Matt's Reviews > Happy New Year! and Other Stories

Happy New Year! and Other Stories by Sholem Aleichem
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's review
Oct 23, 07

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bookshelves: short-stories, literature
Read in August, 2007

Sholom Aleichem is one of my favorite satirists of all time. It still pleases me to think of the story about his arrival in the USA, where he was introduced to Mark Twain, who greeted him by saying "How do you do, I'm told that I am the American Sholom Aleichem." The similarities between the two are striking.

Anything written by Sholom Aleichem is marvelous, and I hope to read everything one can without being fluent in Yiddish, but this was by far the most disappointing collection I've read. The editor/translator was seeking out less well known and under-appreciated stories, and it may just be that these stories are in fact appreciated exactly as much as they deserve, but I also feel strongly that the translation played a part. The stories were clearly written by Sholom Aleichem but they lacked the real grace and fluidity that I feel embodies his writing.

Worth reading, but if you're not familiar with Sholom Aleichem's work, I recommend picking up Tevye the Dairyman.
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