Tony's Reviews > Fabulous Small Jews
Fabulous Small Jews
by Joseph Epstein
by Joseph Epstein
Epstein, Joseph. FABULOUS SMALL JEWS. (2003). ****. Epstein is a well-known writer in the chicago area and has amassed a clan of fans across the country over the period of his writing career. This was his 15th book, and his second collection of short stories. The unifying theme of the eighteen short stories in this book is the Jewishness of one or more of the principal characters. They all tend to be secular Jews who grew up in Chicago, in neighborhoods that fostered their hard-working, immigrant parents. They have all been successful in their professional careers, but tend to retain a fondness for those run-down neighborhoods where they spent their childhood. The principal emotion shown by the people that inhabit these stories is the discovery of a soft spot within them that allows them to suddenly awaken to a new outlook on their past lives or to take on a new direction in the life that is left to them. It is difficult to critique a book of eighteen short stories in just a few words. I think that the easiest thing to say is that they are all, uniformly enticing as a way of looking into the hearts and souls of many different men in a very literate way. There are scads of quotes I could cite from these stories, but I have a couple of favorites: “Gentiles try to improve their backswing, Jews their past,” and, “I should prefer to die laughing, and, on more than one occasion, thought I might,” and, finally, “Psychotherapy is what Jews have instead of golf.” This is the first book I have read by Mr. Epstein, but I will certainly look for more of them. Recommended.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Fabulous Small Jews.sign in »