This modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is told by Shylock and his friend Simon Strulovitch. Both men are Jews and both men have troublesome daughters. However, this story is really Shylock’s as he gets all the good lines and is able to have a comeuppance with Plurabelle (Portia).

Strulovitch’s daughter Beatrice runs away with a footballer who infamously gave a “Nazi Salute” on the field. Strulovitch lends money to D’Anton and then makes the terms of him getting his daughter back in two weeks or he will demand his pound of flesh: that D’Anton is circumcised in the footballer’s place.

This is one of the least liked plays for me of Shakespeare. It is sometimes painful to read, as what we now deem anti-Semitic was accepted practice in his day. Today the play is played both ways, good Shylock or bad Shylock. This book would come out on the good end with reservations.

I found this book difficult reading and following the plot line and characters. There is a lot of good to this story and some memorable tales on being a Jew in the modern world that make it a four star read. I probably will never read it again.

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