Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fixer” as Want to Read:
The Fixer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fixer

by
3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,848 ratings  ·  463 reviews
A classic that won Malamud both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The Fixer (1966) is Bernard Malamud's best-known and most acclaimed novel—one that makes manifest his roots in Russian fiction, especially that of Isaac Babel.

Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the
...more
Paperback, 335 pages
Published May 5th 2004 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1966)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fixer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fixer

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
William2
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us, fiction, 20-ce
After reading over a hundred pages in Norman Cohn's The Pursuit of the Millennium, which is in large part about the horrid pogroms unleashed on Europe's Jews in the Middle Ages, I thought The Fixer would be a compatible co-read. The novel is set in Russia between the end of the Russo-Japanese War (1905) and the start of the Bolshevik Revolution (1917). The Fixer tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jew dwelling in a Russian shtetl 30 versts from Kiev who tries to work as a general handyman, a fixer. ...more
Ted
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
kissing this book goodbye from my real book-shelves ... probably my fault that I didn't quite see the artistic depths of the novel.

The is a Pulitzer prize winning novel. I found it a very depressing read. It tells a story that, in its historical setting, is believable. The main character is a victim of circumstances, for which we feel sympathy, and even horror when we reflect on the fate that befalls men. But he is not actually very likable. All of these things are good, or at worst, not bad.

I
...more
Paul Bryant
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
Displacement activity is when you do stuff to avoid doing other stuff, so like instead of reviewing The Fixer I have been playing scrabble with daughter (we agree that ex is an allowable word) and switching the tv aimlessly on to find a drama in which they are just about to cut off John Paul Getty’s ear to prove to the father they have got the kid (I did not care to see that) and then I lectured the two cats on the importance of not chasing each other around the house at ridiculous times of the ...more
Chrissie
I am going to start with some quotes. Taste them, enjoy them and then roll them around in your head.

If I have any philosophy”, said Yakov Bok, “it is that life could be better than it is.

One thing I’ve learned", he thought, "there’s no such thing as an unpolitical man, especially a Jew. You can’t be one without the other, that’s clear enough. You can’t sit still and see yourself destroyed.

Yakov reflects as he goes to his trial, “What is it Spinoza says? If the state acts in ways that are ab
...more
Dagio_maya
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europea
Un caso Dreyfus in salsa russa.


Pubblicato nel 1966, “L'uomo di Kiev” ripercorre un tragico caso realmente accaduto in Russia nel 1911.
E' l'epoca pre-rivoluzionaria: un fermento di movimenti incitano a rovesciare il potere imperiale e Nicola II difende l'autorità zarista con provvedimenti sempre più reazionari.
(view spoiler)
...more
Elizabeth Kadetsky
May 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
A huge disappointment as I’d briefly christened Malamud My Favorite Author after having recently read The Assistant and several short stories (“The Angel Levine”!). This is the book that won Malamud the Nobel, and I had to wonder why. It’s ideological, heavy handed, a hammer on your skull, bald-faced allegory, and miserable to read, pages and pages of suffering. I know there’s a grand point here, and it has something to do with the philosophy of Spinoza (which I haven’t read), God’s betrayal of ...more
Cosimo
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tu sei ciò che vuoi essere

L'uomo di Kiev vinse il Pulitzer e il National Book Award, il secondo per Malamud dopo quello ottenuto per i racconti superlativi de Il Barile Magico. Ed è un romanzo eccezionale, rappresenta una vetta sublime e inimitabile nel mondo della letteratura contemporanea. Nel romanzo, sofferenza e umiliazione sono raccontate come condizioni universali e ineluttabili, il dolore si percepisce come una porta per la maturazione, il riscatto e la consapevolezza. La tragedia indivi
...more
LW
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nessun ebreo era innocente in uno stato corrotto ,che mostrava i segni della sua corruzione nella paura e nell'odio

La scrittura di Malamud è la prima cosa che colpisce
essenziale , quasi disadorna , eppure capace di rendere il lettore profondamente partecipe alla storia .
La storia è quella di Yakov Bok , la cui unica colpa è di essere ebreo, dal momento in cui decide di lasciare il suo shtetl ,povero e abbandonato dalla moglie, per andare a Kiev .
Atroci disgrazie si susseguiranno in una concat
...more
Marvin
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Yakov Bok is non-religious and apolitical. He simply wants a better life. He is slightly bitter that life gives him lemons but no sugar to make lemonade but that does not keep him from trying to improve. He reads Spinoza to educate himself and moves to Kiev to start a better life. He is a repairman aka a "fixer". Unfortunately, he is also a Jew in Tsarist Russia.

