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Goodbye, Columbus : And Five Short Stories (Vintage International) Paperback – January 13, 1994
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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
Phillip Roth is a genius . I cannot imagine how fiction this adult was published when first written.Published 9 days ago by tina diffee
It is astonishing to me that what seems to be today's younger generation is so disconnected from literary genius and reality as to describe "Goodbye, Columbus" as... Read morePublished 16 days ago by charles a.
I read this for a book club assignment. I enjoyed the humor that was present in each of the stories of Jewish life in New York city.Published 21 days ago by Kindle Customer
Roth's writing elevates an atypical summer romance and saves a mediocre plotPublished 2 months ago by wtab7
This is a very strange book but interesting. It seems to cover several very different characters. There is a strong psychological element to the book.Published 3 months ago by Maurice Grossman
A refreshing return to life before computers and smart phones. It is wonderfully written and is compelling reading.Published 3 months ago by RAL
I had to read this book for english class. Most parts are boring but some are interesting. There are many references and overall its a complicated and deep book with religious... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Li