Newport Librarians's Reviews > The Entertainer and the Dybbuk

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman
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Oct 20, 10

bookshelves: ms-kathy, ya-fiction
Read from October 17 to 20, 2010

Sid Fleischman's story involves an ex-GI who stays on in post-war Europe trying to make it as a ventriloquist and a murdered Jewish boy named Avrom Amos Poliakov. Freddie, the ventriloquist, isn't making it with a lame act, bad jokes, and little ability to throw his voice until Avrom Amos inhabits his body and speaks through his dummy. The act gets better, the jokes get better, but Freddie's life gets terribly complicated by this dead Jewish boy, now a "dybbuk" or spirit, who wants a Bar Mitzvah (a coming-of-age service for 13-year-old Jewish boys). Nevertheless, the good-hearted American goes along with the dybbuk's request, including attending Hebrew school. That is, until he falls in love and wants some time alone (without his body-possessing dybbuk). But Avrom Amos has other ideas. He's interested in chasing the Nazi, now in hiding in America, who murdered him and his sister. Fleischman manages this dark comedy with great tact and feeling. It's an unforgettable short tale.
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