The North of God
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The North of God

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Here in a place dedicated to the manufacture of fear—a place that one ghoul of a Rebbe declared was located to the North of God, where his jurisdicition no longer held sway—Velvl found himself developing a certain resistance.

Through numerous books and stories, Steve Stern has become known for his fantastical (and often wildly comic) stories based on yiddish folklore—Harold...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Melville House (first published 2008)
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Yiddish folktale based stories / novels never seem to do me wrong. Magical and depressing, and a great way to spend an hour and half being paid overtime with nothing else to do at work. Thanks Barnes and Noble!!!
I started reading this little novella not really knowing what to expect. Melville House, the publisher, sent me this book back in August as part of a prize pack for participating in the Art of the Novella challenge. This is part of their (defunct? I can’t find anything on their website) Contemporary Art of the Novella series. It’s the third one that I’ve read, and all three have made me want to do their authors’ taxes, at least for the year. I remember briefly glancing at the blurb – something a...more
Rafal Cebula
This was a weird book. The plot was fantastic but the content was questionable.

This is actually two stories, both of which are connected fables or folktales. The plot of the first revolves around a young man getting seduced by a female sexual demon (in this case, a rusalka,). This story is fantastic and a joy to read. It reads like a classic fairy tale with magic, intrigue, and a sharply written plot. The second story is a man telling the story of the continued like of the man who got seduced by...more
A weird little novella built out of Yiddish folklore and storytelling, and an impending sense of extermination and doom. Stern has obviously made himself an expert of this world, of shtetl life with its singular blend of sheltered yeshiva pupils, halakhic/talmudic rules and ancient, almost paganistic superstitions of a shockingly involved spirit world. Like other writers about Europe's past, W.G. Sebald and Patrick Leigh Fermor etc, Stern is interested in giving us a small glimpse at the ghosts...more
Novella’s are wonderful things, not quite long enough to be deemed a novel and not quite short enough to be a short story. My ideal sort of book. I always find a lot of short stories too short, funnily enough, and when being introduced to a new author I like to get a feel of their writing and short stories don’t allow you to do this. Novella’s do.
Melville House Publishing recentley did a collection of contemporay art novella’s from various authors that included the likes of Leo Tolstoy, Robert L...more
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Richard Abowitz
I am not reviewing this because I read it before I joined GoodReads. My reading was recent enough that I am just comfortable enough to rate this book generally.
This book is excellent. You ought to read it without knowing anything about it.

(I want to see a performance of Herschel's plays.)
A really cool magical Yiddish story, and a taste of what used to be a rich genre.
A mature work of genius by one of our best writers. Highly recommended.
Melville House Publishing
"A throwback to the Yiddish sublime." -- Harold Bloom
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Stern was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1947, the son of a grocer. He left Memphis in the 1960s to attend college, then to travel the US and Europe — living, as he told one interviewer, "the wayward life of my generation for about a decade," and ending on a hippie commune in the Ozarks. He went on to study writing in the graduate program at the University of Arkansas, at a time when it included se...more
More about Steve Stern...
The Frozen Rabbi The Angel of Forgetfulness The Book of Mischief: New and Selected Stories The Wedding Jester Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven: Stories

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