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A Stone for Danny Fisher

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,672 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
As a teenager, Danny Fisher had all he ever wanted -- a dog, a grown-up summer job, flirtatious relationships with older women -- and a talent for ruthless boxing that quickly made him a star in the amateur sporting world. But when Danny's family falls on hard times, moving from their comfortable home in Brooklyn to Manhattan's squalid Lower East Side, he is forced to leav ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Touchstone (first published 1952)
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Jul 28, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
I've read A Stone for Danny Fisher several times over decades. When I was a kid growing up in Danny's Brooklyn I enjoyed the references to places and things and people I knew. I also enjoyed the sexy parts, though they were done more by inference and euphemism than the explicit language we're used to today. Still, any adult and most teenagers knew what was being described.

The book is narrated by Danny himself from beyond the grave, as it opens with his family gathered at his gravesite, and so th
Jan 26, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
I don't know how many times I've read this book over the years. I first read it when very young so I guess that has made it special because it affected me more than either the writing or the story ought to deserve. Not that it isn't a well told tale by a writer who knew how to tell a story. Harold Robbins wrote several huge best sellers and was looked down on by most of the high-brow critics; he's not alone in that. But this tale, like 'Of Human Bondage' has a place in my heart because the chara ...more
Mar 28, 2010 Alice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspence

I have to admit that I was a big Harold Robins fan in my 20's. I really liked most of his books. They are all Pulp Fiction & very risque for thier day. A Stone for Danny Fisher stands out tho. I recently reread this & it was as powerful now as it was. Not too much pulp fiction stands the test of time, but this one does.
Jul 27, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I picked this up in audio from the library. I read a few of Harold Robbins' more commercial, salacious novels from the late seventies, yet hadn't thought of him in years. But this novel is an entirely different animal: this is 1950s cinéma vérité with a heavy dose of Robbins melodrama thrown in for good measure.

A Stone For Danny Fisher is a brutal coming-of-age story covering both The Great Depression and WWII eras. Danny Fisher is a sensitive, likable Jewish bo
Gerold Whittaker
Feb 01, 2011 Gerold Whittaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a real page-turner not because there was any larger-than-life heroes or earth-shattering catastrophe's going on: just normal people going about their day-to-day duties, written in such a way that you could not wait to see what was going to happen next. Set between the years 1925 to 1944, the story tells of the hardship of growing up and surviving in New York during the depression era leading up to WW2. Crime, racketeering, black marketeering, gangs and poverty - all woven intr ...more
R. Honey
Jul 28, 2011 R. Honey rated it really liked it
I read this in high school back when God was a boy! My high school had a huge population of Jewish kids and this was the big book everybody who read was reading at the time!
I did not figure out the stone part in the title until Schindlers List!
I do remember it being a page turner to me. Probably because next to Peyton Place,it was the most grown up fiction I had read.
Janene Zahm
Feb 26, 2012 Janene Zahm rated it it was amazing
It was a fascinating and compelling story with an unexpected twist (at least it was for me). I would have never even thought about reading this if my 63 year old mother said it was one of her favorite books when she was my age. It's not my favorite book but it's definitely on the top of my list.
Jan 29, 2016 velvetgypsy rated it it was amazing
I never tire of rereading Harold Robbins' books especially 'A Stone For Danny Fisher'!
Mar 29, 2015 Renee rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I must confess that the main reason I read this book was because of one of Elvis Presley's movies. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an Elvis fan and anything connected to Elvis must be delved into. The Elvis movie, King Creole, was loosely based on this book and the part of Danny Fisher (a boxer) was originally intended for James Dean, but due to Dean's untimely death, the movie was scrapped for a while until it was rewritten to fit Elvis (a singer). King Creole ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
C1951. FWFTB: boxing, amateur, poverty, survive, Depression. I have read many Robbins’ books and this was anotherone that I managed to get my hands on via a Charity shop. This is not like the later novels in that there are no gratuitous sex scenes – just some good writing.This is not the happiest book in the world bearing in mind that The title of the book comes from the Jewish tradition of placing a stone on a grave. I suppose Mr Robbins background at Universal Pictures made it a dead cert that ...more
May 14, 2015 Nino~ch rated it it was amazing
“A Stone for Danny Fisher” is a book of great importance for me. I was 14, who never really loved to read and it was the first time when while reading I started to coexist with the characters, I still remember their faces, even though the book had not a single illustration in it. I discovered totally new world for me, which was born from those words and lines and my thoughts and impressions and this chemistry was very strong.
I consider myself rich, because this world I discovered at 14, since t
Jun 24, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
I am not a huge fan of Harold Robbins. But when I heard someone say two books of Harold Robbins were par excellence; I couldn’t resist picking up one among them, “A Stone for Danny Fisher”. A few pages into the book, the tale takes quick turns and has one completely glued in. It is so heartrending you can’t stop tears gushing out. The last few pages play on the emotions so much; I for one just couldn’t carry on. I had to take adequate breaks to simmer down my emotions. The story is all about a s ...more
Richard Epstein
Nov 22, 2013 Richard Epstein rated it did not like it
I first encountered Harold Robbins on the shelves of people for whom I was babysitting. I devoured whatever I found, figuring I finally was going to learn something practical, realistic, and useful about sex. I was mistaken.
Mar 09, 2010 Tory rated it liked it
I like Harold Robbins... He writes the best trash ever.
Nidhi Jakhar
Oct 04, 2016 Nidhi Jakhar rated it really liked it
I needed this break from the heavy stuff that I have been reading lately. I did have my misgivings when I started the book since Harold Robbins is mostly associated with fiction of the pulp risque sort. However, the book was a nice read; a classic tale of grit, ambition, survival during the Great Depression and WWII periods in USA.

