Archive for April, 2012

What inspired me to write A History of the Middle Eastside? I’ve left some thoughts on this over at The Propagandist in Dealing with Gangster Nations.

Libyan “rebels” kicking over old Jewish grave stones when they’re taking a break from torturing rival militia groups. An Egyptian government that accepts ransom money for hostages. A Syrian regime that survives by shooting its enemies and pulling out the fingernails of the opposition. This is the modern Middle East; a land of ruthless gangsters that don’t know any other way than violence.

When I wrote A History of the Middle Eastside, I had those ideas firmly in mind. My gangster protagonists were an allegory for Zionists and modern-day Israelis, fighting to survive and stake out their territory despite overwhelming odds. And as in my novel, the Israelis find themselves stuck in a very bad neighborhood, able to cling to their land partly thanks to the gangster-mentality of the rulers across their borders, who can never seem to work together long enough to try to take out their chosen enemy. This is also the story of the wider Middle East region.


Book Reviews

Posted: April 23, 2012 in Crime Fiction, Jewish Fiction

Here’s what readers had to say about the book.

  • “It’s a great piece of satire and political allegory, with a crime noir style that is a perfect fit for a narrative spanning years of bloody conflict and infighting.” — Libertas Post
  • A History of the Middle Eastside is rife with violence, sex and Yiddishisms. It could be described, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp  Fiction meets Alex Kliner’s Menschenings.” —  The Jewish Independent
  • “European and Middle Eastern history is presented in novel form in Narvey’s work, beginning with what I take to be the Dreyfuss Affair of 1894, as witnessed by Theodore Herzl, founder of Zionism. Moving through the novel’s presentation of events set in fictional Manhattan gangwars, we see tough guy Gruber, (known to us not as Adolph Schicklegruber but as Adolph Hitler,) defeated; his rivals François, Big Ben, and Ivan, with the dedicated help of Washington, then vying for turf; Polanski, (whom I take to be Ze’ev Jabotinsky,) a refugee from the wars, showing up in the traditional Jewish ghetto of Manhattan’s Lower Eastside, here as The Middle Eastside, 1948. Thus begin the gangwars of survival “The Yids” must win– over and over again.” — No Dhimmitude


I’m not a gangster but I am a Zionist. I’ve never lived in New York City, but I’ve visited. I have walked the dusty ground at Dachau. I have been to Israel twice.

I’m a writer.

To learn more about me, check out the personal blog of Jonathon Narvey.