Snow in August: A Novel

Snow in August: A Novel

by Pete Hamill


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Brooklyn, 1947. The war veterans have come home. Jackie Robinson is about to become a Dodger. And in one close-knit working-class neighborhood, an eleven-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin has just made friends with a lonely rabbi from Prague.

Snow in August is the story of that unlikely friendship — and of how the neighborhood reacts to it. For Michael, the rabbi opens a window to ancient learning and lore that rival anything in Captain Marvel. For the rabbi, Michael illuminates the everyday mysteries of America, including the strange language of baseball. But like their hero Jackie Robinson, neither can entirely escape from the swirling prejudices of the time. Terrorized by a local gang of anti-Semitic Irish toughs, Michael and the rabbi are caught in an escalating spiral of hate for which there's only one way out — a miracle....

Deeply affecting and wonderfully evocative of old New York, Snow in August is a brilliant fable for our time and all time — and another triumphfor Pete Hamill.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316242820
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 356
Sales rank: 89,918
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Pete Hamill is a novelist, journalist, editor, and screenwriter. He is the author of twenty-two books, including the bestselling novels Tabloid City, North River, Forever, and Snow in August, and the bestselling memoir A Drinking Life. He lives in New York City.


New York, New York, and Cuernavaca, Mexico

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York


Mexico City College, 1956-1957; Pratt Institute

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Snow in August 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
EunieKS More than 1 year ago
Snow in August is about 11-year-old Michael Devlin, an Irish Catholic who becomes friends with an Orthodox Jew, Rabbi Hirsch, a recent immigrant to America. Set in a borough of Brooklyn in 1947, following WWII in which Michael's father gave his life at the Battle of the Bulge and Rabbi Hirsch's beloved wife lost hers in her fight against the fanatical Hitler by trying to organize the Jews to leave for Palestine. Michael teaches Rabbi Hirsch English and American ways and the rabbi teaches the boy Yiddish and tells him stories of Jewish life back in Prague, as well as the mysteries of the Kabbalah. 1947 is the year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, anti-Semitism and the distrust of others not of one's culture or nationality was alive and well in America. A gang of young Irish teens set out to rule the neighborhood by intimidation, feeding on violence and hatred until, through Michael, a powerful force is brought to bear against them. The story of the friendship between the boy and the rabbi is a touching one and I especially enjoyed the interaction between the two. The ending was not as I had imagined and didn't give me the satisfaction the ending I envisioned would have, but, of course, it wasn't my story. Eunice Boeve, author of Ride a Shadowed Trail
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. Pete Hamill has just the magic touch to bring words to life. This isn't as good as his book 'Forever' but it's still an amazing book. It really takes you to back to the 1940s in NYC.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sad, happy, historical, cynical, religious, ethnic,fast paced....all packed into this one book....loved it.....could not put it down....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though it had been lying on my desk for nearly two years when I finally decided to read it; it was a great novel and Pete Hamill is a brilliant author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i finishef this remarkable novel I sat spellbound for many many minutes. You just don't want to let go or fade from memory. As an older adult and grandfather i look back on my youth and my confusions and realize that Hamill got it so so right. Beautiful. I have never written to an author but Snow in August makes me wsnt to reach out to the author and simply say Yes...oh yes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story of of a young boy and the streets of New York in the early 40's. Gangs, Dodger's baseball and a struggling widowed mom during World War Two. The boy finds a friend and life lessons on his way to church in a snowstorm. I couldn't put it down and have recommended it to all of my friends. Luckygram
BabyReads More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, love this author, they have a heartbeat. Loyalty, and betrayal, by people we love -and used to love, captured in story with a graininess and humanity reminiscent of , "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Hamill writes "literature." This baby is happy to have read two Hamill novels (and soon to devour two more).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is simply ome of the finest novels I've ever read. Highly recommended!
