Midwest Book Review
The Fiction Shelf
An inherently engaging and intrinsically interesting read from beginning to end, "A Cobbler's Tale" showcases author Neil Perry Gordon's genuine flair for narrative storytelling and his attention to historical detail.
A deftly crafted and original novel that will linger in the mind and memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf, "A Cobbler's Tale" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections.
A Cobbler’s Tale is an adventure story about Pincus Potasznik, a second-generation Jewish cobbler, born in a small shtetl in the province of Galicia, part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In 1910, at the historic height of the massive Eastern European immigration wave to the New World, Pincus decides to leave behind his pregnant wife, and three small children, in order to seek a new life for his family in the burgeoning Lower East Side of Manhattan.
On his traumatic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the SS Amerika steamship, Pincus meets Jakob Adler, a young man running from an accidental murder of a notorious crime boss in Warsaw.
The story also explores the challenges of pregnant Clara Potasznik as she does her best to protect her family, while the bloodiest battles of World War I explode within miles of her family home, a small village called Krzywcza.
Moshe, the young son of Pincus and Clara Potasznik, discovers his divine ability to foretell dire events, and to offer real comfort those in pain, taking the reader into the wisdom and mystery surrounding the ancient Jewish mysticism, known as Kabbalah.
A Cobbler’s Tale is a story of a family’s survival against tremendous odds.
It's the year 1675, and eighteen-year-old Lukas Pietersen, a young boy from the Dutch-controlled territory of New Amsterdam, is about to consume the ceremonial substance known as moon flower. The potent seeds from this nighttime blooming plant, prepared and administered by a shaman, will cause Lukas to lose his memory and thus begin his quest of becoming a warrior of the Pequawket tribe.
From the New World to the city of Amsterdam, down to the slave coast of West Africa, and across the Atlantic Ocean to the slave mart of Charles Town, Moon Flower follows Lukas as he meets chiefs, shamans, warriors, and the English army on his journey to forge a connection with the Great Spirit and battle a fearsome evil being called the Wendigo.
THE RIGHTEOUS ONE
The Righteous One is the story of Moshe the cobbler, a gentle, sixty-year-old tzaddik—a righteous and saintly Jew—who is called upon to rekindle his divine connection to the Almighty in order to destroy the notorious New York gangster and rasha Solomon Blass, a man who uses his power of foreseeing events via his vivid dreams to advance his own financial interests.
While Solomon and his son, Myron, seek to control much of Manhattan—its biggest businesses, its police department, and its city government—they find themselves embroiled in conflict with numerous powerful people from both their waking life and the dream world, where Moshe has begun training with the descendants of an ancient mystical spirit for his inevitable confrontation with Solomon.
As the final battle approaches, the divide between good and evil becomes ever clearer and each character faces the consequences of his past, present, and future actions. Will Solomon’s wily tenacity prevail, or will Moshe be strong enough to destroy the rasha’s wicked soul?
Myron Blass looked at himself in the mirror. The shadows under his eyes seemed to be getting darker. He ran warm water over his razor to wash off the stubble and finished shaving with a few upward strokes along his neck. The only remaining hairs were his salt and pepper eyebrows and some stubborn ones growing out of his nostrils like damn upside-down potted plants. Being completely bald made his grooming choices simpler, but he lamented that lately he was looking older than his forty-five years.
Myron grabbed a suit bag from his closet and with both hands placed it gently across his bed. He unzipped the fabric bag with the logo of Bergdorf Goodman emblazoned in gold letters on it, and carefully removed the garments. Putting on a new custom tailored suit for the first time from the Men’s Store at Bergdorf’s was a moment that affirmed in his mind that he was a man to be reckoned with.
Downstairs in the foyer, he took one last look in the mirror, and tugged up on the knot of his gold and navy striped tie. A peek through the sidelight window by the front door showed that his driver, Benjamin, was waiting for him. He ran the tips of his fingers down the lapel of his jacket and watched the nap of the suede shift into a lighter shade of brown. Then he ran it back up again and restored it to its original deep luster.
“The author is a born storyteller and readers will be captivated by all the colorful characters and the dangers, schemes and plots that abound.”
5 star review on Amazon
"What is interesting about The Righteous One is that it not only establishes a curious battle between two men for the sake of New York itself, but the elements of the metaphysical that are blended in feel so natural. Gordon has created a story where the idea of vivid dreams and elements of the mystical are something so normal for the main characters that you will feel completely connected to the ideas being presented. Moshe has also already dealt with some elements of the darker sides of Kabbalah and he is preparing himself as best as he can for the final fight against someone who uses his gifts in a way that harms others. As someone who enjoys a crime story the inclusion of gangsters and illegal dealings was also interesting to see spread throughout the book. Even Solomon and his son are not immune from power plays and dangerous liaisons."