BROOKLYN BOY MAKES GOOD
Like a sermon described in the novel, the language in “Witz” is “scripted to sound,” designed to capture the verbal distortions of East Coast speech. We hear of “Mortal Beach” and “Soygens General.” But while the scale of the sentences comfortably exceeds the lung capacity of most readers (Cohen isn’t afraid to unfurl a five-page sentence), the prose constantly highlights language’s sonar qualities: “At lot’s edge, last scattered lungs of leaves still hang from the boughs, breathe uneasy.” Cohen’s sentences are fluid, living things: “This lulling, ship’s loll, . . . a remnant, a reminder of the darkness, . . . and, flying across that sky a fish lands on the deck, at the forecastle, the fallen castle.”
Read the full review. And kudos, l’chaim, and cheers.