Announcing a smart, daring, original new take on the Torah. Imagine: 54 leading young Jewish writers, artists, photographers, screenwriters, architects, actors, musicians, and graphic artists grappling with the first five books of the Bible and giving new meaning to the 54 Torah portions that are traditionally read over the course of a year.Read more...
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Announcing a smart, daring, original new take on the Torah. Imagine: 54 leading young Jewish writers, artists, photographers, screenwriters, architects, actors, musicians, and graphic artists grappling with the first five books of the Bible and giving new meaning to the 54 Torah portions that are traditionally read over the course of a year. From the foundational stories of Genesis and Exodus to the legalistic minutiae of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, "Unscrolled" is a reinterpreting, a reimagining, a creative and eclectic celebration of the Jewish Bible.Here s a graphic-novel version of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, by Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte. "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof writing about Abraham s decision to sacrifice his son. Here s Sloane Crosley bringing Pharaoh into the 21st century, where he s checking out boils, lice, and plague of frogs on WebMD. Plus there s Joshua Foer, Aimee Bender, A. J. Jacobs, David Auburn, Jill Soloway, Ben Greenman, Josh Radnor, Adam Mansbach, and more.Edited by Roger Bennett, a founder of Reboot, a network of young Jewish creatives and intellectuals, "Unscrolled" is a gathering of brilliant, diverse voices that will speak to anyone interested in Jewish thought and identity and, with its singular design and use of color throughout, the perfect bar and bat mitzvah gift. First it presents a synopsis of the Torah portion, written by Bennett, and then the story is reinterpreted, in forms that range from the aforementioned graphic novel to transcripts, stories, poems, memoirs, letters, plays, infographics, monologues each designed to give the reader a fresh new take on some of the oldest, wisest, and occasionally weirdest stories of the Western world, while inspiring new ideas about the Bible and its meaning, value, and place in our lives."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Bennett has assembled an eclectic and clever group of contributors for this often irreverent, but always insightful, treatment of each of the 54 portions of the Torah read annually by observant Jews. Each section is preceded by a brief, conversational, and accessible synopsis of the text. For example, editor Bennett writes of the beginning of Genesis, “While man goes about the time-consuming task of naming every animal, God realizes it is not a good idea for him to be alone.” And the Midrashim are equally creative. Damon Lindelof, the cocreator of the popular TV show Lost—and the inspiration behind this book—translates the binding of Isaac into a transcription of a police interrogation of Abraham that emphasizes how irrational the plan to sacrifice his son was. Essayist Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) presents a Pharaoh turning to WebMD to get help dealing with the plagues, and whose Google search for “Aaron’s rod” turns up rather pornographic results. Another highlight, which follows the section in Exodus that details the Tabernacle’s construction, is architect Marc Kushner’s solution to finding a spot for it in Manhattan. Jews and non-Jews alike are sure to relish this entertaining and informative bit of unorthodox exegesis. Agent: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary Association. (Oct.)