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1. The Collected Stories of Isaac
2. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected
3. Stories for Children
4. Isaac Bashevis Singer Stories
5. Isaac Bashevis Singer Stories
6. In My Father's Court
7. The Slave
8. The Magician of Lublin: A Novel
9. The Family Moskat: A Novel (FSG
10. Enemies, A Love Story
11. Conversations with Isaac Bashevis
12. Shadows on the Hudson
14. Gimpel the Fool: And Other Stories
15. Shosha
16. The Manor and the Estate (In One
17. The Manor
18. The Golem
19. The Death of Methuselah: and Other
20. Love and Exile: An Autobiographical

1. The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 624 Pages (1983-08-01)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374517886
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The forty-seven stories in this collection, selected by Singer himself out of nearly one hundred and fifty, range from the publication of his now-classic first collection, Gimpel the Fool, in 1957, until 1981. They include supernatural tales, slices of life from Warsaw and the shtetls of Eastern Europe, and stories of the Jews displaced from that world to the New World, from the East Side of New York to California and Miami.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Innocent but Suffered
I love the way Isaac Singer telling the stories,like a historic scholar and a very kind Father,showing the way of wisdom!
I love the witty sentence"To be fool all life would be better than to be evil one day!"Close to this meaning!And I think it is just the nuclear spirit of these short stories!
I feel he is a man with great sympathy and humor!Those Jewish people in his stories,make fun of themselves in their tragedy. They maybe poor or starving ,but never loose faith!
Isaac Singer 's story had always happen in the Polish Jewish small town,mainly!And he has a heart like child,although his town was muddy,several people adultery,some cures God,but his mind is pure and simple,his language is sincerely and lovely,besides,the year he reach Nobel,I was born.
The Jews will never forget their heritage,and I think a good author must never forget their early years,when we touch and feel.He has the courage to write by Yiddish ,and I could feel it was so much like reading the Old Testament,and I believe he is now in heaven,smile to a young book fan like me!

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story-Telling, Depressing Stories
That Singer is a great writer is well-justified by this work, which definitely deserves to be anthologized here, but the stories are mostly depressing about glum people in glum surroundings -- definitely not summer beach-reading, for which I did not buy it, but not sure I'd recommend to any but the most stalwart literary friends, or to my Jewish friends, who might well have better insight into it than I do. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed them more in smaller doses than in this comprehensive anthology. Also, it does not help that it's a flimsy poor-quality book as produced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review
I am not Jewish, nor do I consider the author a "Jewish" writer. He is an author of stories that illustrate the great mysteries of life using Jewish characters. Of course he writes of a world, especially the Eastern European one, as a Jew saw it. Rather it is my hope that a reader of this review is not turned away by any labels. Instead, I would rather they know that between these pages is a man who writes stories about being human, about love, about death.

Especially about death and the passing of youth. Many of these stories, to me, were reflections on life as a middle aged, or older man. The struggle, the acceptance, and the reappearance of old loves. Perhaps even the ability to love when age has begun to rob you of what in a younger man is taken for granted.

An excellent book by a mature writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jews in New York.
Isaac Bashevis Singer once said that he preferred writing stories to novels because the short-story form brought perfection within reach. The more than 60 stories gathered here show Singer striving for and often achieving such perfection, crafting tales that fuse crystalline storytelling with an unnerving exploration of irrational desire, family life and religious piety, and fundamental emotions such as shame, lust, anger, pride, and tenderness.

3-0 out of 5 stars Here is the table of contents
This book is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The publisher's website states that this book is a SELECTION, not a complete collection: "The forty-seven stories in this collection, selected by Singer himself out of nearly one hundred and fifty, range from the publication of his now-classic first collection, Gimpel the Fool, in 1957, until 1981. They include supernatural tales, slices of life from Warsaw and the shtetls of Eastern Europe, and stories of the Jews displaced from that world to the New World, from the East Side of New York to California and Miami."


Gimpel the Fool
The Gentleman from Cracow
The Little Shoemakers
The Unseen
The Spinoza of Market Street
The Destruction of Kreshev
Taibele and her Demon
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Zeidlus the Pope
The Last Demon
Short Friday
The Séance
The Slaughterer
The Dead Fiddler
Henne Fire
The Letter Writer
A Friend of Kafka
The Cafeteria
The Joke
Something Is There
A Crown of Feathers
A Day in Coney Island
The Cabalist of East Broadway
A Quotation from Klopstock
A Dance and a Hop
Grandfather and Grandson
Old Love
The Admirer
The Yearning Heifer
A Tale of Two Sisters
Three Encounters
Brother Beetle
The Betrayer of Israel
The Psychic Journey
The Manuscript
The Power of Darkness
The Bus
A Night in the Poorhouse
Escape from Civilization
Vanvild Kava
The Reencounter
Moon and Madness ... Read more

2. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories V. 1 Gimpel the Fool to The Letter Writer (Library of America, 149) (Vol 1)
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Hardcover: 832 Pages (2004-07-08)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082618
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars glorious writing
There is something magical about Singer's writing. It is so simple, so effortless, and yet so profound. I devoured all three volumes of the Library of America Singer short stories, and have gone on to several of the novels, as well as the children's stories. I am sure I will be going back to the short stories again and again, for the rest of my life.

4-0 out of 5 stars too bad about the typos
The stories are great, of course. They are real stories, with plots. But since when do Library of America editions have typos? They bugged me so much that I sold it to a second-hand bookstore. It appears that Microsoft spell-check was run instead of hiring a proof-reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars Has there ever been a greater storyteller than this?
Singer always saw himself asa storyteller. And the truth is that there are stories of his, 'Gimpel the Fool' 'The Little Shoemakers''The Spinoza of Market Street' 'which I believe are among the best stories ever written.
Not every story is a treasure, and I admit that there are modes of Singer's writing (When he gets too dybbuked up) that do notappeal to me, but overall what humor, what , what truth , what beauty, what pain, what suffering, , what energy , what life there are in this great great work.

5-0 out of 5 stars my favorite author
Every word is a jewel. Astonishing that one author can be so relentlessly energetic in his story telling. Singers knowledge, imagery and imagination is astounding. His stories dance and swirl. Not a sentence drags or is wasted. I rejoice in every moment of reading Singers literary creations - they are all vitally alive and engrossing - makes me feel that I am actually involved with what I am reading. I can't wait for the next word - better than any mystery novel. Wish I could give six stars or more. Asaf -Israel

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories of Love, Wonder, and Joy
These stories are filled with hope, love, and a sense of belonging to family and to the world.They are theological but never heavy-handed; they are luminous.

Singer writes with humor, gentleness, and a fine sense of the deeper realities of life: the depth of meaning that gives hope to everyday events and ordinary people.

The best short story collection I have come across.
... Read more

3. Stories for Children
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 352 Pages (1985-10-01)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$5.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374464898
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Thirty-six stories by the Nobel Prize winner, including some of his most famous such as "Zlateh the Goat", "Mazel and Shlimazel", and "The Fools of Chelm and the Stupid Carp".
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars great for kids both Jew and Gentile from age five to five hundred!
This book is SUCH fun.I laugh until I'm threatened with incontinence when "The Day I Got Lost" describes the day of Professor Schlemiel's surprise birthday party and his schlemiel dog!!!! A collection of vignettes set both in Poland's prewar ghettoes and the recent in NY Upper East side.Funny, poignant and wonderful.I have my own copy and have BEFORE my kids were born, but have purchased copies for many loved ones and associates.He's gone, it's true - but his stories live on and on in this classic and in ALL his works.Singer correctly states how the Bible stories are the best for entertaining youngsters since they all have beginnings , middles and endings an he cut his teeth on these same stories.Who cannot love the crickets, dybuks and goats named Zlateh?One needn't be a Jew to love Singer's 'Stories for Children'.An aging Italian lady can be an ardent fan just as easily - and IS one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Humor glinting at the edges
As Singer noted in his 1984 Foreword, "in the beginning was the Logos, the power of the word." He had never believed he could write for children, but editor Elizabeth Shub convinced him otherwise in the early 1960s. Twelve volumes of children's books followed, from which these 36 tales are gleaned. Young readers should remain eternally grateful.

This collection opens in Chelm, the village of idiots young and old. Even the people have funny names--Gronam Ox, Dopey Lekisch, Zeinvel Ninny, Shmendrick Numskull and Feyvel Thickwit. The way they speak and act is still funnier.

Gronam, for example, would have been a happy man, but for the elders who regularly visited--to whom he regularly spoke nonsense. His first wife Genendel would reproach him, to which he replied, "In the future, whenever you hear me saying something silly, come into the room and let me know. I will immediately change the subject."

She refused. "If they learn you're a fool, you'll lose your job as head of the council." Instead, each time he said anything silly, she offered to hand him the key to their strongbox. "Then you'll know you've been talking like a fool."

That year, the town met with a scarcity of sour cream, which was sorely needed for the coming Pentecost, a holiday on which the townsfolk normally ate a lot of it. Gronam had the solution. He proposed making "a law that water is to be called sour cream, and sour cream is to be called water." Given the wells full of water, he noted, all the women would have barrels full of sour cream as a result.

Sender Donkey, Treitel Fool and their most foolish compatriots all heartily approved. So the new law was written. But Genendel shortly appeared with the strongbox key. When Gronam explained their arrangement, the elders grew enraged. How dare a woman suggest she knew better when wisdom or silliness had been spoken.

They in turn changed another law: When Genendel believed Gronam's pronouncements silly, she should give the elders the strongbox key and let them decide. If they disagreed, she would double their portions of blintzes, cakes and tea. From that day forward, Gronam spoke freely, and Genendel hardly said a word: She was not about to serve blintzes generously.

Then there is Shlemiel, also of the fabled Chelm, and as fine a businessman as the town could offer. He married Mrs. Shlemiel, whose father gave him a dowry, with which he bought a goat in Lublin. But en route home, he left the goat tethered to a tree while he went into an inn for some brandy, chopped liver and onions and a plate of chicken soup and noodles. The innkeeper (not surprisingly) switched his old blind billy goat for Shlemiel's milking goat. Lots more fun and some Chelmnick wisdom followed.

Readers also encounter "Shrewd Todie and Lyzer the Miser." The former had a wife Shaindel and seven children and never earned enough to feed them. He had such poor luck working at trades that he decided if he should make candles, the sun would never set. During an especially cold winter, Shaindel told Todie that if he could not get something to eat, she would go to the Rabbi and get a divorce. "And what will you do with it," he asked her. "Eat it?"

Lyzer meanwhile was so stingy, he'd let his wife bake bread but once every four weeks: Stale bread was eaten more slowly than fresh. He left his poor goats to feast on his neighbors' thatched roofs, rather than feed them. He preferred to eat his dry bread and borscht on a box so that his upholstered chairs would not wear out. And he never made a loan, preferring to keep his money in his strongbox.

One day, Todie asked Lyzer to borrow a silver spoon, promising he would return it the next. Not one to doubt holy words, Lyzer loaned the spoon and was pleased the next day when Todie returned it, plus a silver teaspoon, explaining that the spoon had given birth. Todie was honest, and had to return both. He repeated the exercise twice more.

At last, Todie came to Lyzer to borrow silver Shabbat candlesticks, which Lyzer gladly loaned. Todie sold the candlesticks, bought his wife and seven children a feast and on Sunday, returned to Lyzer, reporting that his candlesticks had died. "You fool! How can candlesticks die," Lyzer screamed, dragging Todie to the Rabbi. "Did you expect candlesticks to give birth?" the Rabbi asked. "If you accept nonsense that brings you profit, you must also accept nonsense when it brings you loss."

Others stories are less silly. We meet Peziza the imp who lived with her friend Tsirtsur the cricket an old stove, where they shared gay, devilish, frightening, and delightful stories on long winter nights.

And Rabbi Leib, who escaped the evil works of Cunegunde, a witch whose son Bolvan robbed the merchants on the roads and hid his stolen hoard in an invisible cave--rendered by his mother's evil magic.

My favorite is "Zlateh the Goat." Rueven instructed his son Aaron to take his pet to the butcher to pay for the struggling family's Hanukkah feast. Heartbroken, the heartbroken boy heeded his father and set out, but was overtaken by a snowstorm. I cannot tell what happened, but the tale warms hearts to the core.

Like all Singer's work--these 36 agile stories offer spirit, life and the supernatural--with humor glinting at their edges. Children love them, be they young or old.

--Alyssa A. Lappen

5-0 out of 5 stars Great For Elderly Parents, Too
I sometimes read these to my sick and elderly dad at bed time.He loves them. When he's not doing well, is worried about his health, is afraid to close his eyes, the stories work their magic.As I read, he sometimes clucks, murmers "oh, yes," and makes other happy and endearing sounds--just great to hear.If he's still awake at the end, he goes to sleep, fearlessly, with a smile on his face.

5-0 out of 5 stars Share this world with a child
Although this set of 36 stories is recommended for reading level 4 to 8 years old, Singer would rightly say that story tellers "write not only for children but also for their parents, they too are serious children."Singer considers children as the best readers of genuine literature, by nature inclined to mysticism, and with their own particular logic and clarity they rely on nothing but their own taste.With an array of supernaturral characters (devils, gnomes, hobgoblings, prophets, imps, saints, and demons) Singer fulfils a mosaic of fantastic imagination, colored by a rich folklore, addressing moral issues that concern the child and the adult as well.Stories such as "Zlateh the Goat," "Popiel and Tekla," "The Power of Light," amongst others, have a universal appeal because they address eternal questions.For Singer, now matter how young a child might be, he is a philosopher and seeker of God.An adult will surely enjoy these tales, and if he can share them with a child then his pleasure will be doubled!

5-0 out of 5 stars Just as magical as the Harry Potter books!
Over the years I've read this book to my daughter several times.As most children, she has her favorites and never tires of those.You've got demons and witches and holy men who fight evil.You've got moral lessonsthat teach without preaching.All written with compassion and a deft hand.Adventure abounds.Excitement rules the day. You'll find yourself speakingwith a Yiddish accent in spite of yourself!And, me, an African Americanwoman!Good books know no color. Pure magic. ... Read more

4. Isaac Bashevis Singer Stories V. 3 : One Night in Brazil to the Death of Methuselah (Library of America)
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Hardcover: 915 Pages (2004-07-08)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082634
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The great master of the short- story
Why is Singer such a great story writer? One answer is that he really does tell stories which make the reader want to know what is going to happen next to the characters.
But it is much more than that. His stories are filled with surprise. His characters are true originals, often so unexpectedly eccentric one cannot have any real idea of what they are going to do next. The world he writes in especially when he writes about the world of Polish Jewry is an incredible mixture of the old and the new. Longing , nostalgia, sadness, wonder, curiosity, lust, love pervade Singer's stories. He is perhaps of all writers I know the most Jewish. But the stories also speak powerfully to non- Jewish readers as they reveal the heart and soul of the human being and human condition.
Even when he is not at his best (And I would argue the title story of this work is far from his best) he is very very good. And when he is good he is truly great.
And what a pleasure to read. ... Read more

5. Isaac Bashevis Singer Stories V.2 Kafka: Kafka to Passions (Library of America) (Vol 2)
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Hardcover: 800 Pages (2004-07-08)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082626
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Singer story
What makes the Singer story so remarkable?
First of all, the Singer story is always a story. A beginning, a middle an end, and things which happen. Secondly, its language is lively and humorous, rich in Yiddish idiom, colorful alive. Thirdly, the Singer story has remarkable, memorable characters .
Fourthly the Singer story creates a whole world usually a Jewish world usually a world resembling some past Jewish historical world. Fifthly, the Singer story gives insight, wisdom into life. Sixthly, the Singer story is alive, word by word, line by line, scene by scene.
It lives and makes us want to live more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Singer is in the highest rank of short storyauthors
I had read the collected stories of Singer many years ago and many of the images remainedembedded in my mind and it was with great joy that I am able to relive them. Even though he wrote novels, I do not believe that Singer would have won the Nobel Prize without his short story output.
It is interesting to witness the growth of Singer as a human and an artist. This middle volume of the LOA series contains stories written after he moved to the US. It is hard to believe that these stories are translated from Yiddishbecause they read as if they were written in English.
If you can afford all three volumes buy them. The collected stories are still available but Singer's stories are consistenly wonderful. Very viewof these stories are not among the very best stories in world literature. Bravo to the Libray of America for reintroducng the reading public to these gems. ... Read more

6. In My Father's Court
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 320 Pages (1991-10-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$4.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374505926
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Like Isaac Bashevis Singer's fiction, this poignant memoir of his childhood in the household and rabbinical court of his father is full of spirits and demons, washerwomen and rabbis, beggars and rich men. This rememberance of Singer's pious father, his rational yet adoring mother, and the never-ending parade of humanity that marched through their home is a portrait of a magnificent writer's childhood self and of the world, now gone, that formed him.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Grandfather Made Me Read This
So of course I told him to jump in the lake. Why read something like this written in a dead language about a world swept away by war and slaughter. Ugh. Of course, shortly after the old man died, I picked up Father's Court and breathed in every word as though it were oxygen and Singer was offering new life. So what are you going to do?

4-0 out of 5 stars Jewish ancap justice
The book is set in early 20th century Poland. It's about how the writer spent his childhood in his fathers rabbinate. Great book, very highly recomended, much better than other (still pretty good) works by Singer I've read.

Forewords of I.B.Singer's "In My Father's Court" (slightly tacky translation from Finnish):

"This book is about a family and a rabbinate which were so close to each other that it was difficult to tell where one ended and other started. Rabbinate, beth din, is an ancient institution among the jeweish people. [...] Beth din is at thesame time kind of court of law, synagogue and place for study.[...] Even though beth din is about to disappear I'm certain that it will revive and will develope into an universal institution. The basic principle is that [...] the best justice is the kind which both sides can accept. Beth din is opposite to all institutions that use force, wether they are left wing or right wing."

Beth din seems to be completely decentraliced justice system, based on competing rabbinates and their interpretions on Tora. Rabbinate can be established by anybody as long as he gets acceptance from the local people (=gets customers). Rabbies get paid for their juridical and seremonial services, they don't live out of charity or taxes. The judges who are known and respected for their knowledge and reasonable intepretions of Tora get more customers and become more succesful. Participation on beth din trial and acceptance of it's sanctions are completely voluntary but refusing justice can lead to excommuniation.

Some links:


In My Father's Court/www.amazon.com:

Beth din today:

Beth-Din Rabbi Gavriel Cohen:

Beth Din of America:

Chigaco Rabbinical Council:

Rabbinical Council of California:

The London Beth Din:

Signed decisions by various Rabbi's and Beth Din's and their contradictions:

Jewish Law:


5-0 out of 5 stars A moving memoir
Isaac Singer in this work tells the story of his childhood war. He focuses on the court of his father, on the many characters who came to receive his father's help. He gives a loving portrait of his parents and his childhood world. This work may not be on the level of Singer's greatest stories but it does have the vitality and the emotional richness which characterize Singer's work. And it should be of special interest to anyone who wishes to know more about this great writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book full of loving details
Observing through the eyes of a young child we are led through life in the jewish community of Warshaw. Many different figures appear in the house of the boy's father, the rabbi, to ask for his advice and judgement, decisions in religious or worldly matters. Behind all that we feel the deep love of the author, not only for the chracters depicted in the many stories, but for all human beings. It is one of the books that, despite telling stories of times past, makes us aware of ourselves and our own existence, our desires and weaknesses alike.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life with Father
I am a big fan of I. B. Singer's.To me, he is the greatest short story writer of the 20th Century.His stories often tell the tale of the Jewish communities in Poland in the 100 years prior to WWII.As a result of Hitler's demonic policies, it is a society, a culture, that no longer exists.Singer's short stories are a master study of individuals; their eccentricities and struggles in that society.He has written of the present and he has written some excellent novels and novellas but his best work is in the Jewish communities in Poland.In this autobiographical work, Singer gives us some more insights into that world through the eyes of a young boy observing his Rabbi father.We start out with a number of recollections of individuals and their problems that were brought before his father.These would easily fit within the short story motif that Singer excels in.As the book get a bit past the midway point, the autobiographical nature comes to the fore-front and we eventually follow Isaac B in his early development into a young man.This is interesting and very helpful to the student of Singer.Its' shortcoming results from Singer's practice of keeping his own character, whenever present, in the background or as the story-teller.When, in the final chapters, he is the main character, the quality of writing seems to drop a notch and suddenly, the book comes to an end.First time readers of Singer might do better to start with one of his collections of short stories or, ironicaly, the sequel to this book, "More from My Father's Court".Singer is always great but he is usually greater that he was in this book. ... Read more

7. The Slave
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 311 Pages (1988-10-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374506809
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Four years after the Chmielnicki massacres of the seventeenth century, Jacob, a slave and cowherd in a Polish village high in the mountains, falls in love with Wanda, his master's daughter.Even after he is ransomed, he finds he can't live without her, and the two escape together to a distant Jewish community.Racked by his consciousness of sin in taking a Gentile wife and by the difficulties of concealing her identity, Jacob nonetheless stands firm as the violence of the era threatens to destroy the ill-fated couple.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Torture and Enslavement
I know I'm stepping on religious ground. "God" help me! If you're Jewish, this book has appeal. If you're an atheist or even a non-Jew, however, this book is a chronicle of pain, suffering, torture, guilt, hypocritical behavior, and misery. I pretty much hated the story, which I found endlessly repetitive, even though the writing was briliant in places. Typically, I. B. Singer writes with graphic clarity about barbaric behavior that is hard to stomach. The Jewish community isn't immune from such behavior either in the form of envy, hypocrisy, and intolerance. And I'm sure Jews have been tortured, slaughtered, and enslaved during the historic period Singer writes about here. In the end, however, the story confirmed for me the insanity of religion, the inherent animalistic nature of humans, and the endless need to accept each other as we are, warts and all. Humanity has a long long way to go toward creating a civilized world. Perhaps that's what Singer's message was to the world. This story resonates with modern history and with current events, unfortunately.

4-0 out of 5 stars On the one hand...
I stayed all night reading this book, a love story between an enslaved Jew and the gentile daughter of his owner.On the other hand, this book is undeniably a second-rate book.With the exception of the hero/narrator, nearly all of Singer's characters (especially the women) are either unspeakably virtuous and desirable or unspeakably degraded.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, a definite must read
Well, this is my first book review, but I simply had to write this one. I read the Hebrew version of the book and was fascinated with the language, the descriptions and the story.
Isaac does an amazing job of bringing you back there to the time of the 18th century when Jews were killed in Poland and yet managed to build up communities (that later on were demolished and so on).
He describes the people, and makes you feel like you are seeing the entire story unfolding before your very eyes. With every line you become more and more caught up in the story, and that makes this book one book that is very hard to put down. I read it in about 2 days, and would probably read it in one if I could :) .
Anyway, it's an amazing story, story about the power of people, the good and bad and the power of belief...

5-0 out of 5 stars Another gripping story from Isaac Singer
In "The Slave", Singer presents us with a pious Jewish man (Jacob) who, despite the fact that he has lost his wife and children in a massacre in 1648 Poland, still retains his religious beliefs.

Jacob, after losing his entire family in a slaughter, is sold as a virtual slave to a Polish farmer, where he lives years of his life in a barn.Part of this time he is tended to by the farmers' daughter Wanda, with whom he eventually falls in love.Jacob is a slave to the Polish farmer, and his love for Sarah (name changed from Wanda because of societal pressures) make him a sort of slave also, forcing him to forgo religious convictions which do not permit the marriage of Jews and Gentiles.And for the rest of his life, he and Wanda also must live as virtual slaves to the mores and arbitrary rationales which permeates the country and do not allow the two to live simply as husband and wife.Their love which is one which is not permitted by any of the cultural backgrounds of the time.And because of this, a surreptitious love must take place, making the two of them slaves to societal norms of the times.

In the end, The Slave is a simple story of love, of acknowledging what actions and beliefs of man go against God's will, and of shedding the yoke of slavery and of these societal norms, and in doing what indeed is the will of Providence.

Another masterpiece by Singer.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is not very Polish
Although it was written originally in Yiddish and not Polish, the book is about Poland in XVI century, seen with the eyes of a Jewish person right after World War II. The book itself is very meaningful: it shows every single community in a rather pessimistic light but it is quite accurate. Polish people, Ukrainian people, Jewish people: nobody escapes harsh commmentary. The story is very beautiful and it made me cry at the end. The author definetelly is trying to find answers to what happened to Jewish people during the World War II. The book is set in the times of Khmelnytsky Uprising against Polish-Lithuanian Common Wealth and not a Polish Revolution. Uprising was a rebellion of present day Ukrainians and included armies of Cossacks and Tatars. During the uprising Polish noblemen, Catholic priests and Jewish people were commonly eradicated. ... Read more

8. The Magician of Lublin: A Novel
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-09-14)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374532540
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The fiftieth anniversary of a lost classic—a deceptively sophisticated tale of sexual compulsion and one man’s flight from love

Yasha Mazur is a Houdini-like performer whose skill has made him famous throughout eastern Poland. Half Jewish, half Gentile, a freethinker who slips easily between worlds, Yasha has an observant Jewish wife, a Gentile assistant who travels with him, and a mistress in every town. For Yasha is an escape artist not only onstage but in life, a man who lives under the spell of his own hypnotic effect on women. Now, though, his exploits are catching up with him, and he is tempted to make one final escape—from his wife and his homeland and the last tendrils of his father’s religion.

Set in Warsaw and the shtetls of the 1870s—but first published in 1960—Isaac Bashevis Singer’s second novel hides a haunting psychological portrait inside a beguiling parable. At its heart, this is a book about the burden of sexual freedom. As such, it belongs on a small shelf with such mid-century classics as Rabbit, Run; The Adventures of Augie March; and The Moviegoer. As Milton Hindus wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “The pathos of the ending may move the reader to tears, but they are not sentimental tears . . . [Singer] is a writer of far greater than ordinary powers.”

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Magician of Lublin
This is about a magician of Jewish origin in Poland in the mid- to late-nineteenth century.He is married to a Jewish woman who lives in Lublin, has a Catholic assistant who doubles as his mistress in Warsaw, also keeps another mistress (the wife of an imprisoned felon) in Piask.He has "fallen in love" with a Catholic widow who is asking him to convert to Catholicism and marry her.He is caught in a mental bind in that he wants to have this widow - which means giving up everything else - but he also needs money as the widow wants to move them to Italy for the health of her daughter.So he attempts to rob a miser and, in the process, he damages his leg, which forces him to do some soul searching.Personally, I think the book would have been better without the epilogue.

5-0 out of 5 stars My first encounter with Singer's writting
- This refers to the spanish edition Orbis Premios Nobel

At 17 I had the pleasure of reading this novel and it was my first encounter with Singer and a life long admiration ever after.

He is universal and existentialist in his writting. In my opinion, he bridges all spiritual differences and we can all be a same community under his guidance.

There is asuperb movie adaptation of the book which I suggest you see too.

5-0 out of 5 stars 19th Century Story Is Just As Gripping Today
This story is similar to "Enemies, A Love Story" in that it features a lead character with too many lovers, and it features some comical moments amid some very dramatic ones.

No wonder so much of Singer's work has been translated from Yiddish.You don't have to be of the Jewish faith to identify with the moral struggles of his characters.Even an athiest could relate to the dilemmas faced by Yasha as he feebly tries to do right by all the women in his life, and not surprisingly often does horribly wrong.

Singer won my heart in the first chapter, writing lovingly about doting wife Esther.In a lesser writer's hand, she would seem pathetic.But she comes off as an admirable individual with a sense of pride in her faithfulness.In fact, all the characters are so multidimensional, together they seem to be every facet of a woman, which is probably what Yasha really desires.

Like all great novels, this one stayed with me for several days, but to say why would be revealing to much.Even after 45 years, it still resonates.This book asks hard questions for which there are no easy answers, and wraps them in a totally compelling tale.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Jewish Siddhartha
Like Siddhartha, Yasha has led a life of dissipation.In Yasha's case his transgressions consisted of womanizing, excessive alcohol consumption, keeping friends with shady characters, and, finally, burglary and attempted thievery.Suffering a serious injury, the suicide of one of his paramours, and possible imprisonment, Yasha relinquishes his burgeoning career as a magician and tight rope walker in favor of doing deep religious penance.Also, like Siddhartha, Yasha becomes an ascetic.Recognizing himself as a sinner who could easily slip back again to his former ways, Yasha shuts himself off from the world in a most unusual way.Not through any choice of his own, Yasha becomes, "a holy man" with "Jewish men and women (waiting) at (his) window for (his) blessing."

Isaac Bashevis Singer has written a thought-provoking novel of tremendous intensity in a style containing deceptively simple language.Singer's characters are full of human frailties and vulnerability.Yasha, in particular, is always questioning the morality of his intended acts and their possible consequences on others.This is especially so after he escapes into a synagogue (Yasha is a fallen away Jew) and achieves an epiphany of sorts.Yasha learns that he is not evil, after all, but simply human
and, in many ways worthy of love and admiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Trickster Tumbles, Taps into Truth
But can we know what God wants us to do ?Isn't it a case of Man sewing throughout his lifetime the clothes that fit him ?We ask a million questions, however the answers lie only within.You have to do as you see fit.Some say the discipline of orthodox religion points out the road; every bird, every snowflake, every acorn lying on the grass is proof of God's existence.Others deny the whole thing and swear God never existed.Singer's tale of a religiously-lapsed Jewish magician/acrobat is not so much about tricks or a series of interlocking events as about a man torn between Good and Evil.Though Yasha lives on the edge of Polish society and associates with the most dubious of characters, he has a conscience, he loves women and is kind to animals, but always manipulates them to his own ends.He is more and more plagued by self-doubt and indecision as he grows older, until he can no longer act.His life of flimflam grifting, adultery, and hocus-pocus unravels when he ventures to break the 8th commandment---Thou Shalt Not Steal.He himself knows that he has at last gone too far.His four women, his course of dubious activity, his pride in his ability---all then fall away.In the end, Yasha takes a drastic and unexpected measure in order to control his desires and his straying from the path of the righteous.He achieves the fame which eluded him for so many years as a magician.The struggle within him continues unabated.Yasha remains a thinker, a questioner, a wonderer, not a blind accepter of given wisdom.

THE MAGICIAN OF LUBLIN epitomizes, in the form of a novel, the basic elements of Jewish thinking.Or at least, it asks and tries to answer the most basic questions of that tradition.It is certainly an interesting novel, but it is also a masterpiece of Jewish philosophy.Man is born to question.If you don't question, you are not even alive.But don't expect to get "THE" answer because it doesn't exist.Nobel Prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer, as always, presents a vivid picture of the lost world of the East European Jews in all its gritty piety and desperate poverty., the world swallowed up by Evil, no matter how many prayers were said.For as it is written, (at least to paraphrase a certain well-known spaghetti western), "when a man with a prayer meets a man with a gun, the man with a prayer is a dead man".Singer was lucky enough to escape, but not unmarked, no, not at all.As I started, so I will finish.In view of the meaningless destruction of a whole world wrought by the Holocaust, how can we know what God wants us to do ?This book contains a particular answer, but the quest continues. ... Read more

9. The Family Moskat: A Novel (FSG Classics)
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 624 Pages (2007-04-03)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$10.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374530645
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The vanished way of life of Eastern European Jews in the early part of the twentieth century is the subject of this extraordinary novel. All the strata of this complex society were populated by powerfully individual personalities, and the whole community pulsated with life and vitality. The affairs of the patriarchal Meshulam Moskat and the unworldly Asa Heshel Bannet provide the center of the book, but its real focus is the civilization that was destroyed forever in the gas chambers of the Second World War.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars not as advertised
even though this is a used book, it was advertised as "very good condition" and it was anything but...very disappointed

5-0 out of 5 stars Intrigerend familie epos
Diverse boeken van IB Singer heb ik jaren geleden gelezen, op één of andere wijze is me toen De familie Moskat ontschoten. Singer schreef dit joodse familie epos direct na de Tweede Wereldoorlog om de weggevaagde joodse gemeenschap in Polen te schetsen. Alle schakeringen, van de godsdienst, politiek, grote gezinnen, ontwikkelingen in werk, kleding, woonplaats en opvattingen, maar vooral de pendule tussen assimiliatie en vasthouden aan de eigen traditie. Wat maakt iemand jood(s)? Wat laat je als pater familias Mesjulam Moskat achter als je sterft? Wat breng je in als buitenstaander (Asa Hesjel)? Wat brengen Spinoza en Herzl aan de 'moderne jood'? Wat is het nut van een filosofie die netjes Het laboratorium van geluk heet, maar volgens de feitelijke hoofdpersoon in het boek, Asa Hesjel, neerkomt op 'meer bed, minder kinderen'? Wat is liefde als je polygaam, zelfs nymfomaan bent, en hoe rijm je dat met je godsdienst? Het boek beschrijft de decennia vóór de Tweede Wereldoorlog en Hitlers bombardementen van Warschau, de komst van concentratiekampen en de naderende vernietiging van het joodse ras. Het laat ongeveinsd de antisemitische wortels in de Poolse samenleving, maar ook de ambivalente levenswijze van de joden in dit land zien. En waar bijvoorbeeld de sluwe Koppel dacht in Amerika veilig te zijn, komt hij uiteindelijk toch in Polen te overlijden, evenmin als Hadassa (Griekse naam: Esther) ondanks haar meelijwekkend verhaal ontkomt aan het noodlot. De tientallen kinderen, verhalen en intriges komen in een seidermaaltijd vlak voor het begin van de oorlog weer bij elkaar, maar de verlossing is anders dan verwacht. Beklememnd eindigt het boek met de constatering 'De dood is de Messias. Dat is de eigenlijke waarheid." Niet voor niets heeft Singer de Nobelprijs voor de literatuur!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of a great author's masterworks

By any standard, the word sweeping well suits Singer's novel "The Family Moskat."The novel spreads over almost a century of transformative history, ending at the outbreak of World War II, which will see before its end the entire civilization represented transformed into nothing but ash.Yet in the fashion of Tolstoy, Singer does not allow the great events he illustrates - WWI, the birth of modern Poland, the destruction of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, the 1917 Revolution, the rise of Zionism - to consume the story he tells, instead using it as a canvas on which he brings his characters to life.

His diverse cast is also linked through their ties of either blood or marriage to Mashulam Moskat, the patriarch of the family of the novel's title.A wealthy Jew with many children, Singer uses his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to move over every crevice of Jewish life in Poland, from those who emigrated to America or Palestine, to the Hasidim of the small towns, to the urban intellectuals and merchants.In every case he paints a portrait at once sensitive yet real.Indeed, much of the criticism of this work has come from those who found Singer's portrayal, with its often flawed characters, as "too real."Yet Singer was a man seeking to offer later generations a window into a world that vanished in his lifetime in a flash of gas and violence; who can blame him for wishing to make it as true to life as he was able?

I must also mention that this FSG edition is truly beautiful, complete with a useful family tree that can help the reader navigate the maze of relationships in the Byzantine Moskat clan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rich depiction of real life
I moved to this book just after finishing a fast-paced historical novel ("Pompeii" by Robert Harris), and had to change gears before I could begin to really enjoy this. It isn't the type of novel where a lot "happens"--but it is a beautifully nuanced portrayal of life in a particular community--eastern European Jewish, early 20th century--and even more, of universally human life. The characters interact in believable ways, the descriptions are deep without being stultifying, and I was left deeply satisfied.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of his best
Back in the 70s I read whatever was available by Singer.This was one of the first, and my favorite.I love long, involved stories with lots of characters.I don't remember much about any of his stories because it's been over 20 years since I read them, but I remember my impressions.I prefer all his stories that take place in Poland over those that are set in US.The textures are different.I found the North American based tales to be somewhat interesting, but the characters were less appealing.I think his feel for the European context was stronger in him, and was conveyed with more warmth than the American contexts. ... Read more

10. Enemies, A Love Story
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 288 Pages (1988-04-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374515220
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Almost before he knows it, Herman Broder, refugee and survivor of World War II, has three wives: Yadwiga, the Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis; Masha , his beautiful and neurotic true love; and Tamara, his first wife, miraculously returned from the dead.Astonished by each new complication, and yet resigned to a life of evasion, Herman navigates a crowded, Yiddish New York with a sense of perpetually impending doom.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Novel
This book arrived in excellent condition.I read it in a couple of days because frankly, it was so interesting that I hated to put it down.It was a wonderful introduction for me to Isaac Bashevis-Singer's work.I am going to try to obtain more books authored by him.

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest book about hopelessness that you will read
Herman Broder has a habit of analyzing his life and placing it in to a larger and unworkable context to justify his misery.Why should one care about his relationships with other humans if the heat death of the universe will inevitably stop all movement in the universe.Why should I help that old lady avoid getting hit by a bus crossing the streetif Hitler callously killed millions of jews as if he were a busdriver running over colonies of ants.Herman seems determined to place his life's journey in to a context that makes it seem miserable and meaningless.But even through his bad decisions, and selfish betrayal of his wife who hid him from the Nazi's in a straw-pile in her barn for years, Herman is a sympathetic character.You can truly feel his love for the women in his life.You can relate to his nihilism and laugh at his foibles.This is the funniest book about hopeless holocaust survivors you will ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enemies, a love story
It is the first book by Isaac Singer I read and it won't be the last.A wonderful tale about the strengths and weaknesses of the human heart and mind masterfully written.

4-0 out of 5 stars Everything Jewish
New York after the Jewish Holocaust in Europe. Herman Broder lives a frantic life between 2 wives, and soon to be three. He writes books for a rabbi. His life is a lie, a big lie to which he's grown used. His mind is a mess, just as his life is. The women around him are products of their survival experiences in Europe during the war, as he is too. Religion is present in every page, almost every line, whether it's mentioned with hate or with hope. Things Jewish are ever present: one gets to learn a lot about Jewish customs and terminology.

The story, however chaotic and improbable, almost ridiculous, doesn't fail to be interesting. The author sure knows how to move on between scenes and keep the pace of the changes in Herman's life. The overall impression is of confusion in all areas of live: sentimental, business, psychological, and of course, religious.

These characters behave so weird after their painful experiences, their loss of loved ones, and their witnessing of so much suffering, that they don't believe in anything anymore, not even in why they keep living. Seems they are bewildered and just make most of what they've got at that very moment: which for Herman is most of the time sex. But that is a temporary refuge from insanity, not permanent. People here are lost, drifters melting into the human masses of New York City.

The book is readable, well told, but the story ain't much fun. Herman just annoys me. And the others aren't very likable either. It's a mess of a book that leaves a sweet-sour taste.

4-0 out of 5 stars here is my review on this
In New York

The hotel staff

gave me the chair


Isaac B Singer

used to

lean his back against

years before he died

custom made


out ofgentle wings of butterflies

that circled his first wife's head

every day and night in Treblinka

before she finally


up in smoke


I went down at the front desk

A weird occurence


that strange and powerful thing

I certainly

wanted to bring to their attention

Of course they say

I. B. Singer

never stayed here

never had a first wife

nor she died in the concentration camp

But what's metter?

My back

feels better

way better

ever since
... Read more

11. Conversations with Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Richard Burgin
 Hardcover: Pages (1985-01-01)

Asin: B001HTKQVQ
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The more you hear Singer the more you want to hear him
Richard Burgin took five and one half not easy years to put together these interviews with the great Singer. Burgin says that Singer was suspicious and dark-mooded at times, but that he also could be kind and of course endlessly entertaining. Singer tells us here much about his literary practice and faith, his love of a story which is a story and his belief that the study of character is the heart of fiction.

"The writers who don't discuss character but problems -- social problems or any problems -- take away from literature its very essence. They stop being entertaining. We, for some reason, always love to discuss and discover character. This is because each character is different, and human character is the greatest of puzzles. No matter how much I know a human being, I don't know him enough. Discussing character constitutes a supreme form of entertainment."

Singer loved to be interviewed and spin his own story and credo in a variety of ways. Burgin's work is one of the first interview collections in English and is a valuable addition to Literature on his life and work. ... Read more

12. Shadows on the Hudson
by Isaac Bashevis SINGER
 Hardcover: Pages (1978)

Asin: B001NCAH66
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars Life is hell and then you die
It's true that that the characters exist for the purpose of delivering long philosophical rants decrying the
their existence along with everyone else they know. Of course this story takes place in the shadow of the
holocaust which effects their every moment of their existence. It was understandably impossible for them
to form relationships, or experience happiness based on the unspeakable trauma they experienced.
They escaped the holocaust but the ghosts but they were driven by the ghosts of the past.
This was a very heavy book and I felt relief when it was over. Would not recommend if
you have a history of depression.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing at the service of an impoverished philosophy of life
This is the first book I've read by Singer. Right from the start of the book, he reveals himself as a master craftsman of character and dialogue. His characters are incredibly real and complex. They defy categorization, as real individuals tend to do. Their struggles are very human and believable. The characters are the delicious part of the book. In that respect, it is only towards the last third or fourth of the book, as it becomes obvious that most of the characters are "spinning their wheels" and inadequate character development is taking place, that the book gets rather tedious (and the feeling dawns that this book could have been made shorter). The denouement of Grein's fate is also quite improbable and a let-down.

One thing that will probably prevent me from reading other Singer books, despite his evident skill at character composition, is the "atmosphere" the book is permeated with - the underlying philosophy. The book is rather depressing, filled as it is with characters who experience personal angst, obsessive compulsiveness towards immoral actions, and a personal hollowness and despair. And in the end, there is no redeeming joy or hope to be found. While Grein's alteration could signal hope in something greater, it is arguably portrayed more as the permanent escape from reality of a man in despair, rather than a true conversion filled with genuine faith in greater meaning.

5-0 out of 5 stars a brilliant novel but no fun to read
Had it been published in English when it was written, shortly after WWII, it would have been ignored as the story of a mere milieu.Today it is the story of Everyman.These Jewish refugees in New York after the Holocaust, relatively prosperous since the truly poor had no means of escaping Hitler, display all the Angst, ambivalence, rootlessness and indecision of modern mankind.They cannot decide between reason and faith, modernity and tradition, America and Europe.Their God is no comfort and his non-existence no release.All that is real is Hitler -- and Hitler stands for what the modern world has to offer.

This novel is exasperating because it is always easy to despise the despicable characters it develops, yet reflection after each portion read forces one to admit a sympathy, albeit reluctantly.Very Dostoyevskian to be sure.Dostoyevsky is no pleasure to read either.

Singer deservedly got the Nobel Prize for Literature years ago and before this masterpiece ever saw the light of day except in Yiddish in serialized form.

5-0 out of 5 stars A modern epic novel..eternal ..humorous and testimonial
Having been in jesuit school during my primary and secondary, I distintly remember a priest who told me I should marry a jewish girl for you have the sort of character that requires it.. he was not mistaken, but the unfolding of that story rivals a novel of IBS... so my wife gave it as a girft and I found a novel in some parts as to be similar to Dovstoyeski, yet modern is some others as Saul Bellow's.. and even humorous as Woody Allen.

Its a story of survivors, of the melting-pot phenomenom of the USA, of the drift of generations and the loss of traditions, of the eternal contradictions, and the difference between a world separated by the holocaust.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark and Epic: Singer rewriting himself
For fans of Singer's writing, there is little new here.All of his classical narrative concerns are on display.But this novel, unpublished during his lifetime, is far more of an immense and deep exploration of his concerns; there is the feeling, when reading this sprawling novel, that he has found yet another angle to explore his fictional concerns, and it is one that is subterranean in its aesthetic. Shadows is staggeringly dark; its vision of humanity, both in the past, present and future, is unremittingly tragic and sorrowful.Singer never lets up, and reading this novel can be fatiguing because of its unrelenting stance toward despair.What saves the novel from perdition, what makes it more than a catalog of gloom, is that it is uttering extremely simple truths, even if they are hard to swallow. ... Read more

by Isaac Bashevis Singer
 Hardcover: Pages (1970)

Asin: B000OLCZ08
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Singer but still exceptionally good
Many of Singer's characters are misfits and failures, ridiculous and pretentious . Many are philanderers who have loyalty to their women only at the moment they are with them. Many are would - be - writers , pretentious and vain. Many are imps and demons, spirits driving the human being to wild behavior. Lust- driven , often impelled by the starkest physical hungers they at the same time question the stars, and would know life's meaning.
One such misfit is the hero of the title story of this work, which as ordinarily the case with a Singer story, goes to a place and complication the reader is surprised by.
These stories have been praised as the best of Singer, but my sense they are not this. But they are Singer, and that is enough. ... Read more

14. Gimpel the Fool: And Other Stories
by Isaac Bashevis SINGER
 Paperback: Pages (1957)

Asin: B001N8IUNC
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Short Story in Fiction
I had read Gimpel the Fool as a short story in a literature book years ago, and I felt it was one of the best short stories I had ever read.What was so curious was that in more recent past, I had started reading it in another literature book that I had acquired and felt like it was different in a sense.But I see now why per reviews left here, this is a book that has been translated into English, and I may have read a different translation of it years ago?Perhaps even more condensed??But nonetheless, this story greatly inspired me.It is most worthy of a person's time in my opinion.I am glad that most people here are not giving it away, how it all ends.Of all the short stories out there, I have not come across one that exceeded this one.But I do believe there are others quite noteworthy as well.Because no one wants to give it away, trust us, just buy the book, read it, and you will see why.Enjoy.

I see that this particular book sold here has another story therein, and I am intrigued by the other reviews left here.Thank you very much!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful stories ever written
This book contains Saul Bellow's translation of 'Gimpel the Fool'. This is the translation and the story which made Singer famous in America. It is a masterwork.
Singer is for me the greatest of all storywriters. I feel a special love for the Jewish world of characters he so wonderfully creates. The title- story 'Gimpel' is the story of a baker's assistant, an innocent slow- minded person of faith who though he is endlessly used and exploited by others continues to have trust and faith. He is deceived into marriage, and deceived repeatedly by his wife, knocked on the head everywhere, and yet his innocence, his trust do not abandon him. His holy love has a beauty about it which deeply moves to sympathy , to laughter and to tears.
Reading this story will I believe make most readers feel more deeply human , and make them sense more strongly the paradoxical beauty and greatness of life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two of the greatest stories of all time
This book of four stories contains two that I consider among the best Singer ever wrote, and among the best of all time, 'Gimpel the Fool' and ' The Spinoza of Market Street'. Gimpel is the eternal innocent, the good person who life and its cruelty continually mock and humiliate without ever managing to destroy his goodness and faith. He is the 'fool' who in his goodness and faith is holier than us all. A Jewish Quixote but one without heroic pretensions one instead filled with kindness and love even when he is being laughed at and made a fool of.
'The Spinoza of Market Street' is the story of an impossible love. It is the story of redemption and rebirth of body and soul through human kindness and caring. It is the story of an old philosopher lost in his dreams of Spinoza who is nursed back into life as man by a caring lonely unattractive woman. It is story of hope and of the redemption of the human soul.
How beautiful and deep these two great stories, how they give food and hope for body and soul.

4-0 out of 5 stars GIMPEL THE FOOL
I enjoyed reading Gimpel the Fool.it made it possible relate to some of the jewish traditions as well as human nature that still is transpiring today.honesty versus dishonesty. isaac bshevis singer is a great writer.plain language and easy to interpret makes it more inspiring to continue toread his stories without putting it aside for later reading.well doneindeed.

4-0 out of 5 stars read this book
Gimpel the Fool is a really well written book that is fun to read.It is an important source of information about Jewish history.But don't get me wrong, it's funny and easy to understand.The book focuses on the lives ofsimple Jews and their struggles and joys.My two favotite stories are"Gimpel the Fool" and "Fire." ... Read more

15. Shosha
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
 Hardcover: Pages (1978)
-- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000O5M194
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16. The Manor and the Estate (In One Volume)
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
 Hardcover: Pages (1979)

Asin: B000TDE0VS
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17. The Manor
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: Pages (1987-08)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$29.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374520801
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Manor and The Estate - Complete Two Novel Saga of a Family and an Epoch ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jews Are Bustin' Out All Over
Why should the Jews live in a narrow, religious world bound by myriad restrictions when all Europe is moving towards an industrial, modern future ?On the other hand, isn't leaving the guidance of one's own tradition, and walking on thin ice towards material and emotional satisfactions frought with dangers and fears ?As usual, Singer asks big questions in his novel and answers ambiguously.Readers have to look within themselves to divine the answers to such questions.Materialism and individual freedom offer rewards, but then so do spirituality and family ties.

Calman Jacoby takes over the management of a Polish manor after the failed revolt of 1863.He rapidly makes a success of it, becomes a capitalist, and willy-nilly moves away from maintaining the minute observations of Jewish tradition.Yet, he regrets this, he struggles to remain honest. When his wife dies, he marries an independent woman of dubious morals with an eye for the main chance.His eldest daughter marries the ambitious-but-traditional son of a local rabbi.Amother marries a no-count nobleman---son of the original manor owner---and lives a miserable life as an apostate to Judaism.Another marries a holy rebbe, leader of a Hasidic sect.The fourth weds a man who chooses rationalism and science over the mysticism and superstition of the village Jewish community.She cannot keep up with him. How can Jacoby deal with the stress of such transformations in traditional Jewish life ?While some men strive in the world of old, Talmudic scholarship, serving as guides to the gullible poor, speak only Yiddish, and shun contact with outsiders, others begin to shave, wear European clothing, eat non-kosher food, and associate with women outside the family.New political ideas appear and shake old certainties.Singer traces the tensions and upheavals in families who live in times of rapid transition from one kind of society to another.

Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and other novels can be related to THE MANOR, but a lot of African and Asian literature deals with the same theme, as does the literature of Native Americans.Singer's version is rich, rewarding, and full of poetic description. Perhaps, with so many characters, THE MANOR is more diffuse than some of his other novels, but most of them are vivid and well-developed.As always, he brings the lost world of the Eastern European Jews alive. It will live forever in these pages, as long as people read books or want to know what people once lived and struggled in Poland.

Singer wrote many novels set in different times---from "Satan in Goray" (1600s)to "The Slave" and "The Magician of Lublin" and "The Family Moskat"---as well as "Enemies, a Love Story" set in post-war New York, after the Jewish world was destroyed.THE MANOR is yet another jewel set in the necklace of his work.

4-0 out of 5 stars A manor of worship: to God or oneself?
With the backdrop set during the late 1800s clash between the tradition and the renewal of Polish Jewry, Isaac Bashevis Singer introduces his novel, The Manor. A host of well developed characters represent the various paths taken in this historical time period. The story revolves around the manor, a residence meant to bring prosperity and the illusion of consequent happiness riches are expected to produce. Calman Jacoby, a spiritual and honest Jew, obtains the manor, and so begins a new phase of his life as a wealthy business man.
The Jacoby's have four daughters, and their stories show a different level of keeping, or rejecting, the traditions instilled in each by Calman. The relationships between characters, especially between the daughters and their husbands, are continually being tested. Singer explores how passion can lead one into irrational and blatantly immoral behavior. Loyalties are promised and broken and then reaffirmed again amidst affairs, lost belief in G-d, and renewed spirituality. The constant questioning thoughts of each character invokes conflicting feelings in ones own mind as to what is correct, and with which point of view Singer himself consents. The conflicts extend beyond what the characters actually think. Singer presents the beauty of certain scenes through metaphors and people's good deeds, only to contrast them to the mundane reality of others.
The novel is told in a refreshingly simple tone that is somehow able to communicate the characters' innermost feelings. Although I was surprised by the lack of communication among the daughters, I found The Manor to be an impressive book, one that incorporated historical fiction with exciting storylines, credible characters, and a theme that is still witnessed today: traditions clashing with the desire for progress.

4-0 out of 5 stars Building Independent Nations Requires Independent People
"The Manor" is a difficult novel to enjoy but is a realistic depiction of the lives of Jews amongst Gentiles in 19th century Poland.Poland at this time was partitioned by Prussia, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian empire.The Polish Count of "The Manor" in the title, has been exiled to Siberia for participating in a Polish rebellion against Russia.A Russian Duke confiscates all his property.Calman Jacoby has frequently traded with the Count and he leases the property from the duke, taking a small shack for himself on the property while allowing the Countess and her daughters to remain living in The Manor.The disasters that befall Calman from that point forward make up the body of the novel.

When the Polish Count and his son, Lucian, return from Siberia,they are disillusioned and debauched beyond repentance.Lucian, a handsome rogue, seduces and elopes with Calman's favorite daughter, Miriam Leiba. They flee to Paris where they reside in filth while Lucian cuckolds Miriam Leiba continuously.Upon their return to Poland, a murder lands Lucian in prison. Miriam Leiba becomes a lush, loses the custody of her children to Lucian's sister, and contacts tuberculosis.

In the meantime, the Count sets up residence with a Russian woman he brings from Siberia, shortening the life of his wife, the Countess, by several years. Calman loses his own wife around the same time.She had been a bitter but responsible woman who failed to enliven Calman though she attended to his every need...except one.Calman marries again, believing himself in love with Clara, arich, fashionable, society woman.She is beautiful and appeals to Calman's senses but she is reckless and pressures him to evict the Count and his Russian concubine.She is pregnant and fancies residing in The Manor after she updates it to her liking.The peasants see negative omens in the sky when Calman moves into The Manor, but they don't protest because the Count was oppressive.The son Clara delivers to Calman in the Manor is a monstrous brat that engenders feelings of shame rather than that of love.

Shortly thereafter Clara begins an affair with Zipkin, auniversity student with communist leanings.Affairs have become "fashionable" with her "in-crowd".She hires her lover as a governor and tutor for Calman's rebellious son and moves him into the Manor until Calman, always suspicious but never officially exposing her, becomes uncertain of the parentage of Clara's second pregnancy and throws Zipkin out.Then he leaves The Manor himself, opting for a religious life in the Shtetl of his youth.He is done with "The Manor" forever, prefering to be a tenant of someone else than Lord of The Manor.He claims that as a tenant "God watched over him" and as a Lord, he was in over his head.

In my opinion, the characters in the novel are overly concerned with marriage and sex, so much so that every fatal mistake is attributable to their choice of spouse or lover.If each had spent time alone to develop self-sufficiency and notice it in others or enjoyed some form of useful trade, many of their personal disasters wouldn't have happened or could've been prevented.That they all end up dissatisfied, unhappy, in prison or in retreat is a logical outcome of their emotive, irrationaldecisions.Only Calman, the only character engaged in useful trade, realizes what has caused his problems and bythe end of the novel he is consciously working to repair his soul.The other characters fade off the pages in ignominy, victims of their dreams and own irresponsibility.

The building of an independent country, an issue uniquely applicable to these two nations, requires the full development of its people to create, defend and inhabit that new nation.Anynation is doomed to fall like a "House of Cards" (which The Manor comes to symbolize) when emotion is placed above reason.What Isaac Bashevis Singer shows us in this unhappy tale will help all who read it to understand why this must be so.

"The Manor" is a worthwhile if not enjoyable read and needs more exposure through a new reprint. ... Read more

18. The Golem
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 96 Pages (1996-10-29)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$78.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374427461
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A clay giant miraculously brought to life by a saintly rabbi saves a Jewish banker who has been falsely accused in the Prague of Emperor Rudolf II. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Story, But Gets Maudlin at the End
I remember reading this book from a 1980's edition. The illustrations were all in black & white. I liked this version of the Golem because it give a background into Jewish life in Prague in the Middle Ages, and how the Jews were pretty much at the mercy of the local populace and how the Jews were required by law to be second-class citizens.
My problem with the book is the last chapter, where the wife uses the Golem for some far-out treasure hunting project, breaking the "safety mechanism" in the Golem (in the original story the Rabbi just gets careless and uses the Golem for "help"). The part where the servant falls in love with the "evolving" Golem was silly. The story doesn't need a romantic subplot, and I can't see a love-struck teenage girl being attracted to a large clay statue.

Nonetheless, the illustrations are great and any kid who likes Harry Potter ought to like this story.

5-0 out of 5 stars A delightful story, well presented, the basis for Michael Chabon's "Kavallier andClay"
The Golem, as told by IB Singer, is a traditional Jewish mystical short story of a superhuman giant, made of clay, who is brought to life by the most religious rabbi in order to save Jews in times of trouble.And although it is a "children's" story, there are many layers of symbolism to keep adults interested.This particular edition was especially well done.I appreciated the artwork and overall esthetic presentation of the book.

I came to this book after reading Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavallier and Clay, the "Clay" in the title being the last name of one of the main characters, but also the substance from which the rabbi made the golem.Chabon heavily alludes to and borrows from this story, the Golem of Prague, though never quite lets the reader know that this is what he's referring to, almost assuming that the reader already knows about it, which is for most people not the case.So it was especially rewarding to finally read the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jewish Mystical Story Telling at its Best
This seeming children's story is really a parable for adults (which children can enjoy and eventually get on another level when they are ready).There are many well crafted sentences about the spiritual life, how to surrender into trusting God to take care of your life, about the hidden saints who help our life on Earth work, how to use our free choice, how to live in community with others, how to relate to believers and nonbelievers, how to handle being falsely accused, and how to be humble with power.You can taste a whole way of life behind the story which might be worth living or open it at random and find some messages that relate to challenges we meet in daily life.

The Golem is one fo the best known Singer short stories.Its theme is a Golem, a mythical figure imbued with life by cabalistic magic to help the Jewish people in a time of need.

This story begins with persecutions on Jews in Prague, which is when the Golem is sent to Reb Leib.After helping the Jews in their objective, Reb Leib decides to use the Golem, with its incredible strenght, for a less noble pursuit, which is when the Golem starts to disobey him.The story unfolds with the Golem, a creature made of clay, turning more and more human, with the mauturity of a child but enormous strenght.The probelms mount as the Golem destroys all in his way, falls in love (reciprocatedly) and gets drafted by the emperor.

The short story evokes many deep issues, such as what it means to be human, what one should do with unending power, what one should do to preserve the peace, and many others.Though originally a childrens story, any adult would enjoy it.It is the type of story that leaves one reflecting about certain issues for days.

5-0 out of 5 stars es la más bella versión del Golem que jamás leí
El Golem tiene todos los ingredientes que necesita un relato para funcionar, pero en este caso, además, está escrito por Singer. Esto significa que el cuento está bellamente narrado. Singer cuenta de manerasimple aún las historias más complejas. ... Read more

19. The Death of Methuselah: and Other Stories
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 256 Pages (2003-05-16)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$14.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374529108
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Themes of envy, betrayal and sexual perversity run through this collection of 20 short stories. The author also wrote "Satan in Goray", "The Manor", "The Magician of Lublin" and "The Manor", and won the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars book did not come
I ordered a book from this seller, they shipped it within 2 days but it never came.I contacted the seller and they very quickly responded and refunded my account.Even though I never received my book, because of their quick response and quick solution to the matter I would recommend them again!The have other quick and great reviews which makes them a safe and appropriate place to order from!

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the Title Story Alone
The Death of Methuselah, the title story, is one of the best short stories I've ever read.It deals with the hallucinatory last moments of Methuselah.The reader is taken taken on a trip through Jewish and Mesopotamian mythology, a trip brought on by Methuselah's lusting for Naamah the she-devil, consort of Asmodeus.

4-0 out of 5 stars METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN
Master story teller IsaacBashevis Singer regales us once again with this remarkable collection of short stories. Woe to those who are faint of heart or have inflexible moral standards. His stories are sure to give you acoronary as you are confronted with issues of blasphemy, debauchery,mystery and intrigue. Singer assaults the whole of human fickleness in histales.

Yet his tales are not all sordid. In "The BitterTruth" we see a man's loyalty to his friend over-rides a secret thatcould spell disaster. "House Friend" will have you laughing atthe mere concept of a friend having sexual relations with another friend'swife with full hearted encouragement from the friend. Go figure? Singer's stories are down to earth and deal with the varied humannegativities that we display unashamedly. God's presence is very much inthe foreground of the stories as the characters stuggle with their ownethical isssues. Despite the fact that we as a human race can be sordid,the collection as a whole points out that we are redeemable and can displaythe best of ourselves.Laugh, cry, become shocked and fearful as youenter the complexities of humanity through the eyes of Singer. Nocollection of his is complete without this book. ... Read more

20. Love and Exile: An Autobiographical Trilogy
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Paperback: 384 Pages (1986-05-01)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$20.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374519927
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Love and Exile contains the three volumes of the Nobel Prize Winner's spiritual autobiography, covering his childhood in a rabbinical household in Poland, his young manhood in Warsaw and his beginning as a writer, and his emigration to New York before the outbreak of war, with the concomitant displacement of a Yiddish writer in a strange land.
... Read more

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