Jul 012010
 

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A Sixteenth Century Jew from the Venetian ghetto travels to the east Indies to trade for Jewels so we can compare the lives of Jews in anti-Semitic Europe (Abraham must wear a yellow cap when he leaves the ghetto), Buddhists in Pegu, and Christian traders.  I can’t put my finger on it, but the book lacks depth.  The characters are superficial, the love story between Abraham and the local rice farmer, Mya, can be seen a hundred miles off, and the religious comparisons feel heavy handed.  There are better books to read on Jews in the Middle Ages.  Start with A Journey to the End of the Millennia.

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