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The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

The Lazarus Project (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Aleksandar Hemon

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1,0574512,679 (3.53)51
This story, alternating between turn-of-the-century Chicago and modern times, features a man attempting to reimagine the death of a Jewish immigrant.
Title:The Lazarus Project
Authors:Aleksandar Hemon
Info:Riverhead Trade (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:To read, African Lit/Non-Fiction

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The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon (2008)


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English (41)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Sounds interesting and probably could have been, had I been able to completely follow the storyline. I listened to this on audio and it was impossible to follow. It's a dual time line with some characters by the same or like names. There were no chapter numbers, no chapter titles, and therefore when listening I was not sure if I was listening to the 1903 setting or the 1968 setting. The 1903 story is one of the killing of Lazarus, a Bosnian immigrant to Chicago. The 1968 setting is one of author Vladimir Brik (an immigrant from the Ukraine) who stumbles upon the story of Lazarus and wants to write a book about it. The story jumps back and forth between the two settings and therein was the problem for me. I read the entire book, but wanted to quit more than once, thinking I would finally make the connections; but sadly, that never happened. ( )
  Tess_W | Nov 27, 2019 |
Lazarus Averbuch survived a Ukrainian pogrom, but in 1908 he's shot by the Chicago Chief of Police in the entry of the Chief's home. A century later, Vladimir Brik, an immigrant from Bosnia now married and living in Chicago, becomes interested in Averbuch and decides to write about him, sending him to Eastern Europe along with an old friend from Sarajevo, a photographer who survived the war there.

It's impossible to communicate how very brilliant and well-constructed this novel is without going into far too much detail. There's a lot going on, but it's so well-juggled that each thread shines on its own, and enhances the book as a whole. There's much about the life of Eastern Europeans in Chicago along with the nascent labor movement, the war in the former Yugoslavia and how one man survived, the memory of the Jews of Moldova and Ukraine, the current state of life in those two countries, and a recent immigrant's struggles to belong to the new life he finds himself in. Aleksandar Hemon's writing style is razor-sharp and tinged with a black humor. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Sep 6, 2019 |
Brik, a young writer in Chicago, travels through Eastern Europe with his friend Rora, tracing the life of Lazarus Averbuch, a Jewish immigrant who lived in Chicago until he was shot and killed by George Skippy, the chief of police, when Lazarus had attempted to deliver the officer a letter.
  JRCornell | Dec 7, 2018 |
The Lazarus Project tells the story of a recent immigrant from Bosnia captured by a century old story of a young Jewish immigrant from his part of the world. The kinship he feels for this man who died in Chicago 100 years ago moves him to return to Bosnia and research the young Lazarus Averbuch. In their parallel immigrant experiences, he finds the difficulty and danger of fitting into a new culture and society. ( )
  UnionCongUCC | Oct 27, 2018 |
I wanted to like this, I really did. But it just seemed to drag, and I kept catching myself getting distracted and daydreaming while reading or just wishing I was done already. I had a hard time liking or being able to relate to the characters. The beginning and end were the most interesting parts to me, the middle lost me. One positive I will say is that I enjoy some of the subtle details mirrored in the two stories. Total disappointment overall. ( )
  ctkjs | Jan 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aleksandar Hemonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Božović, VeliborPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Costa, Rita daTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with rags, and his face was covered with a cloth. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.
For my sister, Kristina
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The time and place are the only things I am certain of: March 2, 1908, Chicago.
My dreams were but a means of forgetting, they were the branches tied to the galloping horses of our days, the emptying of the garbage so that tomorrow—assuming there would be a tomorrow—could be filled up with new life. You die, you forget, you wake up new.
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