Outwords bookstore in Milwaukee has a book club that discusses novels by gay authors and/or gay subjects in novels.
On 12th of May 2008 the topic was Arnon Grunberg's The Jewish Messiah.
Book club member Konrad Kuchenbach reported via e-mail: 'I just returned home form the book club in Milwaukee and we had a rather lively discussion. In the ten years or so that I have been in the group, I think this was the most challenging book we have read.
The youngest is 50 and the oldest (myself) 70. All are WASP except two who are raised Catholic and a recent member we do not know much about. Not a Jew in the group and I guess not surprising the word "anti-Semitism" was never spoken, not even by me. So, in truth, I would say that we barely scratched the surface of a serious discussion. I think maybe the "in your face" violence of the story turned people off. They did not get the narrative twists that turned it into black humor, nor did they get the dead seriousness of the results of hatred and anti-Semitism.
I think that this book will be mentioned again in our on going meetings and it will be interesting how the discussion continues.
I would like to thank Arnon Grunberg for writing an honest, truly frightening, but at the same time entertaining book.'