Cover image for A thousand Benjamins
A thousand Benjamins
Kun, Michael.
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Publication Information:
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [1990]

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Emotionally numb after the break-up of a twenty-year-long marriage, Benjamin finds a second chance with Kim, who is eighteen years younger than he is.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rarely is a first novel as graceful, polished and mature as this debut by a 27-year-old attorney. A wistful tale about two sad and lonely people, it resonates with bittersweet insights. Benjamin Sacks, 40, is a salesman with a tragic past and a recent divorce. Kimberly Cassella is a green-eyed 23-year-old waitress with a secret: a disfiguring heart-surgery scar. Their romance, set in Kun's native Baltimore, forces Benjamin to confront himself and his feelings about the people in his life; by the end of the book we feel great affection for this fragile man who hides his own light under a bushel of woes. Kun's writing has a tone of quiet humor tinged with despair, evoking J. D. Salinger's stories about the Glass family. (There are in fact several Salinger references.) Although most explicitly dramatic moments are related as part of Benjamin's past, the story has a quiet power that belies the absence of a twisting plot or shocking event. This novel deserves serious attention as the herald of a truly interesting new voice. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A bittersweet story about love, guilt, and forgetting pain, this book was written during Kun's last year at law school. Tenuous lovers Kim and Benjamin must remember the past in order to make sense of the present. When newly divorced Benjamin, recovering from his parents' tragic deaths, meets Kim, who is recovering from recent heart surgery, Benjamin needs ``to figure out what my life means.'' Flawed emotionally and ``feeling small beneath the universe,'' he cannot cope with Kim's physical flaw, a disfiguring scar. Their search for bonding and happiness, and an escape from pain and loss, is the focus of the action as all the characters realize the need to work out their feelings in order to go forward. Recommended.-- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.