Danny is the affable endearing guy; who is swept off by the turn in his family's circumstances; spiraling towards poverty. While he dabbles in the mean seedy crooked u
Robbie Bashore
Apr 17, 2015 Robbie Bashore rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2016 Calle rated it really liked it
Harold Robbins has a reputation for writing "trash" and "smut" and he did write some books that may be labelled as such, but he also wrote some great books, with good storiess, believable characters with quite a lot of depth, novels that keep you turning the pages not because there's a lot of action but because you really care about the charcters. "A Stone for Danny Fisher" is one of those books. Perhaps not his best, but certainly a good read. Recommended.

Trivia: The Elvis movie King Creole was
Aug 10, 2012 Philip rated it liked it
This was Harold Robbins's third novel, and was among his most highly-regarded. I first read it back in the early 1970s and probably liked it more then than I did upon re-reading it recently - for months I'd read a few pages and put it down, unable to commit myself to it, put off, perhaps, by its almost relentlessly effective aura of gloom and doom.

But I defy anyone to read the last five pages or so and not feel a sob rise in their throat and tears spill from their eyes - yes, once upon a time, b
Sep 02, 2013 Claudine rated it it was amazing
If you have discounted Harrold Robbins books as frivolous think again. This is definitely not a light-hearted read. It is the story of Danny Fisher, born into poverty just before the depression hit in the 1930's. It follows his life as he becomes a boxer against his father's wishes, loves a catholic girl against his mother's and defies the gang who pay him to throw a fight - the winning of which will bring him fame and, in his hopes, the approval of his dad.
It is a compelling, wonderful tale. I
Tag Riggs
May 15, 2009 Tag Riggs rated it it was amazing
I give it 5 stars because it was a book when I read it as a teenager. I don't know how I would view it today, however, I would quote the title to my kids when incidences didn't seem fair in the household or life. It's about a young man that wants to be more than anything in life to be a champion boxer but things go terribly wrong and doesn't much change through the book. The title is based on biblical scripture found in Luke 11:11 that says, "But of whom of you that is a father shall a son ask b ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a book written in the 70's and the characterisation feels a little cliched but for all that I enjoyed it again for the 2nd time. I read this about 30 old years ago and was still able to remember certain elements of the story, which I think speaks to the quality of the narrative. It was somewhat predictable though so that may have assisted in the "remembering" process.
The main character, Danny Fisher, always appears much older than he actually is. It is the relationship that h
A bit melodramatic. The grinding poverty and the rackets of the Lower East Side again. Danny Fisher can't catch a break. Boxing, gambling, business, family and friends all fail him. He turns pretty much unsympathetically bad towards the end, but he has a change of heart for the better at the last minute, but by that time it's too late. Jews and Catholics, life and death, but mostly money. If there's a moral here I can't make it out. Makes the whole world seem evil and unforgiving. Yet it was com ...more
Geo Forman
May 06, 2012 Geo Forman rated it liked it
a young jewish boy in New York during the depression. He grows up estranging his father by becoming a prize fighter. Errors in judgement and immaturity lands him in trouble with the mob. He manages to stay one step ahead of everyone in spite of setbacks that come close to costing him dearly. Overall he is a good fellow who can't seem to grow up. The story is a bit sappy at the end but a good read overall.
Mar 24, 2013 Dorrian rated it it was amazing
