The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green Braff's elegiac tale of a mid-'70s Jersey boyhood shares at least one attribute—a psychologically abusive father—with brother Zach's zanier movie, Garden State . But Unthinkable… The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green Braff's elegiac tale of a mid-'70s Jersey boyhood shares at least one attribute—a psychologically abusive father—with brother Zach's zanier movie, Garden State . But Unthinkable… 2004-09-10 Fiction Algonquin Books
Book Review

The Unthinkable Thoughts Of Jacob Green (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Sep 10, 2004; Writer: Joshua Braff; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Algonquin Books

Braff's elegiac tale of a mid-'70s Jersey boyhood shares at least one attribute—a psychologically abusive father—with brother Zach's zanier movie, Garden State. But Unthinkable's paterfamilias, the smothering, histrionic narcissist Abram Green, is more richly awful: Every member of the clan -- from wistful shiksa wife Claire to rebellious firstborn Asher to our teenage narrator Jacob -- is expected to perform in Dad's nonstop ego cabaret. As Braff chronicles the inevitable implosion in brisk, readable prose, his texture (if not his Roth-ish sexual realism) recalls very good young-adult fiction. Perhaps that's because he doesn't develop so much as defend poor besieged Jacob, who learns cruel lessons in the limits of love -- and not much else.

Originally posted Sep 10, 2004 Published in issue #782-783 Sep 10, 2004 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners