On the surface 4 3 2 1 is all about what if, just like Sliding Doors but more literary. It’s that game that all but the most secure of us play at one point or another. How would my life have panned out if my parents were rich or if I went to a different university? During this big what if session we are immersed in a crash course of mid-century American politics and thrown into the mind of a sex obsessed teenage boy.
We begin as Isaac Reznikoff arrives at Ellis Island from Minsk. He is advised to take an American name, like Rockefeller. When they come for him to give his name to the immigration authorities, his carefully prepared spiel deserts him and he blurts out “Ikh hob fargessen”, Yiddish for ‘I have forgotten’. This is misheard and he becomes Ichabod Ferguson. Fast forward to the birth of his grandson, Archibald Isaac Ferguson. Now the fun can begin.
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