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The Chosen Audiobook for the Chosen People

by Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson

      This three-disc audiobook is a brief 3.5 hours, but youíll be exhausted after that time from the frantic pace and non-stop laughs. Unlike most nonfiction audiobooks, writers-actors Fogel and Wolfson, joined by actress Jackie Tohn, perform rather than read the manuscript, which is a companion to their successful Off-Broadway show of the same name. The play originated in Los Angeles and became the longest-running original theatrical comedy in L.A.ís history.

The audiobook contains irreverent swipes at Jewish history, culture, holidays, travel, dining, hygiene, mothers, and other stereotypes. In addition to crafting the humor, which usually hits its mark, the authors obviously did extensive research in gathering information (or else paid really close attention during Hebrew school). Some of the material is raunchier than necessary and perpetuates unkind images of Jews, but overall Jewtopia offers an entertaining and comprehensive look at all things Jewish. Especially funny were their bits on Moses in the desert and grooming tips for "manscaping."

The audiobook differs from the hardback book which differs from the play, which inspired both. The audiobook relies heavily on the performances of Fogel and Wolfson, in addition to several characters portrayed by Tohn. Many of the characters are designed to annoy (and they certainly do), and throughout the work the authors appear uncomfortably self-aware of their inability to easily transition the material into different formats. A fast, funny, frolic through Jewtopia is just what the (Jewish) doctor ordered.

The Book

Hachette Book Group
September 2006
Audiobook / CD
Nonfiction / Humor
More at
NOTE: Some Sexual Content and Profanity
Holiday: All Jewish Holidays mentioned

The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2006
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance. The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies and Dreams on Film. Coming Soon: A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews.
© 2006