Found this to be an excellent book, well written and very introspective. I know that I reflected on it for several weeks after, and was nearly brought to tears while reading it. If you have not read this book, it is worth it! My mother gave it to me to read, and it passes the test for books that don't get old.
Kathy Doll
Audiobook. My tolerance for melodrama is less than when I first read this book in high school apparently! But I still enjoyed listening to this again. I loved most of the characters except Danny's wife Nellie. OMG, what a whiner! She was forever crying, worried, or about to faint dead away. I could have done without her.
Chris Gager
Another book I think I read but can't really remember. I'd go through periods where reading a book like this was as much a distraction/time killer as real mental stimulation. Add to that the fact that it was a long time ago and... a hazy memory of this and quite a few other books. I assume there are quite a few I'll never recall. Sad. Date read is a guess. Made into the movie "King Creole".
Oct 18, 2011 Iva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, classic, ya, i-own
A great psychological book. I actually own it, somehow.
The time is set between 1925 to World War II, picturing a young Jewish boxer, having a hard time growing up.
Kind of reminds me of The Catcher in the Rye.
Aug 01, 2008 Armand rated it it was amazing
My first Harold Robbins novel read in 1973. Story of a down and out jew Danny Fisher who rose from poverty through boxing and dealing with the mob as well. Made into a movie starring Elvis Presley but the book is more exciting than the screenplay.
Marycatherine Mcgarvey
May 24, 2012 Marycatherine Mcgarvey rated it it was amazing
This was an early book written by Robbins. The raw sex that he is known for in later books is not blatant in this book. Written in1952, he has developed the characters in a 3 demential way that gets lost in his later books. An excellent read if you can still find a copy.
Rukmini Singh
Aug 12, 2012 Rukmini Singh rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of my favourites.
I love how Robbins had glorified not a perfect man or a 'hero material' but an ordinary man.
Amazing book, it actually makes you feel every single thing Danny goes through.
It almost sent me into depression at the end of the story. Thats how good it was!
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Born as Harold Rubin in New York City, he later claimed to be a Jewish orphan who had been raised in a Catholic boys home. In reality he was the son of well-educated Russian and Polish immigrants. He was reared by his pharmacist father and stepmother in Brooklyn.

His first book, Never Love a Stranger (1948), caused controversy with its graphic sexuality. Publisher Pat Knopf reportedly bought Never
More about Harold Robbins...

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“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” 3 likes
“I was not a great man whose history has been recorded for children to study in school. No bells will ring for me, no flags descend upon their mast. For I was an ordinary man, my son, one of many, with ordinary hopes and ordinary dreams and ordinary fears. I, too, dreamed of wealth and riches, health and strength. I, too, feared hunger and poverty, war and weakness. I was the neighbour who lived in the next house. The man standing in the subway on his way to work: who held a match to his cigarette: who walked with his dog. I was the soldier shaking with fear: the man berating the umpire at the ball game: the citizen in the privacy of the voting booth, happily electing the worthless candidate. I was the man who lived a thousand times and died a thousand times in all man’s six thousand years of record. I was the man who sailed with Noah  in his ark, who was the multitude that crossed the sea that Moses held apart, who hung from the cross next to Christ. I was the ordinary man about whom songs are never written, stories are never told, legends are never remembered.” 2 likes
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