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

The Assistant

by
3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,155 Ratings  ·  382 Reviews
Bernard Malamud’s second novel, originally published in 1957, is the story of Morris Bober, a grocer in postwar Brooklyn, who “wants better” for himself and his family. First two robbers appear and hold him up; then things take a turn for the better when broken-nosed Frank Alpine becomes his assistant. But there are complications: Frank, whose reaction to Jews is ambivalen ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published July 7th 2003 by Farrar Straus and Giroux (first published 1957)
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 Assistant, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Assistant

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Assistant, Bernard Malamud
عنوان: فروشنده (دستیار): نویسنده: برنارد مالامد (ملمود)؛ مترجم: شهریار بهترین؛ تهران، روزنه کار، 1378، در 308 ص، شابک: ایکس - 964672809؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 20 م
رمان تعمیرکار با عنوان «فریب خوردگان بزرگ»، «قهرمانان واقعی»، «تاج نقره ای»، دستیار با عنوان «فروشنده»، آثاری هستند که از مالامود تا به امروز به فارسی ترجمه شده اند. مجموعه داستان «کفشهای خدمتکار» نیز با ترجمه ی امیرمهدی حقیقت که برگزیده ای از داستانهای کوتاه همین نویسنده است در سال 139
...more
[P]
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bitchin
Fucking hell. This has to be a contender for the most miserable novel of all time. In fact, only Germinal by Emile Zola could legitimately wrench the title from its grasp, and that book is so monumentally bleak that there are probably Goth kids reading it backwards right now. Tellingly, both Germinal and The Assistant deal with poverty. Of course there are a lot of really terrible things that can happen to a human being, but the constant worry, shame and ill-health caused by having no money is a ...more
Chrissie
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The power of the story pulled me in. The simplicity of the lines, the straightforward talk and the Jewish manner of speaking all weave together to produce a piece that is cohesive in tone and message.

The story follows a Jewish grocer's family in Brooklyn after the war. The daily grind of managing is vividly portrayed. To better one's self can feel insurmountable. If you have morals and what you should do further weigh you down, what choices do you make? What is success? What makes you a Jew? Is
...more
Cosimo
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una umile bottega

“Frank, qualche volta le cose non vanno secondo i nostri piani. Non ci stia male”.
“Il giorno che non ci starò più male, spero che mi seppelliscano”.

Il racconto di Malamud contiene una tale concretezza emotiva, espressa in elaborate geometrie di sentimenti autentici e intensi, da arrivare direttamente nelle zone più profonde e remote della sensibilità del lettore. The Assistant è una parabola ispirata e atemporale sulla condizione umana universale e sulle possibilità di trasfor
...more
Nood-Lesse
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ogni occhiata perduta, per uno che viveva di sguardi, era una perdita irrimediabile


Uno legge un libro e trova in esso ciò che desidera

Lo dice Malamud nella bella intervista che fa da appendice al libro. Io non so quanti di voi troveranno ciò che desiderano in questo libro. Si può desiderare di sentirsi addosso un'ansia strisciante? Di sentirsi respinti e allo stesso tempo attratti dalle pagine che si sta leggendo?
Questo libro è una partita a Snake. Il serpente riempie lo schermo e anche se sappi
...more
sigurd
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ho letto il commesso di Malamud e posso dire di aver letto un romanzo unico e meraviglioso. Malamud ha il tocco inconfondibile dell’artigiano che sa dove sono gli strumenti e li usa tutti senza che tu riesca a capirlo nel risultato finale.
Leggere delle peripezie dello sfortunato bottegaio Morris Bober nella New York anni ‘50 e della sua triste storia, annidata nella povertà e nella dignità, è qualcosa che scalda il cuore come poche storie fanno. Malattia, fame e sventura, come bestie fameliche,
...more
Michael
May 31, 2007 rated it liked it
There has been a bit of buzz about Malamud lately mostly due to his daughter’s recently published memoir, My Father Is a Book. Malamud is most often described as the under appreciated, overlooked middle child between the great Jewish-American novelists of the last century, Bellow and Roth. I can’t speak to that claim.

The Assistant is one of Malamud’s most acclaimed books and I have had it on my bookshelf for over a year. I can’t really remember why I bought it other than I had heard a bit about
...more
Simona
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Il commesso" ricorda un'atmosfera di altri tempi, un'atmosfera dal sapore e dalla bellezza vintage.
Il negozio in cui si muove e che il S.gr Boder gestisce è un negozio polveroso e sudicio che ricorda i romanzi di Dickensiana memoria.
La miseria e il sudiciume del negozio si rispecchiano anche nella miseria interiore dei personaggi. Tutti i personaggi, dal gestore del negozio alla figlia sino al commesso cercano in tutti i modi di uscire dalla loro situazione di disagio e di difficoltà in un'Am
...more
Alex
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
St. Francis of Assisi, the one with the birds, chose poverty.
'He gave everything away that he owned, every cent, all his clothes off his back. He enjoyed to be poor. He said poverty was a queen and he loved her like she was a beautiful woman.'

Sam shook his head. 'It ain't beautiful, kiddo. To be poor is dirty work.'

'He took a fresh view of things.'

Everyone is poor in The Assistant, desperately, grindingly poor, Raskolnikov poor, even Hunger poor. Morris Bober works 16-hour days in a dire grocery
...more
Grazia
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ecco. È successo un'altra volta. Il miracolo di Anobii [Sigh!😢]

Per un percorso assolutamente casuale e ignoto, sono incappata, solo grazie alle recensioni pubblicate in Anobii, in un romanzo molto molto bello.

Ignoravo l'esistenza dello scrittore Malamud, ignoravo di conseguenza questo romanzo, ma incuriosita dalle recensioni molto suggestive e convincenti, ho deciso di leggerlo, proseguendo sul filone delle letture di romanzi pubblicati tra gli anni 50 e 60.

Qui si parla della grande, grandissima
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Call It Sleep
  • Falconer
  • The Man Who Loved Children
  • Dog Soldiers
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement (A Dance to the Music of Time, #1-3)
  • Loving
  • The Berlin Stories: The Last of Mr Norris/Goodbye to Berlin
  • At Swim-Two-Birds
  • Appointment in Samarra
  • The Sot-Weed Factor
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner
  • The Death of the Heart
  • Gogol's Wife and Other Stories
  • Under the Net
  • The Oranging of America and Other Stories
  • The Sportswriter
  • The Coup
  • Nog
447
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.
More about Bernard Malamud...
“When I don't feel hurt, I hope they bury me.” 9 likes
“His worst fault is he thinks his brains entitle him to certain privileges.” 7 likes
More quotes…