THE PRICE OF DIAMONDS by Dan Jacobson

THE PRICE OF DIAMONDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fable of human foibles has its moments of warmth- as well as gentle ridicule- as the ""price of diamonds"" tests the long friendship and partnership of Manfred Gottlieb and Fink, manufacturers representatives in South Africa at a time when the I.D.B. (Illicit Diamond Buying) was a serious criminal offense. Fink, a big talker who has for years made bold allegations of his possible participation in the I.D.B., is out of town when a stranger hands a box of uncut diamonds to the cautious, meek little Gottlieb who determines to keep the diamonds- not for their value- but to prove himself a man to Fink. As the days pass, Gottlieb drops significant remarks to Fink- dallies- and enjoys his small revenge until Fink is beaten up on the streets (as Gottlieb mistakenly assumes- because of the diamonds) and lies in a critical coma. Tortured by anxiety, guilt and remorse, Gottlieb tries to get rid of the diamonds- and only as he makes his confession to Fink, is rewarded by another admission which repairs the broken trust between the two.... A comedy of errors and contrasts in character which owes much to the fond portrayal of those involved in it- this is very different from Dan Jacobson's earlier, concentrated novellae (The Trap, A Dance in the Sun --Harcourt, Brace) and perhaps as difficult to place. The humor, the affectionate sympathy, and the strong Jewish inflection might designate the Wolf Mankiewicz audience.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1958
Publisher: Knopf