Dead Weight by Batt Humphreys 236 pgs. Joggling Board Press
Dead Weight is based on factual events with fictional characters mixed in. There is a murder of a Jewish merchant, Mr. Lebelsky. His wife Rose, is away in New York until she is summoned by the city of Charleston that her husband was murdered. She returns to Charleston.
There seems to be a rift between Mr. Levin and Mr. Lebelsky about business being open on Saturday. Jewish law doesn't allow stores to be open on Saturday. Max Labelsky was from the new school to be open on Saturday, but Mr. Levin did not believe this.
Rose Lebelsky opens her clothing shop when she returns. While she is working she gets conked on the head. There is a young black man,Nealy Duncan he is walking away from the scene not running down the street.
He was purchasing items for his wedding. Mrs. Lebelsky was conked on the head. The mob chases after him after they hear Mrs. Lebelsky scream. They chase after him. The mob grabs him and does not look for any other suspects. But they come to the realization he must be Mr. Lebelsky's murderer. This is Charleston, SC the racial divide.
The elements Mr. Nealy Duncan works for a baker named Mr. Gelifiss. He is a white man that teats Nealy like a son. He is about to marry Ida. He makes purchases for the wedding that is what he doing in Jewish Charleston. Observant Jews business owners don't open their business on Saturday. There was a rift between Mr. Lebelsky and Mr. Levin.
SPOILER!!! SPOILER!! If you don't want to know what happens don't read any further.
The trial does not go well for Nealy. It was a unfair trial. it is decied that he will be hanged. There are citizens that want to help including a reporter Hinson.
After the trial he is placed in the jail for two days till the hanging. A group of men wanted to give Nealy his last wish, to see Ida in her wedding dress and married. The group put something in their drink to make the jailers sleep. They have 15 minutes to knock them out and bring Ida to Nealy united in marriage. Be able to escape without anyone's knowledge.
Nealy is hanged by a noose what is called Dead Weight. How they do it on the ships. Even the hanging does go well. You should be able to hear his neck snap and the observers are not sure if it did. They keep him in the noose for a extra 30 minutes.
In the mean time there is a hurricane coming. Ida's mother can not find her. Mr. Hinson goes searching for her. He finds her at Nealy's fresh grave. He realizes that she has shot herself(Romeo and Juliet).
My thoughts on this book. It is a fast easy read. I enjoyed reading the book, Dead Weight. Mr. Humphreys did a lot of research and had a lot of background information about Charleston area and the hurricane. The hurricane just added to the story. I went to Charleston last summer so that added to the feel of the book. Now that I read the book I would like to visit the places that are mentioned, especially the homes and businessses on Kings and Meeting street. The Jewish cemetery where Max is buried. I would like to find Lebelsky's gravesite in the Jewish cemetery.
I have said it before but if any of you live in the Myrtle Beach area or would like to see Batt come to Barnes and Noble at the Market Commons at 1PM on December 6th. He will be doing book signings. Or if you would like to see him as a guest speaker at our Hadassah Tea on December 6th from 3-5. Leave me a comment at the bottom of my post and I will get back with you with details.
I will be having Batt write a guest post in the next few days.
It is confirmed Batt Humphreys, the author of Dead Weight is coming to our Hadassah Tea in Myrtle Beach. He will first be having his book signing at Barnes and Noble at the Market Commons. From there he will be our guest speaker at the Membership tea. If any of you are in the area and would like to attend let me know by leaving a comment and I will get back with you.
I am very excited because I met him through correspondence through cyberspace. We have been corresponding about his book. When I found out about him coming to Myrtle Beach I had asked him if he would come to our membership tea as our guest speaker.
Dead Weight is a book based on factual event that happened in Charleston at the turn of the century. It is about a murder of a Jewish merchant. The accused is a young black man about to be married. You will just have to read the book to find out how the book ends.
Did you know there is alot of Jewish history in Charleston? Actually the first place Jews settled was Charleston, SC not New York.
Batt Humphreys was a senior producer of CBS News, in New York. He lives outside of Charleston. He's roots are in the south.
I have been in touch with Mr. Humphreys about his book,Dead Weight. He is a local author from outside Charleston. He is coming to Barnes and Noble on December 6th. The good news is, After the book event at Barnes and Noble he will be stopping by at the membership tea we are having.
I wanted to have him come out to lunch with my book club and my group of friends. But most of them would be at the tea. Some quick thinking on my part, I had come up with a plan. This is not what I would have wanted but the best that I could think of.
I can't believe a author would do this and take the time to come to talk to us after. That is so gracious of him. When I started communicating with him when he and he's publicist were planning the book event at BN he asked me what day woudl be better. To ask me, I am sure he is so busy. This was so touching, don't you think?? Top it off he is not getting paid for this.
The organization, will not allow him to solicit his book during our tea. So, this is out of the kindness of his heart( but spreading the word about his book helps).
This is fantastic, and awesome. There are not many book events down here in SC. Up north there is more opprotunity for them. I am excited to meet Batt.
He has written a book based on fact of a murder that takes place in Charleston. It is about a black man accused of murdering a Jewish merchant. The book is called Dead Weight. I like reading about the historical events that are written. Also, some of Jewish Charleston. That facts that he writes about in Jewish Charleston he got right. I am surprised that he knew about the rift between other Jews. I am not going to tell you the rest. You will just have to read and find out what I am talking about.
Now, I need to get back to studying. Just thought I would check in and let everyone know what is going on. Wish me luck on my exam. This is going to be a hard exam. It is on the brain. I thought the muscle was hard. The nervous System is double the studying time. What was worse was we only had a day to study the brain. It is just alot of info. to study in a short time. I will let you all know after my practical how I did on my exam.
Our book club met for the first time. We discussesd Gurersney's Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. Alot to discuss. We all just loved the book. We liked the historical background as well as the story. We were amazed about the historical background of the story. We did not know that part of this small island was occupied by the Germans. We were surprised that England just abandoned this tiny island and did nothing to prevent this.
Our book club was only going to meet 3-4 times a year we are going to try meet every month and see what happpens. We had 6 people come which better than the last time. We were all pretty happy.
We decided on two books for the next two months:
Snow In August by Peter Hamill
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.
Both of these books I have read and enjoyed. It is going to be great discussing the two books in the upcoming months with our book club. Both of these books I have enjoyed before and I will enjoy again.
Pete Hamill wrote Snow In August. I just loved this book. About a boy that is not Jewish and befriends a Rabbi. I learned about the Golem from this book.
I always wanted to have a book club meeting to discuss Snow in August but the chance never came untill now. I can't wait. I had writen to the author to see if he would think about talking to my book club through speakerphone. I am sure he is very busy, but who knows.
I will be blogging about Jewish books, mainly fiction. I will have book reviews, book news, and Jewish news that promotes the Jewish authors. And of course any happenings in Temple Emanu-El of Myrtle Beach. If you are looking for a temple in Myrtle Beach. Visit Temple Emanu-El, a conservative temple at http://www.mbsynagogue.org/ We are a warm and friendly shul. Our spiritual leader, Rabbi Avi our and his wife Mira are friendly and kind, friendly and very sympathetic to each of our members. We are a small shul but that only adds to our uniqueness and our shuls warmth. If you are ever in the Myrtle Beach area come, and stop for a visit.
If you are looking for info. on the secular side of books you can visit my other blog, http://susansliterarycafe.blogspot.com. You are welcome to leave a comment. And thanks for stopping by.