Ken's Reviews > Dubin's Lives

Dubin's Lives by Bernard Malamud
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Apr 09, 09

bookshelves: own
Read in January, 2003

Long ago, a creative writing teacher recommended this book to me. I've finally read it, and in turn I highly recommend it. Malamud shows a mastery of prose and an immense talent for description. His passages describing the changing seasons are incredible!

At first, the author's tendency to bend the "laws" of punctuation and grammar threw me a little. The first twenty pages didn't hold my interest, but after that I adjusted to his style and grew to appreciate it. It was worth persevering.

The book tells a story that is at once absorbing, sensual, frustrating and heartbreaking. Whatever the author's intentions, I found the title character to be rather less than admirable -- and normally a book with an unlikeable protagonist would be hard-pressed to keep my interest. This one did earn my interest, and even gained moments of insight and sympathy that brought me inside the flaws of the main character and allowed me to understand him, even if I never exactly liked the man.

I recommend this book for its deep exploration of a flawed man as he grapples with love, aging, and temptation. Well done.
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