I like Yakov. He is Everyman. He is not a hero nor a wise man. But he is sincere and honest. He is a basically honest man placed in an
...more
Karyn
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
"If I have any philosophy, it's that life could be better than it is."

"What suffering has taught me is the uselessness of suffering."

What can I possibly add to this? Read it for yourself. I highly recommend it, but it may not be for the faint of heart.
Josh
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, high-five
"In chains all that was left of freedom was life, just existence; but to exist without choice was the same as death."
Celeste - Una stanza tutta per me
"Dio non ci vede e se ne infischia di noi. Io il mio pezzo di pane lo voglio oggi, non in paradiso."

Una storia claustrofobica e interminabile di schiavitù e ingiustizia, che decide di raccontare attraverso la porta sul retro il dramma della sopravvivenza ebraica. Malamud, ebreo americano, sceglie infatti uno scenario meno noto per recriminare la persecuzione novecentesca del proprio popolo, addossando la colpa di questa storia tragica al mondo, un mondo senza protagonisti o nomi propri.
Nel 191
...more
Vishal
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What is victory, but a victory in the heart? What is the greatest freedom, but the freedom of the mind?

In the Fixer, Yakov Bok is a man accused of a brutal crime, and is forced to see new depths of human degradation every day during his imprisonment. His suffering hasn’t just begun then; no, his suffering began since time immemorial, when his people were persecuted for their beliefs, and subjected to vile, violent and senseless racism (not that racism has any sense in the first place).

‘In or o
...more
Kim
Jan 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: one-star, goodbye, r-r
Well that was depressing. There may have been a time or two I have been this relieved that I have finally finished a book, but it hasn't happened often. It was such a relief to close that book knowing I never have to open it again. I know that "The Fixer" has won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, just knowing that made me go and find out what it takes to win either of these awards and this is what I found just in case you're interested:

"Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: for disting
...more
Ubik 2.0
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detenuto in attesa di giudizio

Ho intrapreso la lettura di questo romanzo con un eccesso di aspettative dovuto al collegamento di Malamud (di cui non avevo mai letto nulla) con Philip Roth che gli dedicò un saggio e ne fu ispirato al punto di rappresentare in alcune sue opere un personaggio (E.I. Lonoff), anziano e ammirato scrittore, che alcuni ritennero ispirato alla figura di Malamud (altri però dicono Bellow, altri ancora Henry Roth!).

Comunque sia, dopo la delusione iniziale per la distanza s
...more
Simona
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personaggi dei romanzi di Malamud portano con sé sempre un velo di malinconia e "L'uomo di Kiev" non fa eccezione. A differenza de "Il commesso" o "Una nuova vita" dove i protagonisti si muovevano nei sobborghi delle metropoli, qui le vicende si svolgono in Russia. La Russia qui descritta è la Russia zarista del 1911, la Russia antisemita. Dalla Russia a Kiev conosciamo Yakov, un emigrato che giunge in Ucraina a cercare fortuna. La vita a Kiev gli mostrerà il lato più crudele, arrivando anche ...more
Elalma
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: righe
E� un romanzo bellissimo, anche se apparentemente diverso dagli altri libri di Malamud, un po� per l�ambientazione, un po� per il luogo cos� soffocante e angusto in cui si svolge, quasi kafkiano. Ma � sempre quel senso di sconfitta che per� non cela la dignit� umana a essere narrato. Pur nella profonda tristezza, infatti, nell�ingiustizia, nell�oppressione, l�Uomo non risulta annichilito n� perde se stesso, come invece sappiamo avviene in queste circostanze, grazie a Primo Levi o Boris Pahor. Ri ...more
Ludmilla
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
tamirci başlığıyla dilimize çevrilen bu kitabı kafka ve canetti sevenlere öneririm. sahaflarda kiev'deki adam olarak da aratabilirsiniz.

