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Their acceptance as acrobats was a stretch, a first-glance guess, a benefit of the doubt granted by circumstance and only as valuable as their debut would prove. It was an absurd undertaking. But then again, Mendel thought, no more unbelievable than the reality from which they'd escaped, no more unfathomable than the magic of disappearing Jews.Another story, "Reb Kringle," is almost breezy by comparison. Each year, one Brooklynite dreads his holiday job from hell, playing Santa Claus in a Manhattan department store: "There were elves posted on each side of Itzik; one--a humorless, muscular midget--wore a pair of combat boots that gave him the look of elf-at-arms. His companion might have been a twin. He wore black high-tops but had the same vigilant paramilitary demeanor." Itzik can put up with the children's accidents and greed, with his sciatica, and even with a mischief maker's attempt to cut off his beard. But when one boy admits that what he really wants to do is celebrate Hanukkah, "the infamous Reb Santa" loses it. Though this is undoubtedly the collection's lightest piece--proof positive that you have to be a saint to be a Jewish Santa--it is no less piercing an examination of identity and obligation than Englander's more heavyweight entries. --Kerry Fried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Each of these short stories leaves you thinking about what happens next.
There is subdued humor in the midst of darkness, and well developed characters that combine to create a well crafted and thought provoking read.
I loved this book it is probably the second most prolific book that I have ever read.
Having read two of Englander's stories from his new collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank," the title story, and the chilling "Free Fruit for... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Larry Benjamin
Touching and beautiful short stories written by one of our best young writers, Nathan Englander. Love it and highly recommend to anybody who likes historical fiction.Published 5 months ago by David Raymer
This guy is awesome. This is the second book i've read by him. Each of these short stories leaves you thinking about what happens next.Published 7 months ago by Ora Rabinovich
Englander is a superb writer; he is so effective and skillful in capturing the absurdities and the tragedies in the "human condition",
although his stories are not... Read more
This is a collection of well written poignant short stories with Jewish themes and sometimes unexpected twists. Read morePublished 20 months ago by David M. Landesberg
Thought the stories were tragic and humerous. I really wanted to read The 27th man as I saw the play but I also read the other stories which I enjoyedPublished 20 months ago by AK
A great collection of short stories revolving around aspects of Jewish life. Each main character and each story offers a different perspective. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Okiegirl
I read this years ago, and it still lives on in my mind - his characters and stories are so beautiful conceived and presented, they feel like they just appeared from nature. Read morePublished on March 28, 2012 by Linda R. Petrilli
I read this book after reading the author's latest book of short stories and found these to be as good as his most recent collection. Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by asiana