100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Beauty Videos Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer redoaks redoaks redoaks  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Fall Arrivals in Amazon Outdoor Clothing Kids Halloween

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Gently used may contain ex-library markings, possibly has some light highlighting, textual notations, and or underlining. Text is still easily readable.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Fools of Chelm and Their History Paperback – December 1, 1988

3 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$43.25 $1.77
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A satirical look at the residents of Chelm, the legendary Yiddish town of fools. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"The town of Chelm is just like every place else, only worse, as numerous shortages, foolish citizens, and inept leaders combine to make life thoroughly miserable. In this whimsical satire, Singer mocks the 'advantages'-such as war, crime, and revolution-that civilization brings to Chelm." --Booklist

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (December 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374424292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374424299
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen VINE VOICE on November 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
You could say I like Chelm stories, and that I buy every one I can.
You could also say that Isaac Bashevis Singer, who wrote this tale in 1973, was no ordinary purveyor of Chelm shtiklech. You can tell from his beginning, a master's parody of Genesis.
"The pious believed that God said, 'Let there be Chelm.' And there was Chelm. But many scholars insisted that the town happened as the result of an eruption.
" 'Before Chelm,' they said, 'the area was one huge chaos, all fog and mist. Then came a great explosion and Chelm appeared.
"At the beginning the surface of Chelm was so hot that even if Chelmites had already existed, they could not have walked on the earth because they would have burned their feet." The first Chemites, this version goes, were not people but microbes, amoebas and other such creatures. When people finally arrived in town, they had names like Gronam the First, aka Gronam Ox, and Dopey Lekisch, Zeinvel Ninny, Treitel Fool and Shmendrick Numskull. And they practically invented problems.
One of the biggest was that the people of nearby Gorshkov called the Chelmites fools. Gronam Ox told his compatriots, "We Chelmites know that, of the ten measures of wisdom sent down to earth from heaven, nine went to Chelm. But the conceited people of Gorshkov think they are the clever ones and we are the fools." What does he propose? Why making war, of course.
Needless to say, the Chelmnicks end up in the wrong place, a God-forsaken town called Mazelborsht (translation: luck soup). Defeated by their own foolishness, they returned to Chelm half naked, weaponless and with broken noses and black eyes. This produced the expected seven days and seven nights of contemplation which resulted in four sage proclamations.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Esther Nebenzahl on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is always a pleasure to read something by I.B.Singer. Although this short tale is recommended for ages 9-12, it is certainly also addressed to any age beyond. The tale is a delightful satire of society's political and ideological systems, in may aspects a short version of George Orwell's "Animal Farm."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Virginia Engineer on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Short and enjoyable. Perhaps I'm ungrateful, but I expected more from a Nobel Prize winner and a Yiddish master taking on a classic subject.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse