• How to Find Your Way in the Dark

  • The Sheldon Horowitz Series, Book 1
  • By: Derek B. Miller
  • Narrated by: Michael Crouch
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

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How to Find Your Way in the Dark

By: Derek B. Miller
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
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Publisher's Summary

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD

"[Miller’s] character portraits are indelible, often heartbreaking. At times this novel moved me to tears, the highest possible compliment.”

New York Times Book Review

With the wit and scope of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Derek B. Miller tackles his most ambitious epic yet. At its heart is the return of Sheldon Horowitz, the protagonist from Miller’s award-winning first novel, Norwegian by Night, who was lauded by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo as “one of the most memorable characters . . . that I’ve encountered in years.”

MEET SHELDON IN THE MORNING OF HIS LIFE

Twelve-year old Sheldon Horowitz is still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother only a year ago when a suspicious traffic accident steals the life of his father near their home in rural Massachusetts. It is 1938, and Sheldon, who was in the truck, emerges from the crash an orphan hell-bent on revenge. He takes that fire with him to Hartford, where he embarks on a new life under the roof of his buttoned-up Uncle Nate. Sheldon, his teenage cousins Abe and Mirabelle, and his best friend, Lenny, will contend with tradition and orthodoxy, appeasement and patriotism, mafia hitmen and angry accordion players, all while World War II takes center stage alongside a hurricane in New England and comedians in the Catskills. With his eye always on vengeance for his father’s murder, Sheldon stakes out his place in a world he now understands is comprised largely of crimes: right and wrong, big and small.

“For me—as I’m certain it will be for every reader of the wonderful Norwegian By Night—Derek B. Miller’s new novel is a genuine literary event (Sheldon Horowitz is back!). Miller has long deserved to be a household name. How to Find Your Way in the Dark should finally make him one."

—Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls and Chances Are...

©2021 Derek B. Miller (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about How to Find Your Way in the Dark

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely wonderful story.

I learned a great deal about the American attitude concerning the Jewish community in America as well as the American Jews and attitudes concerning the Jews which kept us from entering the war against Germany. Read this before any of Millers novels. It will explain who Sheldon is and his up bringing. He is a main character in the next novels which are excellent. The Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, if anything that horrific needed to happen they should have bombed Hitler's Germany. Incredibly different out come. Miller is a thought provoking historical writer with stories you can't stop listening to thank you Mr miller for your gift.

5 people found this helpful

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Best Novel of 2021

Mr. Miller creates an ingenious, intricate, witty, and astonishing novel set in the milieu of the Jewish experience during pre-World War II America. It’s characters are as indelible as the historical events that they participate. Not many authors have the wherewithal to write convincingly in the third-person omniscient, Mr. Miller, however, is more than up to the task to be the all-knowing and all-seeing guide to this fascinating world, filled with love, loss, murder, the mob, and guilt. Sheldon Horowitz-the boy has the same name and chutzpah as the elderly character that Mr. Miller introduced in “Norwegian by Night” but there is an innocence and sense of discovery that makes this prequel better. It is the equal of any Pulitzer Prize Fiction nominee, and it is by far one of the best novels of the 2021.

3 people found this helpful

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the BEST book I've heard in a long time

I love everything about this book. A coming of age story of a Jewish boy in the 1930s, but not as you would expect. With characters and events seamlessly flowing in and out of the story I was captured by this book. I understand it to be a prequel to another book as yet unread by me... my next read or listen as soon as I'm done writing this
review.

2 people found this helpful

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a great listen

loved it, sorry to get to the end. a wonderful story of love and survival, very relevant for today.

2 people found this helpful

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Uneven

The novel gets off to a gripping, rip-roaring start. Sheldon is astonishing, bold, clever; you root for him all the way through and get great satisfaction when he succeeds. He's a character I hope to see in a third and even fourth novel. The story gives a sweeping, true, and important look at Jewish life and its many challenges in the eastern United States, circa 1930s to 1947.

But it gets rocky. Keen suspense gets bogged down in over-explanation. In the middle of a crisis, the author writes in thoughts that are both improbable and take much longer to hear than the action would to take place. The over-writing gets annoying, especially when the author seems so in love with his own research that he includes pages of unnecessary information, only some of which is relevant to the novel. Worst of all is an act of gratuitous violence (which I can't say much about without a major spoiler) that destroys the significance and meaning of essential elements of the book. Miller could have handled it very differently and still achieve the plot point he needed. It's a tremendous flaw.

I recommend it, but I also recommend that Miller's editor do a better job of editing. Even the best-loved authors shouldn't get away with inferior work just because they have the power of fame.

1 person found this helpful

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Engaging and clever story

The story will keep you engaged as you follow the ups and downs of Sheldon and Lenny. Great plot and writing and I learned some things about this dark time in American history.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

From Massachusetts to Hartford to the Catskills to Iceland to NYC this novel about love respect and anti semitism this story is a winner. Such wonderful characters. Such a great reading performance. This book will win awards.

1 person found this helpful

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Masterful!

This is my third Miller novel and probably my favorite. The book ot most reminds me of is To Kill a Mockingbird in that it captures a time, culture, and society that echoes and comments in our own time. It is a coming of age novel, but so much more. For a midwesterner, buried in Christian culture, it opened a world that I've never had access to in a way that was supremely affecting and enlightening. My first listening will not be my last. Thank you Mr. Miller!

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WARNING: YA

This is a YA BOY’s story. The plot is implausible, except for the antiSemitism., which, of course was and continues to be sadly real. That part is a good lesson for kids, but killing people, committing other crimes, and justifying those actions isn’t.

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Good story ruined by shoddy production

Repeated mispronunciation of words commonly known, including the Catskills resort where THE STORY IS SET and Hitler’s infamous propaganda minister, among others, along with frequent grammatical mistakes, make this a production highly worth avoiding.