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Life on Sandpaper (Hebrew Literature Series) Paperback – February 1, 2011


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Life on Sandpaper (Hebrew Literature Series) + Adam Resurrected: A Novel + The Last Jew: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: Hebrew Literature Series
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564786137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564786135
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The autobiographical latest from acclaimed Israeli novelist Kaniuk (after The Last Jew) is a masterwork of technical virtuosity and tough sentiment. Wounded in Israel's 1948 war, narrator Kaniuk arrives in New York penniless and decides to become a painter. Settling in Greenwich Village, his circle includes Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, James Dean, Tennessee Williams, and Marlon Brando, but Kaniuk never loses sight of his minor role in their stories: "I was in the lives of these people by mistake." Kaniuk marries a Broadway dancer and finds excitement everywhere, whether it's pretending to be a Soviet defector to score a dance with Ginger Rogers, or spontaneously pitching a film director. But the wonder is tempered by a tough streak: Kaniuk often behaves badly, and these lapses pass without introspection; even when his frequently betrayed wife lays out his faults, Kaniuk refuses to own or reject the problem. He's equally unforgiving with others: Wally Cox and Miles Davis are depicted as monsters; novelist James Jones is portrayed as sentimental and naïve. An essential novel about boho New York, this is not to be missed. (Feb.)
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Review

“I am convinced that he is one of the masters of contemporary fiction. There is his inordinate technical skill, fecundity of incident and character, and overall intensity.” (Chicago Tribune)

“The problems posed by Yoram Kaniuk go to the heart of modern man’s deepest longings and emotional needs. His keen vision is unhesitatingly centered on what history may regard as the most characteristic experience of our unfortunate age, and this is true of few writers today. He is an enormous talent, both as an artificer of plot and as a virtuoso of language.” (Saturday Review)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
kaniuk lived in an amazing time and knew many of the artists, musicians and "stars" of that time in new york. i recommend it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tony Buscemi on August 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Summary: In the 1950s, the protagonist/author in this fictive memoir meets everybody famous in the NYC art and music scene and becomes their very good Israeli friend. Later on , our hero sidedoor marries his way into American "aristocracy" and , with his trophy bride under his arm, sails back to Israel to begin the rest of his life.

Filled with gratuitous name dropping and badly manufactured stereotypes, Life on Sandpaper seems to be just another bad novel that has nothing at all to do with what really happened in intersubjective reality. But, nevertheless, its fabulist protagonist/author remains a hero in his own mind.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Master's attempt at wacky is seriously alarming, and more surreal than autobiographical, to judge by the 9-page excerpt (not described as such) I read in last winter's TLR. Puts me in mind of Tova Reich (Master of the Return? a joy!); one Anthony Berris does a sterling job on the translation. Gives hope to all us under-80-year-olds - at least those not of a depressive disposition!
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