REVIEWS OF LAST WORD

“Friends, come close, closer still: now, marvel at the trueness of Jonathan Blum’s voice as he unravels a family saga for the ages. Blum’s Last Word explores the lengths one father will travel to know his son’s heart and the distances that son will journey to keep his heart hidden. With this debut, Jonathan Blum proves himself to be a writer of tireless compassion and infinite wisdom. Richly detailed, brimming with warmth, humor, and tenderness, Last Word is a ‘honey jar’ of a book.”

–Amber Dermont, author of The Starboard Sea and Damage Control

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“Jonathan Blum is a masterful writer, and Last Word is his most compelling work to date. Its narrator is loveable but deluded, and the story he tells us about his son’s offensive Internet hijinks is hugely entertaining.”

–Mark Jude Poirier, author of Goats and Modern Ranch Living

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“Following in the great tradition of the form, Jonathan Blum has written a novella of extraordinary beauty and profound intelligence. Infused with his trademark humor and wit, Last Word casts an incisive eye on our parenting culture, while at the same time telling a riveting and emotionally complex story of one man’s struggle to connect with son. It’s a stunning work, written by an author whose prodigious talent is matched only by his generous heart.”

–Andrew Porter, author of The Theory of Light and Matter and In Between Days

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“Parents and Children Beware: with Old Testament firepower and disarming sweetness, Jonathan Blum hacks into the dark heart of the ‘online’ American family, where every road is paved with the best intentions and no one, not even the computer, gets out alive. A smashing and gifted debut that will still your pulse and rock your soul! It’s beautiful, man.”

–Holiday Reinhorn, author of Big Cats: Stories

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“The Jewish-American family saga lives on in Jonathan Blum’s funny and humane Last Word. Think of it as When the Maccabees Met the iMac–a compulsively observant family thrown into chaos by the Internet. This is a sharp, knowing debut, rich without a wasted word, funny without a drop of malice.”

–Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love and A Ship Made of Paper

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“I’ve long been an admirer of the strange, intense, and yet incredibly intimate work of Jonathan Blum. Here in his new novella, Last Word, Blum gives us a father who does his best to love his son, and a family very much in peril. Last Word often made me laugh–he knows his people so well. It also often made me wonder: what more is in store for us–as sons, as fathers, as families–in this time of incredible technological upheaval? A necessary book for a very fraught time.”

–Peter Orner, author of Esther Stories and Love and Shame and Love

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“A terrific novella. This is a book that is going to win this debut writer, I think, enormous recognition and certainly a readership.”

–Michael Silverblatt, KCRW’s Bookworm

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Last Word is one of the most perfect new books to come into my life in many a year.”

–Paul Ingram, buyer, Prairie Lights Bookstore

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“2013 Book Gift List”

–Jan Weissmiller, Iowa Public Radio

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“A masterful finesse of unreliable narration…Blum writes with tremendous economy and compression. Last Word, at eighty-six pages, punches far above its weight, as does every one of its paragraphs and sentences…Last Word is gripping. It’s also incredibly funny…a precis on misunderstanding.”

–Stephen Lovely, The Iowa Review

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“A humorous and relatable depiction of a troubled family…Blum’s novella is an engaging rapid-read that touches the heart as much as it strikes a chord. Blum is a rising star in the Jewish literary world.”

–The Atlanta Jewish Times

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“[This] father-son tale is masterfully crafted.”

–The Gazette (Eastern Iowa)

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Last Word makes the reader really think about who is innocent and how one event leads to another. Despite this book’s brevity, Blum is able to create a multi-dimensional family and community that come to life on the page. This book focuses on an emotionally charged and complex situation highly relevant to twenty-first century digital concerns, teenage bullying, and the parent­ing skills needed to help teens navigate this confusing time.”

–Jamie Wendt, Jewish Book Council

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“Blum is highly skilled in showing the reader the complexity of contemporary Jewish life…I see in his work the melancholy and astuteness of Bellow and the humor of Roth.”

–Jason Christian, World Literature Today

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“At the Reading: Jonathan Blum”

–Hope Callahan, The Writing University

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“Last Word — Jonathan Blum”

–Books, Personally

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“Last Word by Jonathan Blum”

–Erin Flanagan, Heavy Feather Review

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“Last Word by Jonathan Blum”

”There are so many wonderful things about Jonathan Blum’s Last Word.

–Jonathan Russell Clark, PANK

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“A surprisingly endearing rumination on the hazards of misanthropy.”

–Sana Krasikov, author of One More Year

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“Blum’s plotline involves…a complex exploration of school bullying issues…and by the time the action rises to its Flannery O’Connor-esque climax, readers will be glad that the storyline can’t be easily reduced to a mere parable.”

–Iowa City Press Citizen