`Game of Dostoevsky' a Toss-Up
From the word Go, Samuel
Astrachan's "Game of Dostoevsky"
is a loser. Anyone who's ever
played Monopoly would immedi-
ately see why.
On page 13, the novel's unlucky
"heroes" (a Word of questionable
taste in their case) gather for the
first of many such parlor games
throughout the book.
" 'Marvin Gardens, Miss Robin-
son?' " asks Edgar, the university
"She shook her head. (She,
meaning Jane Robinson, a bright
young college coed.)
" 'Come, come, Miss Robinson.
I'll take Marvin Gardens off your
hands and you can have the B&O
and the Pennsylvania lines.'"
Edgar's offer bodes ill. Why
would anyone want to give up two
railroads for property in Marvin
Gardens? A card up his sleeve?
Sure enough, as the reader learns
later, Edgar in private life is not
the gentleman he's cracked up to
be at 'these little soirees.
Detroiter Samuel Astrachan
(actually, a Detroiter for a short
time; a native New Yorker, he
and his wife Claude have lived
in France)' has shuffled into his
novel a deck of characters to
make the blood run cold.
Calling themselves the Wolga-
muts, this game little group fre-
quently meets at the home of a
young socialite. There, amid the
flickering candlelight, they play
a modified forth of Monopoly
which calls for individual confes-
sions of the Seven Deadly Sins in
the name, of a literary character.
The pretended confessions turn
out to be reflections of the real
thing. For the players — when
they're not playing—are champs
at such winning ways as sloth,
pride and lust.
This book, published by Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, is not to be
read by the faint-hearted enter-
tainment seeker. It is not enter-
taining, but it is to be 'admired
for its form, for its relentless
pattern of interplay between the
real and the unreal. Indeed, in
JEROME L. SCHOSTAK, secre-
tary-treasurer of .Schostak Brostak
Brothers and Co., will attend the
annual convention of the Interna-
tional Council of Shopping _Cen-
ters in New York beginning May 2.
He will be accompanied by
JULIUS W. LEV, construction co-
ordinator for Schostak Brothers.
this respect, it is more like a game
For this reason, the characters,
too are like so many pieces on
a board, and Astrachan has
taken no pains to breathe life
Take, for example, the young
Jewish instructor, Max Wise, an
authority on Russian literature.
Astrachan has stereotyped both
the character and the Wolgamuts'
reaction to him. Wise is the wan-
dering Jew doomed by birth to
the out crowd; he is the crafty
city-dweller, the sensitive intel-'
lectual of the brooding brow.
Wise is politely asked, What is
it to be a Jew? . . . " 'A religion?
a race? a people?'
"Smiling caustically, he said it
was an intellectual position.
" 'How so?'
" 'You say no to everything. On
principle. We take our roots from
Clever repartee? Or merely
Indeed, there is much in this
book that is tedious. Too often,
the author seems to be as bored
and disenchanted as his charac-
ters. And yet, the plot is in-
triguing; the conclusion startling.
Who won? Take your chances.
Jewish Agency Will Aid I mmigrants From West
Will Be Exchanged
JERUSALEM (JTA)—A special abroad in order to eliminate un-
committee has been named by the pleasant surprises for newcomers.
Jewish Agency to aid in the ab-
sorption of immigrants from West-
FOR THE BEST IN
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
ern countries, it was disclosed by
Aryeh L. Pincus, treasurer of the
And His Orchestra
The need for proper absorption
facilities to substantially increase
American immigration to Israel
was voiced by Moshe Goldberg,
executive director of the Associa-
tion of Americans and Canadians
in Israel. Addressing the organ-
ization's 14th annual convention,
he also stressed the need for dis
seminating accurate information
MISS PHYLLIS GINSBERG
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Ginsberg of
Wisconsin Ave. announce the en-
gagement of their daughter Phyl-
lis Diane to Ernest Jerold Ring,
son of Mr. And Mrs. Sidney Ring
of St. Marys Ave.
The bride-elect is a sophomore
at Wayne State UniVersity. Her
fiance attended Wayne State. Uni-
versity, where he was affiliated
with Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity,
and is currently attending Wayne
State University's . school of medi-
A December wedding is planned.
Family, Children's Service Backs
Birth Control Data for Welfare Cases
The board of directors of the
Jewish Family and Children's Ser-
vice is endorsing a principle
adopted by welfare and health
agencies to the effect that birth
control information be given to
public aid recipients.
In a unanimous action, the
board approved the decisions of
the State Social Welfare Commis-
sion and Department of Health
and the Detroit Health and Wel-
These agencies have ruled
that caseworkers be permitted
to initiate discussions with wel-
fare clients concerning birth
control and to refer these per-
sons, including unmarried moth-
ers, for treatment as indicated.
The JFCS resolution strongly
opposes "any statutory or admin-
istrative regulations which would
limit such advice and treatment to
those public aid recipients who
specifically ask for such assist-
CUSTOM -1cDNAE-5 OF=
CLASSIC EEC E= AIJ -r
ante." This statement is in refer-
ence to two bills introduced in the
House by Rep. William A. Ryan of
Detroit that would severely limit
the rights of public health nurses
or social workers to initiate the
discussion of birth control. These
bills haVe now been reported out
of committee and are on the floOr
of the House for action.
All legislators in Wayne, Oak-
land and Macomb counties, as well
as Gov. Romney, have received
copies of the JFCS resolution.
A prominent New York City
paper manufacturer has created a.
permanent endowment fund to
provide for the maintenance costs
or a building he will underwrite
at Brandeis University. HARRY
PEARLMAN, a Fellow of the Uni-
versity and board chairman and
chief executive officer of the Swa-
nee Paper Corp., has given Bran-
deis $500,000, half of which will
go toward construction of a teach-
ing center in `the humanities. The
remaining $250,000 will provide
the endowment for building main-
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Rare FDR Letter
NEW • YORK (JTA) — A rare
letter from the late President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, stressing the
wartime President's interest in the
Old Testament, was placed on dis-
play in the main lobby of Temple
Emanu-El. The letter had been
written by Roosevelt shortly before
his death in 1945 to Rev. Dr.
Samuel H. Goldenson, then the
spiritual leader of the Reform con-
Being displayed now as a tribute
to President Roosevelt on the occa-
sion of the 20th anniversary of his
death, the lengthy letter stated in
part: "The great majority of
Americans find religious unity in a
common Biblical heritage — the
heritage of the 01 d Testament.
Whether our allegiance is to the
tenets of Christian Revelation or to
the ancient teaching of Israel, we
all hold to the inspiration
Old Testament and accept the
Commandments as the fundamental
law of God."
1E3t-J I L-I=D 11 ■ 1 EE3L-CDCD
L-C=1, 1E3 'N./1:=:2L....
Use our Home Design or Your Own
NORMAN N. SNYDER LEOPOLD J. SNYDER
Construction and Design
Cantor REUVEN FRANKEL of
Cong. Shaarey Zedek was recently
re-elected chairman of the Tri-
State Region of the Cantors As-
sembly of America for the third
consecutive year. Cantor JACOB
SONENKLAR, of the same congre-
gation was elected honorary chair-
man in honor of his 15th year in
the cantorate. Cantor LOUIS
KLEIN, of Cong. Bnai Moshe was
elected co-chairman of the region.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, April 16, 1965-33
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