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Moving Kings: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2017
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Description
A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Netanyahus
 
“A Jewish Sopranos . . . utterly engrossing, full of passionate sympathy . . . Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious at work in American fiction today.”—The New Yorker
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Vulture, Bookforum
One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a powerful and provocative novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.
The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King’s Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the tri-state area’s moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it’s not easy to move beyond their traumatic pasts when their days are spent kicking down doors as eviction-movers in the ungentrified corners of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, throwing out delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job—an “Occupation”—quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/11/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780399590191
ASIN:
B01M64VAFR
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Cohen. (2017). Moving Kings: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joshua Cohen. 2017. Moving Kings: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joshua Cohen, Moving Kings: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Cohen. Moving Kings: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Joshua Cohen was born in 1980 in Atlantic City. His books include the novels The Netanyahus, winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Moving Kings, Book of Numbers, Witz, A Heaven of Others, and Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto; the short-fiction collection Four New Messages, and the nonfiction collection Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. Cohen was awarded Israel’s 2013 Matanel Prize for Jewish Writers, and in 2017 was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. He lives in New York City.
      • name: Joshua Cohen
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Random House
publishDate
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title
Moving Kings
fullDescription
A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Netanyahus
 
“A Jewish Sopranos . . . utterly engrossing, full of passionate sympathy . . . Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious at work in American fiction today.”—The New Yorker
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Vulture, Bookforum
One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a powerful and provocative novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.
The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces. In keeping with national tradition, they take a year off for rest, recovery, and travel. They come to New York City and begin working for Yoav’s distant cousin David King—a proud American patriot, Republican, and Jew, and the recently divorced proprietor of King’s Moving Inc., a heavyweight in the tri-state area’s moving and storage industries. Yoav and Uri now must struggle to become reacquainted with civilian life, but it’s not easy to move beyond their traumatic pasts when their days are spent kicking down doors as eviction-movers in the ungentrified corners of the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, throwing out delinquent tenants and seizing their possessions. And what starts off as a profitable if eerily familiar job—an “Occupation”—quickly turns violent when they encounter one homeowner seeking revenge.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Two Israeli soldiers immigrate to New York City to work as eviction movers in this striking, erratic novel from the author of Book of Numbers. The novel’s early sections follow the middle-aged Jewish owner of King’s Moving, David King, an estranged father who invites his 22-year-old cousin, Yoav, to work for him after Yoav’s discharge from the IDF. Following a poignant flashback to David’s lone trip to Israel, the novel focuses on Yoav, first on his fraught military experience, then on the unsmooth transition to American civilian life. The novel then alternates between Yoav’s assimilation and the arduous lack thereof for Uri, another solider from his unit, who eventually comes stateside to work for King’s Moving, leading to a haphazard climax involving a sledgehammer, a gun, and some reactivated military training. The prose achieves a wild brilliance but cannot sustain it, focusing too little on what feels like the beating heart of the story. There are, however, admirable risks to be found on most every page, resulting in an ambitious and thought-provoking read.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2017
        A New York City moving company gets into trouble when it starts doing evictions in a wide-ranging novel that touches on political, religious, and social issues.David King's father survived Buchenwald to open a U.S. furniture-moving business that his son has expanded while ruining his marriage via sex with his manager. As the book opens in 2015, David is divorced, has new teeth and hair plugs, and is awkwardly, comically schmoozing among WASPs at a political fundraiser in the Hamptons. He manages to connect with real estate mogul Fraunces Bower III, a link that will resonate in the novel's climax. David's Uncle Shoyl survived Auschwitz, and Shoyl's grandson, Yoav, joins King's Moving after compulsory service in the Israeli army. His squad-mate Uri is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life, and he also eventually flies to New York to work for the moving company. All these elements will come together when a Vietnam War veteran named Avery Luter/Imamu Nabi misses too many mortgage payments on the home he inherited from his mother and stages a mini-Occupation as the King moving company receives its first job from the Bower real estate empire--evicting Luter. Cohen (The Book of Numbers, 2015, etc.) shows an impressive knowledge of life in the cab of a moving van and in the ranks of the Israeli Defense Forces. He touches on two wars and two combat zones (counting brief allusions to Afghanistan). He is funny and caustic and has a marvelous snap in his dialogue. For a writer whose last two novels total some 1,400 pages, Cohen has slimmed down here but still covers a lot of territory.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2017
        In his audacious new novel, Cohen (Book of Numbers, 2015) confronts the bewildering nature of displacement. David King is a wealthy, egocentric Republican Jew and owner of New Yorkbased King's Moving, a business that specializes in eviction transit and storage. While dealing with a recent divorce, managing an affair with his assistant, and trying to keep tabs on his recovering-drug-addict daughter, David also prepares for the arrival of his distant cousin, Yoav, who plans to take a customary year off to recover after serving in the Israeli army. With little more than distant memories of touring the Holy Land with Yoav while on business, David soon puts his cousin and Uri, another young Israeli veteran, to work. But their job storming the homes of New York's dispossessed is uncomfortably reminiscent of their wartime experiences in Gaza, drawing parallels between race and class struggles in the Middle East and urban America. While Cohen's comparison risks being heavy-handed, he pulls it off with lovingly personal character studies, an outrageous sense of humor, and a voice both stylish and astute.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2017

