BOOK REVIEW: The buzzy novel 'Whalefall' offers a modern spin on the ancient Book of Jonah

 

September 29, 2023

(JTA) — If one were to imagine what the prophet Jonah saw on his way down into the gullet of the whale, it might be something like this:

He slides feet first into its mouth on two inches of warm slime, the effluvia of a thousand squids past. Tooth sockets above him now, rancid black pits. Teeth passing on either side, yellowed cones, one missing, one fractured, one putrid with rot…The quaking cave of the mouth…His bare foot plants into a cold mash.

The scene, however, is actually a passage from one of the year’s buzziest novels: “Whalefall,” by Daniel Kraus, tells of a 17-year-old diver named...



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