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Goodbye, Columbus : And Five Short Stories (Vintage International) Paperback – January 13, 1994
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Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Goodbye, Columbus" is, honestly, without the standard hyperbole so many people slab into reviews such as this, one of the best novels I have ever read. It was written by a twenty-five year old man who was only going to get better (as his work from the mid-1980s to the present firmly establishes) yet here we have the wisdom of our great American gods. It is a beautiful story, funny and painful and filled with truths anyone in those recent post-college, still-not-finding-one's self perspective could learn and grow from. I love this story, and it is filled with agonizing self-analytical material that shows who it is we are dealing with, the intellect and the passion, the savagry and the wit. There are not too many single stories of American authors I could recommend more highly than this book, in particular the five page sequence from which this story gets its title. It is haunting and true, one of the rare glories of English in narrative form. If for nothing else, get this book to read this lovely novella. It is, profoundly, a masterpiece (not a term I use lightly either, being the bitter cynic I am--check out other reviews I've written--I can get rather mean)>
Among the other stories, the most celebrated is "Conversion of the Jews", and for good reason.Read more ›
Neil is the typical poor Jewish boy enamoured with Brenda, the classy, self-assured, rich girl. He shows a rare spark of confidence when he calls her for a date after first meeting her at a swimming pool, when she accepts and they meet, he finds that he really doesn't know what to do from there. But, they bumble through the beginnings of a relationship, mutually attracted physically, diametrically opposed socially. Neil has a few 'poor' ideas and thoughts that Brenda cannot relate to, while she accepts such luxuries as a maid or 'getting her nose fixed' with such ease and complacency that we - and Neil - are amazed. Over the summer, their relationship develops further, with the typical ups and downs of love colouring the journey.
Neil is the 'I' character of the story, and it is through his point of view that we watch the story unfold. However, even though the story is in first person, there is never much of his personality revealed through contemplative thought or reflection. Instead, we learn who he is from the way he interacts with Brenda and others, and from the way he studies the events in which he is involved. By the end of the novella, we (mostly) understand his motives and ideas, and though, admittedly, it is a little difficult to imagine Neil existing outside the scope of the novel, that actually plays into the theme of the story.Read more ›
However, the Kindle Version is an absolute DO NOT BUY. I am seriously outraged at the number of typos. At first I thought it was just here and there, but in certain sections there is at least one typo per page; there are accents on words that should have accents (thé = the?).
Unreadable. Don't do it.
Goodbye, Columbus is one of the best books I have read. It was so realistic and easy to relate to. I think that I have had a relationship similar to every one related in the novel. There are so many great insights to be found here. The novella isn't a difficult read, but one should definitely be aware of a lot of the symbols (such as the title, the fruit, the lions, and the uncle at the wedding) to glean the most from it. I will also say a word about the short stories. All of them, particularly "The Conversion of the Jews," were wonderful. They alone would make the book worth five stars; they just seem to get forgotten because of the masterpiece the opening novella is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic Roth. Short, fast read with lots of "meat on the bone". Very enjoyable.Published 9 days ago by BC
I really enjoyed this book, even if it wasn't necessarily very happy. Roth's writing is incredible and his level of craft makes the book a truly enjoyable read even though I didn't... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Josephine DiNovo
I like to read fiction without any prior study in order to gain my own initial impression. Goodbye, Columbus is relatively brief and entertaining. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Francis C. Donnelly
Interesting for so many reasons, not in the least, the fact that its sexuality caused such a stir at the time of publication, I think most of you will agree, Goodbye, Columbus is... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Biggest Fan
The back cover is disgustingly dirty. I don't know how this book could be new and unused.Published 6 months ago by LMarie