        Literary cult author Cohen follows 2015's nationally best-selling, best-booked Book of Numbers with a new work featuring two 21-year-old Israelis working as movers in New York. Mostly, they're shoving out delinquent tenants and defaulting homeowners in poor minority neighborhoods, but someone who refuses to budge brings back echoes of their military service.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2017

        David King, founder of a New York-based moving company the Moving Kings, is a recently divorced mogul trying to repair a broken relationship with his adult daughter while managing an affair with his long-suffering office manager. The trenchant social critique in Cohen's novel starts in the first chapter, at a swanky Hamptons Republican soiree where David is out of his element and greeted as a quaint amusement by the politicians who recognize him from his famously over-the-top ads. The book's perspective switches about a third of the way through to that of David's young Israeli cousin Yoav, and Uri, Yoav's disturbed former squad mate, who have completed their military service and come to New York to work as off-the-books movers for David's company. The Moving Kings engage in multiple borderline illegal and immoral practices, for which Yoav's and Uri's military service has well prepared them. Their fellow movers are a kaleidoscopic cross-section of New York's underclass, as are the poor souls they evict from their homes. VERDICT Cohen (The Book of Numbers) gets to the heart of his troubled characters, sensitively portraying damaged psyches from all levels of Israeli and American society and offering incisive social commentary on both cultures. [See Prepub Alert, 2/6/17.]--Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 15, 2017

        David King, founder of a New York-based moving company the Moving Kings, is a recently divorced mogul trying to repair a broken relationship with his adult daughter while managing an affair with his long-suffering office manager. The trenchant social critique in Cohen's novel starts in the first chapter, at a swanky Hamptons Republican soiree where David is out of his element and greeted as a quaint amusement by the politicians who recognize him from his famously over-the-top ads. The book's perspective switches about a third of the way through to that of David's young Israeli cousin Yoav, and Uri, Yoav's disturbed former squad mate, who have completed their military service and come to New York to work as off-the-books movers for David's company. The Moving Kings engage in multiple borderline illegal and immoral practices, for which Yoav's and Uri's military service has well prepared them. Their fellow movers are a kaleidoscopic cross-section of New York's underclass, as are the poor souls they evict from their homes. VERDICT Cohen (The Book of Numbers) gets to the heart of his troubled characters, sensitively portraying damaged psyches from all levels of Israeli and American society and offering incisive social commentary on both cultures. [See Prepub Alert, 2/6/17.]--Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A propulsive, incendiary novel about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Netanyahus
 
“A Jewish Sopranos . . . utterly engrossing, full of passionate sympathy . . . Cohen is an extraordinary prose stylist, surely one of the most prodigious at work in American fiction today.”—The New Yorker
 
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Vulture, Bookforum
One of the boldest voices of his generation, Joshua Cohen returns with Moving Kings, a powerful and provocative novel that interweaves, in profoundly intimate terms, the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world's oldest conflict, in the Middle East.
The year is 2015, and twenty-one-year-olds Yoav and Uri, veterans of the last Gaza War, have just completed their compulsory military service in the Israel...
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