4 out of 4 stars
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Dues; the coming of Allie Cohen is a fictional tale by Arnold Heller, which took thirty-eight-years to write. Thanks to Patty Morrison for encouraging him to dust off this novel after twenty-five-years of marinating. It would have been such a loss to leave it uncompleted because this book is exceptional in all merit.
After World War II, when the ashes of the Holocaust have cooled down. God plans to redeem the children of Israel by sending a prophet to teach the people how to bind their fissures and build a lasting and prosperous peace. For the plan to succeed, the people had to accept the prophet and listen to him in awe.
On February 22, 1946, the prophet was born. Allan Arthur Cohen, fondly called Allie, was born into the family of Barney and Janet. Barney was from the thirteenth lost tribe of Israel who was once called Chazers. They were redeemed by God from their sexually perverted ways and renamed Anatolian Jews. Decades later, all proof and remembrance of their time as Chazers were long forgotten. But from generation to generation, the 13th grandchild preserved and passed the history to the next 13th grandchild. The 13th grandchild was also destined to be king and named Avram Aron. Allie happens to be a 13th grandchild.
God, fondly called Hashem is apprehensive because Allie already has two strikes against him (being part Christian and a Chazer) and was different from people’s perception of a messiah. Will Allie achieve his purpose? Or will he come and go without the people realizing it?
The book is divided into three books that resulted in more than a thousand pages. Despite its length, it hardly had a dull moment and there weren’t any irrelevant scenes. Arnold maintained a steady pace that climaxed into a perfect finish. He was very expressive and detailed in his writing that sometimes I find myself smiling at his string of words. I learned a lot of new words like ‘shtup’ and ‘kvetched’ and was completely drawn into the world that the author created. Schmoozing, a word frequently used in the book became one of my favorite words that I infused into my daily interactions.
I love and admire Sarah’s character, Allie’s wife, the most. Allie left Sarah when she was pregnant to go on tour with Carole Herman, America’s most popular Jewish movie and singing star. He had an affair with Carole and even got her pregnant, yet Sarah stood by him. One of my favorite parts in the book was when Sarah told Allie that they should stop calling each other ‘honey’ as most people do. Instead, they should call each other ‘money’, since everybody loves money, ha! From then on, they called each other money, which I found very hilarious.
What I liked least about the book was the length Allie went to make money he felt he needed to help the poor. I didn’t like that it was through fraudulent means. I also didn’t like that the book lacked the content section that is usually at the beginning of a book. The contents could have helped me know what to expect, especially for such a lengthy book.
The author made great efforts in editing the book. I encountered a few errors which were mostly missing punctuation and didn’t find them distracting. Bearing this in mind, I am glad to rate Dues; the coming of Allie Cohen 4 out of 4 stars because it is well written and has an interesting storyline.
I recommend this book for those who like a good book to relax with, not minding its length. The author made the book relatable by predicting events that have occurred over time to make you feel the story is true. If you are looking for an action-packed book, this is not the book for you. I do not recommend it for children as it has several sex scenes in it.
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