In 2016, lawyer, writer, comedian and short-film maker, Barry Varkel published Nigiri Law – a surreal mini-thriller that was politically incorrect from start to finish. Barry conjured up a cast of characters whose bizarre behaviour kept readers in stitches – and it then went on to become a sort of masterpiece of humour in the extremes.
Fast-forward three years and Barry is back, in between his day job of fighting for justice in the courts for his clients, with his latest fiction novel, Goy Vey – A Gentile’s Guide to Judaism.
For anyone familiar with Barry’s work, his latest novel will surely not disappoint. With its host of original, yet strangely familiar characters, Goy Vey’s appeal is universal, guaranteed to charm readers, regardless of culture or background.
Throughout this 181-page-turner, what is clear is Barry’s level of respectful detail and accuracy that has gone into writing it. With its numerous characters and layered plots, Goy Vey demonstrates Barry’s natural storytelling ability.
Goy Vey’s main character is Hymie Cohen, a man desperately trying to manage his family, his business, his friends, and especially his own life. As the story reveals itself, everything he has built up in his life begins to unravel in a tragic-comedy manner.
Climaxing in what was really meant to be a homely Friday-night Shabbat dinner amongst friends and family, things take an unexpected dark turn.
With its detailed glossary at the back of Goy Vey, readers will enjoy the absolute hilarity of the Yiddische language and slang.
Goy Vey will take you on the path of apparent irreverent entertainment, while at the same time shaking up your misconceptions about Judaism, family, society, love, romance, material success, and most of all, your very own place in our exciting melting pot experiment – South Africa.
The book launches on Thursday 27th at Wordsworth Books in Sea Point in Cape Town