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The Spinoza of Market Street

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Literature - Singer's second collection of stories, eleven in all, including the title story, "A Tale of Two Liars", and "The Destruction of Kreshev."
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published July 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published 1958)
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390th out of 431 books — 237 voters
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25th out of 51 books — 4 voters

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I bought this collection after hearing Ernest Gaines say he was inspired by the title story. I'm only getting to the collection now (almost 2 years later) but I'm so glad I did. (I also understand now why critics thought of Singer when reviewing Nathan Englander's "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," which I read some time ago and really liked.)

Of course, I'm reading these stories in translation, but they read effortlessly and smoothly -- the prose is flawless. The plots are unique and inventiv
"He has white skin but inside he is red. He shouts as if he were strong, but really he is weak and shaky. Throw a stone and he breaks; use a thong and he bleeds. In heat he melts. In cold he freezes. There is a bellows in his chest which has to contract and expand constantly. In his left side is a small sac which must throb and quiver all the time. He stuffs himself with mildew of a kind which grows in mud or sand. This mildew he must swallow constantly and after it passes through his body he mu ...more
Mark Klempner
Unlike "Crown of Feathers," these stories are solidly set in the Old Country and Singer is trying to recreate the world that vanished shortly after the Nazis invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. He does a really good job of it, and the stories are very rich and full of twists and turns. Singer often includes supernatural elements without any attempt to provide a plausible parellel explanation as, for example, Alison Lurie does in "Women and Ghosts." I have no problem with that, in fact I like it. In ...more
This is one of the best if not the best short story collections I've read. I read and enjoyed every individual story. There wasn't a specific theme or conceit to the collection but all involved stories of Jewish characters in small Polish towns. Singer's short stories are haunting, sometimes because of the supernatural elements and sometimes because of their bleak realism.
Sukumar Honkote
One line description of the book: Book of folk tales.
The setting is ultra- orthodox Jewish society and several stories deal with people having either black or white characters. The stories are not intellectual food. They are those kind that you would like to read on short journeys (easily put down). If one finds folk tales interesting then this book is a must read
One is NEVER disappointed w/I B Singer, and this collection of his short stories is no exception.
THE SPINOZA OF MARKET STREET by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1966)
masterful stories
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Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish American author of Jewish descent, noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.
His memoir, "A Day Of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw", won the U.S. National Book Award in Children's Literature in 1970, while his collection "A Crown of Feathers
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