"kafesin biri, bir kuş aramaya çıktı." f. kafka
Simon Wood
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
GOING BEYOND THE PALE

I first read Bernard Malamud's "The Fixer", which I picked up for the now unimaginable sum of ten pence in a charity shop, over a dozen years ago. It struck me at that time as a powerful and even important work. Reading it again so many years later I wondered how it would hold up.

Yakov Bok, the Fixer of the title, is a free-thinking Jew whose trade is that of a handyman from the Pale in the Ukraine (where Jews are legally allowed to reside) in the last years of the Tsarist
...more
Ademption
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian Pardo
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bernard Malamud's Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winner is a nightmare rendered masterfully as art. Yakov Bok's story is that of human dignity, and the search thereof even in the most indignant of circumstances. According to Yakov, if he has a philosophy, it's that things in this world can be better.

And this perhaps is the book's greatest legacy. In the insightful foreword by Jonathan Safran Foer, he says that the world is the broken thing and that everyone can be its fixer. And though
...more
Amanda
This book was definitely thought-provoking and interesting, but it was depressing. So depressing. Every time there was a glimmer of hope, there was something to extinguish it. It was hard to read in large chunks. I don't think I can say I enjoyed reading it, but it sparked conversation with my husband and made me think about history and prejudice. Worth reading, but a super downer.
Paula
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. However, I wondered how it could be nominated and even win a Pulitzer because of one of the requisites for judging: the book must be about life in the United States. Ah, well.
Gautam
Review soon.
Joey
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fictions
POGROM is the word which can give readers an idea of what this book is all about. This means a planned killing of large numbers of people, especially Jews, usually done for reasons of race or religion. In other words, it is synonymous with MASSACRE. The book, therefore, deals with anti-Semitism during Tsarist Russia beyond my knowledge of World History.

This book breaks my heart and makes me feel for the protagonist, Yakov Bok, a Jewish fixer by trade, who dreamed to make something of himself by
...more
Saverio Mariani
Brevi appunti su un libro bellissimo.

Malamud inizia il romanzo con una sordina che gli impedisce quasi di parlare. Tranne qualche sferzata brusca, attraverso le quali si snoda la vicenda, il tutto è stretto dentro un rivolo leggerissimo d'acqua. Un rischio gigantesco.
Ma si percepisce che, nonostante la sordina, la melodia che suona in fondo è qualcosa di struggente bellezza.

Le 400 pagine del romanzo viaggiano attraverso tre anni di vita, conducendoti nelle storture dell'umano, nella capacità d
...more
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
THE FIXER. (1966). Bernard Malamud. *****.
This is probably Malamud’s best known work, and was the winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. This is the first I’ve read it since its publication in 1966. I was amazed at how much of the story stuck with me over the years. The ‘fixer’ was Yakov Bok, an itinerant Jewish handyman. He was modeled after the real-life character, Mendel Beiliss, who was arrested and falsely charged with the murder of a 12-year old boy in order to sati
...more
Kieran Archer
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Being born a Jew meant being vulnerable to history, including its worst errors. [...] The involvement was, in a way of speaking, impersonal, but the effect, his misery and suffering, were not. The suffering was personal, painful, and possibly endless."

Based on the trial of Mendel Beilis, Malamud's harrowing novel The Fixer is parable of suffering and ultimately the redemption that such suffering can bring for mental freedom. It is considered atypical of Malamud's work as it is both a direct nar
...more
Exina
It was one of my required reads in college.

Like every Malamud novel, The Fixer a very disturbing read, almost traumatic.
The writing is brilliant, but I have no intention to read it again. Ever.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Store
  • Guard of Honor
  • The Edge of Sadness
  • The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
  • Journey in the Dark
  • Honey in the Horn
  • Years of Grace
  • Elbow Room
  • The Town
  • Scarlet Sister Mary
  • The Able McLaughlins (The McLaughlins, #1)
  • In This Our Life
  • The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
  • The Late George Apley
  • Early Autumn: A Story of a Lady
  • His Family
  • Now in November
  • Dragon's Teeth I (World's End)
301 followers
Bernard Malamud was an author of novels and short stories. Along with Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, he was one of the great American Jewish authors of the 20th century. His baseball novel, The Natural, was adapted into a 1984 film starring Robert Redford. His 1966 novel The Fixer, about antisemitism in Tsarist Russia, won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
“Where to look if you've lost your mind?” 190 likes
“There are no wrong books. What's wrong is the fear of them.” 16 likes
More quotes…