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Shlepping the Exile: A Novel Hardcover – February 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 2 edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312364636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312364632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,638,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Yoine is smart—smarter, really, than a character of his age and demeanor has any right to be, but it’s his quick-witted running commentary that carries the novel . . .Wex [excels] at building incongruous characters who demonstrate the counterintuitive complexities of Jewish life. . . Wex's humorous writing is crisp." --Kirkus

"Shlepping the Exile is a funny, often poignant, presentation of Jewish life in a place with few Jews, and of a young boy navigating that place and time with eyes that are open much wider than his parents had ever imagined. Wex captures it all with wit and with great authenticity." –Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

"Partly old world, partly new, born to parents who have lost virtually everything, Yoine is an appealing creation." –Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MICHAEL WEX was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and later moved to Toronto. Wex is the author of two other works of fiction, The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist, and The Frumkiss Family Business and three works of non-fiction: Born to Kvetch; Just Say Nu; and How to Be a Mensch (and Not a Shmuck). He is also well known as a speaker on matters relating to Yiddish language and culture and more general aspects of Judaism. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.


More About the Author

Author of Born to Kvetch, columnist, bon vivant and raconteur, Michael Wex has been called "a Yiddish national treasure;" Born to Kvetch, the bestselling book ever written about Yiddish, was hailed by The New York Times as "wise, witty and altogether wonderful."

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Wex has worked in virtually every area of contemporary Yiddish. Some of his songs have been recorded by such klezmer bands as Sukke, The Flying Bulgars, and 2007 Grammy winners, The Klezmatics.

Wex's teaching and lecture activities-a unique combination of learning, stand-up comedy and probing investigation into the nature of Yiddish and Yiddishkayt-have taken him from Toronto to Budapest, and to many points in between. His approach is so unique and appealing that his annual series of classes at Klezkamp (a yearly Yiddish cultural event in upstate New York) has been renamed Wexology-and not at Wex's instigation. The only complaint ever heard is that people are enjoying themselves so much that they forget to take notes.

You can find Michael Wex at www.michaelwex.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By New Yawkuh on May 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Author Wex has written a laugh-out-loud funny tale of coming of age with payus in Canada. It's a landmark novel...imagine a Catcher in the Rye for the Yiddish set. Awesome.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard Double on December 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wex's book is daring, funny, outrageous, & irreverent - a sardonic kabbalistic wit, earthy and soaring. THIS BOOK IS FUNNY. Wex is a lamed-vovnik of humor- a hidden saint of Jewish comedy.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By David R on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone trying to understand jewish identity and self perception in the western world. Its funny, irreverent, poignant, and above all, true.
If you want to know American Jewish angst, read this. And if you just want to laugh a little, it's also not so bad. After all, you work hard all day, it's good for you to relax a little. Stay a while, have something to eat, ... oh, never mind.
Michael, please, please, give us more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harold Goodman on December 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Wex is a gift to a world that takes itself far too seriously. I first read this book many years ago when it was privately offered by the author under the original title, "Shlepping the golus". I was afraid I might injure myself I laughed so hard.

As I wrote in another review ( Born to kvetch, CD version) the man is one of the creative geniuses of our time. I really don't care what he writes or records; I'll buy and enjoy it.

What most people don't know is that behind all of the self deprecating, Rabelaisian wit and hysterical humor is a true scholar. The man is multi-talented and an absolute one of a kind. He has multiple graduate degrees, is a doctor of everything many times over, an expert in philology, medieval literature, popular culture and music, a rock musician, a stand up comedian and a real sweetheart.

This is an autobiography unlike any that I have ever read. My only regret is that I didn't write it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Stohrer on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read "Born to Kvetch" by the same author right before reading this book, and I think it helped. I'm not Jewish by heritage or upbringing, so a lot of the writing in "Shlepping the Exile" seemed like inside jokes that I didn't "get". However, there were a few passages sprinkled throughout the book that would be funny to most anyone.

Overall, I recommend "Shlepping the Exile" to people who are interested in Jewish culture, grew up around Orthodox/Hassidic Jewish people, or are speakers/students of the Yiddish language.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Maroney on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Shlepping the Exile is a most unusual coming of age novels, and here Wex shows the same virtuosity at weaving incongruous elements into one fabric as he did in Born To Kvetch. Shlepping is written with near manic intensity, but the foundation of Wex's ideas are solid, and the even when he goes off the rails, almost writing in an argot of Yiddish and English, the effect is enchanting and unreal. Most of all, Wex documents an obscure corner of the Diaspora, long gone, Western Canada, where the impossible seems almost possible: Yiddish rubbing elbows against a "frontier" western town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leslie on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
have to admit that my review might not mean much, but I have very little almost no knowledge of the Yiddish language. So I didn't understand some of the things they were talking about. But I still found my self laughing out loud on some of the parts. It was a good time
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Cohen-Spiegler on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Read this book! It is an absolute page-turner, hysterical, but still poignant. You don't need to be Jewish to "get" it, but it does help.
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