Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

Book review: ‘The Revenge of the Elders of Zion’

Attracted by the intriguing title, “The Revenge of the Elders of Zion,” I read this self-published book by Dan Sofer in its ebook version on my iPhone, and as I tend to read books on my phone only when I’m waiting to see the doctor or dentist, it took me rather a long time to read it. The convoluted plot and considerable length (61 chapters) also contributed to extend the time involved in finishing it. However, I persevered despite an ever-increasing need to extend the bounds of credibility, so that it was curiosity as to how a particular predicament would be resolved rather than intrinsic interest in the plot that kept me reading.

As the story begins we are introduced to David Zelig, a young man living in New York, who finds himself elbowed out of the family firm in the movie industry by the man appointed to manage it. David is doing his best to survive while at the same time trying to avoid being drawn into the well-oiled world of Jewish fund-raising. In a moment of inspiration, or perhaps desperation, he recruits two friends, young Jewish men living in New York, like himself, to attempt to combat the rising tide of antisemitism. Taking as their motto the derogatory term used in the notorious antisemitic text produced in tzarist Russian and then disseminated throughout Europe, i.e., the so-called Elders of Zion, the three set out to infiltrate and undermine the Moslem-financed antisemitic organisation which happens to use the same misnomer.

It is beyond my ability to recount the various surreal escapades, adventures and misadventures endured by the three in the course of the book’s sixty-one chapters, suffice it to say that priceless Fabergé eggs, esoteric Christian relics, desert islands inhabited by czarist dissenters, billionaires in private jets and Islamic terrorists are all involved at one stage or another. There is also a romantic side to the story, as David falls in love with the beautiful FBI agent appointed to help him, and their relations give rise to all manner of acts of derring-do and implausible acts of courage.

Without giving too much away, the book ends with a satisfying settling of accounts, and the prospect of everyone living happily ever after. Unless, of course, the author is already at work on a sequel of equal improbability.

About the Author
I was born and brought up in England. I am a graduate of the LSE and the Hebrew University. I have lived in Israel since 1964. I am an experienced translator, editor and writer.
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