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Fabulous Small Jews

de Joseph Epstein

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1582134,806 (3.85)6
In Fabulous Small Jews, the best-selling author Joseph Epstein has produced eighteen charming, magical, and finely detailed stories. They are populated by lawyers, professors, scrap-iron dealers, dry cleaners, all men of a certain age who feel themselves adrift in the radically changed values of the day. Epstein's richly drawn characters are at various crossroads and turning points in their lives: bitter Seymour Hefferman, who anonymously sends scathing postcards to writers until he gets caught; Moe Bernstein, who, inspired by his grandson, decides to attend to his own health after long delay; divorcé Artie Glick, who wants to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Fabulous Small Jews is a marvelous collection from a master of the short form.… (mais)
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In a nutshell: "Artie Glick in a Family Way" is about a man who, at at fifty-seven, finally grows some you-know-whats and becomes an adult. After growing up in the shadow of a difficult father only to have him die in surgery, Artie substitutes this father for a just as difficult therapist. Twice a week for fourteen years Dr. Lieberman has been milking Artie's feelings of inadequacy; for Artie was never good enough for his dad. Let's count the ways in his dad's eyes: he doesn't have business sense. He has already failed at marriage once. He has never started a family. It is only after Glick's girlfriend announces she is pregnant does Artie finally realize he could have a much different life.

I think "The Executor" was my favorite story from Fabulous Small Jews. It was short, simple, and direct...but with a twist. Kenneth Hopkins is a Princeton student with a Jewish poet for a mentor. His time with Professor Bertram is profound, but not as life altering as his meeting with Mrs. Bertram. But, their meeting isn't what you think. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 12, 2017 |
The stories in this book break all the rules my high school teachers taught me about writing stories: they are all told by a third-person narrator, there is far more telling than showing (I'm pretty sure at least one story in this book contained no dialogue at all).

But Epstein transcends these rules. His characterisation, in particular, is wonderful. These protagonists are not heroes; they are grandfathers, sons, husbands, employees, thieves, douchebags, & jerks. And they're all fascinating. ( )
  Heduanna | Sep 14, 2015 |
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In Fabulous Small Jews, the best-selling author Joseph Epstein has produced eighteen charming, magical, and finely detailed stories. They are populated by lawyers, professors, scrap-iron dealers, dry cleaners, all men of a certain age who feel themselves adrift in the radically changed values of the day. Epstein's richly drawn characters are at various crossroads and turning points in their lives: bitter Seymour Hefferman, who anonymously sends scathing postcards to writers until he gets caught; Moe Bernstein, who, inspired by his grandson, decides to attend to his own health after long delay; divorcé Artie Glick, who wants to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Fabulous Small Jews is a marvelous collection from a master of the short form.

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