Books critic Adam Kirsch comes today in Tablet Magazine mainly to praise Leeches, the newly translated 2006 novel from Serbian Jewish writer David Albahari. Where the novel indulges the hip, contemporary, misunderstanding infatuation with Kabbalah and gematria in the fashion that is more reminiscent of Dan Brown than the Talmud, Kirsch is lost; but where it honestly and earnestly (and through the pot-fogged eyes of a classic stoner narrator) interrogates the differences and similarities between Serbian and Jewish identities, Kirsch thinks he has found something.

Balkan Core