Book Review: Hymie and the Angel

Hymie and the Angel
Written by Norman Beim
Published by Newconcept Press
ISBN10: 0931231094
ISBN13: 9780931231094

Review by Linda Yau

What would happen if you learned that you had four months to live. Would you accept this impending death sentence or curse your ill luck? Now what would happen if you had a personal angel, and there was a loophole to escape Death’s clutches? This is the situation for tavern owner, Hymie who learns of his death sentence. He has the fortune to befriend a disgraced angel named Adam. Adam bargains with Death for him the opportunity for Hymie to find someone else to take his place. If he finds someone to take his place, then he wouldn’t need to die. What would happen when Hymie questions who exactly would be willing to sacrifice their life to save him?

This is a book I received from Mr. Norman Beim last year at the Indie & Small Press Book Fair. My apologies to the author on the delay of this review. I enjoyed reading this book, and when I finally got the chance to read it, I was mostly engrossed in it, while I took the subway.

Several points, I liked about this book, was the supporting character of Frieda, Hymie’s nagging wife. The book is set in 1930’s New Jersey, and with the traditional mindset of Frieda – how should she show her affection other than nag, and be a traditional housewife? There were also many slice of life moments illustrated, as with the rich descriptions of a culture that is different from my own.

This is a book that is meant to be read, if you’d enjoy reading a racially diverse book, and/or enjoy reading domestic relevant dialogue. One other point to make, is the italicizing all the dialogue in the book, this is unique touch that confused me at first. But, then I realized that this may be an effect of Mr. Beim’s other career as an actor. So he feels that dialogue should be special enough to be italicized, but this is confusing at first for a laymen reader like myself. I feel that it makes it interesting to read aloud, though. What would you think?