HIS BROTHER, THE BEAR by Jack Ansell

HIS BROTHER, THE BEAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The house of Julien Black, a successful southern Jew, is torn by conflict. His wife, southern trash, builds her glass house of security on Julien's lack of confidence and fills her son David with a pathological shame of his Semitic background. On one particular Jewish New Year the entire struggle of Julien against the virulent ignorance of his wife errupts. Charlotte, the daughter of the house who resembles her father, becomes engaged to Irwin Kaufman, a son of a family Julien is trying to ban from the nearly all-Christian country club; David, a worthless coward, leaves a Jewish girl pregnant in New York and the girl commits suicide; and Julien, fully aware of the heritage which is his, momentarily gains strength, only to be weakened by the tremendous physical need he feels for his wife. A first novel, His Brother, the Bear is a penetrating study of the assimilated Jew who feels, sees, and understands, - but cannot contend with- the ubiquitous moral mediocrity on which his survival depends. Keen, accurate, and engrossing, the novel's only failure is that it pains rather than pleases, a fault which results from Jack Ansell's ability to see and to state with remarkable clarity the great failure of his hero-- the inability to love the bear and yet, when necessary, kill him.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday