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The Fixer (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 29 Apr 1993

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140185151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140185157
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,114,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Brilliant [and] harrowing . . . Historical reality combined with fictional skill and beauty of a high order make [it] a novel of startling importance." ---Elizabeth Hardwick, "Vogue"
"What makes it a great book, above and beyond its glowing goodness, has to do with something else altogether: its necessity...This novel, like all great novels reminds us that we must do something." -- Jonathan Safran Foer, author of" Everything Is Illuminated "
"The Fixer deserves to rank alongside the great Jewish-American novels of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth." --"The Independent (London)"
"A literary event in any season." --Eliot Fremont-Smith, "The New York Times"


Brilliant [and] harrowing . . . Historical reality combined with fictional skill and beauty of a high order make [it] a novel of startling importance. "Elizabeth Hardwick, Vogue"

What makes it a great book, above and beyond its glowing goodness, has to do with something else altogether: its necessity...This novel, like all great novels reminds us that we must do something. "Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated"

The Fixer deserves to rank alongside the great Jewish-American novels of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth. "The Independent (London)"

A literary event in any season. "Eliot Fremont-Smith, The New York Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bernard Malamud (1914 - 1986) wrote eight novels; he won the Pulizer Prize and the National Book Award for "The Fixer," and the National Book Award for" The Magic Barrel," a book of stories. Born in Brooklyn, he taught for many years at Bennington College in Vermont. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read Bernard Malamud's "The Fixer", which I picked up for the now unimaginable sum of ten pence in a charity shop, over a dozen years ago. It struck me at that time as a powerful and even important work. Reading it again so many years later I wondered how it would hold up.

Yakov Bok, the Fixer of the title, is a free-thinking Jew whose trade is that of a handyman from the Pale in the Ukraine (where Jews are legally allowed to reside) in the last years of the Tsarist regime not long after the disastrous war that Russia lost against Japan, the aborted revolution that followed that defeat and the pogroms that diverted the Russian people down channels that were more acceptable to the Russian state.

Life is not going well for Bok, his wife has ran away with a Goy and work is hard to find within the Pale. He eventually bites the bullet, sells up and decides to move to nearby Kiev to look for a chance to improve his situation, perhaps to earn enough and emigrate from Russia. After a period of hardship in Kiev Bok hits on some "luck" and gains the patronage of a Russian gentleman, some well paid employment before eventually being offered the position of foreman at the Russian's Brick-factory. Everything is going well, except the Russian is a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds who doesn't know that Bok is of Jewish extraction. The factory is also sited in an area of Kiev that is out of bounds to Jews. When a twelve year old Christian boy is "ritually" murdered not far from the factory, a worker who Bok had previously caught thieving and who suspects that he is Jewish raises suspicions about him with the Police. Bok is arrested, his identity as a Jew is quickly ascertained and he becomes the number one suspect for the murder of the boy.
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Format: Paperback
I read this novel 40 years ago and wondered what it would be like to read again. Well, it was just as good as when I was in high school, perhaps even better now that I know history. This book opened an entire world to me of historical novels and stuck so vividly in my mind that it has been a basic pole of comparison ever since. The setting, of course, is in the waning days of Imperial Russia around a murder trial of a good man that is based purely on anti-semitism. It is still one of the best - great personalities, vivid historical evocations, and extreme subtlty all rolled into one. The artistry of this novel and its luminous prose ranks it up there with Yourcenar's finest works of historical fiction - the quality is that good.

Recommended for the parent hoping to introduce a child to the wonders of history as well as to the adult in search of a great learning experience. Also it is simply a great story.
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By A Customer on 2 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few novels to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. It focuses on a poor Jewish man imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Malamud does a great job in recreating czar era Russia. He also does a great job in showing the physical and mental struggles the main character goes through. This is one of the best American novels to come out of the 20th century and I give it my highest recommendation.
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