PJMD More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, takes you to the NY of the 40's, Brooklyn Dodgers, immigrant experiences lovingly described, yet realistic. A good bit of Jewish folklore, linked to Irish folklore. Couldn't put it down (or, couldn't shut off my NOOK!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply put, I liked this story--told from an innocent young boy's point of view but with an injection of the sometimes harsh realities that too many children have to face in this world. I was surprised by another reviewer's comment that Catholics were shown in a predominantly negative light, because--as a Catholic--I was pleasantly surprised that most were shown positively. I kept waiting for the pedophile priest or the "jew-hating" rhetoric, but, while there was no attempt to deny that such behaviors exist, most people in general in the story were shown to be tolerant and decent to one another. Sure, fear of retribution from bullies and gangs kept people quiet, but that is something most every person can identify with. I picked this book up at the library when I took out another Pete Hamill book--Forever--and in both cases, enjoyed the element of faith/hope/magic/sense of wonder that played a major role. Yeah, he spent a lot of time on baseball, which didn't interest me, but not so much that I lost interest in the bigger story. I'll look for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book about a year ago, and looking back on it now I can still remember every detail. It was amazing, worth every penny. If you enjoyed this book, I highly recommend Pete Hamill's Forever.
klh More than 1 year ago
This is the first Pete Hamill book I have read and I will be reading more of his collection. Great story with excellent character development that keeps your interest to the very last page. The descriptions of New York during the depression are intriguing for this baby boomer. This would be a great choice for a book club ~ highly recommend this book and it would make a nice gift/stocking stuffer for anyone.
bookhog More than 1 year ago
Courage, determination, understanding, tolerance and inttolerance. what a better world we would have without bullies, who truly are lonely, and lost and have only their cruelty to others, to give them power and a place in society. A simple act of kindness brings a lifetime of learning and friendship.
Gracie_L More than 1 year ago
Any book by Pete Hamill is worth reading, but this one was especially humanistic. Pete Hamill has such an elegant writing style that I was immediately hooked. The characters are as real as the city itself and the plot was unique with a lemon twist. Read it!
sarafenix More than 1 year ago
This book transported me into the magical world of New York neighborhoods with all of the charm and stumbling blocks thrown in with a mixture of childhood and fear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful, powerful, moving and illustrates how people of different religious backrounds can build warm and loving relationships, find common ground to build on and in spite of different traditions are really more alike than different. I must strongly disagree with the writer who urges how unbelievable the friendship here was. I was raised Catholic but of late I have been attending services at a Jewish synagogue. I must say four rabbis and many Jewish members there have embraced me & my family and welcomed us so warmly to services, events, & classes. They do in fact teach me Hebrew and welcomed my daughter into Hebrew classes. This book really hit home for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Snow in August was an awesome book!! I definitely enjoyed this one! (I finished it in a day)This was excellent! I wish more books were like this one! Schools usually pick bad summer reading books, but this one was brilliant! There is no bad part of this book! Rock on Pete Hamill!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Pete Hamill when I read his book 'Forever'....which was also a fantastic book! I think I'd have to say that Snow in August was the best book I've read in a long time! I felt like I was made me laugh and cry...I'd love to see a movie made out of this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great story! I was entertained, I learned something and would recommend this book to my 11 year old grandson. Although, many subjects were covered, they were woven together in such a way that they were easy to follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book to read. When i first opened it i looked at the great reviews;and was skeptical to whether they were as good as they said. After finishing the book in a week i was very pleased. I recommend this book to teen readers as well as adults. It's combines faith, hope, despair and change in less than a year in the eyes of a child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was very entertaining, thought-provoking, and (for the most part) believable. I think we all had the neighborhood bully (or bullies), so it's easy to empathize with Michael Devlin. I struggled with the ending and had to read it twice (from the point of the digging in the Quaker cemetary). Could it be a dream sequence? What I struggled with was the conflict between what I wanted to happen and what could realistically happen...reality vs. fantasy. Read if for yourself and see what you think. Regardless, it is definitely a worthwhile read, and I'm sure a movie deal will be forthcoming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Easily the best book I have ever read. Engrossing, spectacular, magical. A true wonder.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a truly wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. I loved falling into the story and the period. I also enjoyed how Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers, WWII, the Rabbi and the boy were all woven together. I'll have to read more of Pet Hamill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. I learned a lot from the rabbi and the lore he shared with the boy was fascinating. It's unlike any book I've ever read. I keep watching for another book like this from Pete Hamill.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello! I truly, honestly loved this book. It made me wonder about my own life, and my reasons for believing. It's an interesting novel in the early centuary, with a slow beginning...but once you start it's hard to stop. Try it...I know you'll love it and learn life lessons from it!