob's son Adam is stabbed to death in a subway by five teenage muggers (who are let go for lack of evidence). And Adam's pregnant widow Rachel begins to notice a strange bond among ""the tribe"" that makes up Jacob's eight closest friends (all from the death-camp). Was it the tribe that entered the muggers' clubhouse, killing all five and dismembering one of the kids? Or was it a nine-foot giant who was seen in the clubhouse? When another Polish Jew's son is murdered, once again the giant apparently brings ghastly retribution--leaving some mysterious clay behind him! Could it be true that those Polish Jews back in the death-camp actually built a monster--a golem--to protect them from the guards and win them special treatment? And is the golem now walking again, animated by the spirit of Jacob Levy? Detective Hawkins and Rachel must team up to battle the golem despite their love for Levy; and there's a special-incantation showdown before it's all over. A familiar, often-workable genre plot--this time barely animated by Wood's sappy characters and undermined by the overbearing sentimentality.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1981
Publisher: New American Library