- Hardcover: 129 pages
- Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (November 1, 1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374354901
- ISBN-13: 978-0374354909
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,105,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Naftali the Storyteller and His Horse, Sus: And Other Stories Hardcover – November 1, 1976
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Thus he begins with the book's title story. Naftali, to make a long, delicious story short, grew up at the feet of his father Zelig, who often told him of and imp, whose tail tasted like salt. He also grew up reading and loving stories.
Reb Zebulin told him that even fictional stories were often true. After hearing stories that sounded completely unbelievable, Reb Zebulin would go to a place where those things had actually happened. "The brain is created by God," he told Naftali, "and human thoughts and fantasies are also God's works."
Thus Naftali resolved to become a bookseller and a writer when he grew up. He could not support himself, but he met Reb Falik, who had a house built for Naftali to house all the books that he intended to bequeath him. When his horse Sus died, he marked the grave with the oak whip he never used. Several weeks later, the whip sprouted shoots and roots, much as his stories had done.
Other tales take readers to Chelm, the village of idiots young and old. Even the people have funny names--Gronam Ox, Dopey Lekisch, Zeinvel Ninny, Shmendrick Numskull, Feyvel Thickwit, Sender Donkey, Treitel Fool and their most foolish compatriots. For many weeks, these sages had been sitting about wondering why the town treasury was empty and they had not received their wages.
Then 80-year-old Zalman Typpesh arrived, offering 2,000 pieces of gold if they could provide good advice as to how he could live forever. Shlemiel finally arrived at the solution: Dalfunka, a nearby suburb was where all the paupers live. He noted with great satisfaction that no rich man had ever died there. Thus, if Zalman moved to Dalfunka, he would live forever. Needless to say, he moved to Dalfunka, went broke spending money on blintzes and died--a pauper.
To discover the details--and six more of Singer's fabled delights--you'll have to read this book.
--Alyssa A. Lappen