THE DAY THE RABBI LEFT TOWN by Harry Kemelman

THE DAY THE RABBI LEFT TOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The big news is that since leaving his suburban congregation (The Day the Rabbi Resigned, 1992, etc.), Rabbi David Small has landed another job. His new post as Professor of Judaica at Boston's Windermere College gives Kemelman license to indulge his disdain (never far beneath the surface in his Nicky Welt stories and elsewhere) for the most obvious types of academic snobbery and vacuity. Here, the main beneficiary of his satiric gaze is Prof. Malcolm Kent (n‚ Mike Canty), m‚diocrit‚ grise of Windermere's English department. Besides not knowing his right hand from his left, Kent is a groper (of his junior colleague Sarah McBride), a platonic adulterer (with his longtime manicurist, Lorraine Bixby), a Peeping Tom (on Susan Sells, Esq.), and, once dead, a confounded nuisance: His corpse has the temerity to get found in almost exactly the spot that Dana Selig, the new rabbi, had promised to toss him after his wife caught the savant at her window. It's this last twist, of course, that brings Rabbi Small into the case, where he operates as colorlessly and effectively as you'd expect. A feast of understatement--though Windermere College, where an unlettered dolt can wangle tenure for a colleague with a few well-placed words, seems to be operating out of a time warp.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Fawcett/Ballantine