Leslie Epstein Edith Milton - Essay

Edith Milton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[King of the Jews] is elegantly written, paced like a Burger-King commercial, and arranged with a very cunning eye for irony; its cumulative effect is that of an intricate artifice built on the grave of total horror. I am not accusing Epstein of bad taste; it is not really a question of that. Epstein's novel is somehow outside the range of taste, in the same way a novel might be if it were written by a dolphin…. Parts of the book are astonishingly beautiful; a scene, for instance, where doomed, starved boys act out, for a school exercise, the motion of the planets. Parts of it are disturbingly real; a game of naked leapfrog forced on the new leaders of the ghetto before they are shot. But I cannot recognize...

(The entire section is 700 words.)