Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Big Kahn

The Big Kahn is a graphic novel about a family secret, so secret that Rabbi David Kahn's wife and kids do not know about it. At the Rabbi's funeral, his long lost brother arrives and tells the family that Rabbi Kahn has lived a lie. He is not Jewish, not a real rabbi and his real name is Donnie Dobbs. They are horrified.

All of the family members react differently to the news. Son Avi who was expected to inherit the rabbinate worries that the congregation will not vote him in, considering him to be a fraud like his father.  Scandalous daughter Lea becomes more interested in Judaism and wife Rachel cannot cope with the whispers about her that she overhears from ladies in the congregation. Young son Eli is just trying to find himself.

I loved this novel with all of its Jewish flair.  However, the same story could have been told about any faith tradition. All churchy people gossip about other church members so I can fully understand Rachel wanting to withdraw from society. The scenes from the funeral are not unique to Judaism as all people say the same words at funerals.  That said, this is a very Jewish story.  I can relate, though, from my experiences as a Protestant.

While this is a small book of 166 pages, the author has created characters with great depth through superb dialogue and emotional drawings.  This is the first time I have seen characters created as fully as you would find in a regular novel. Speaking of the artwork, The Big Kahn has black and white drawings with minimal shading done in comic panels.

Loved this book.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

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