- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Dell; First Thus edition (1963)
- ASIN: B000GE1J00
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,801,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A New Life Mass Market Paperback – 1963
|New from||Used from|
|Mass Market Paperback, 1963||
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Top Customer Reviews
Levin, "formerly a drunkard" (to quote the author) has deep seated problems and issues of self worth. He is a plain man, though definitely an idealist; however, one gets the sense early on that his idealism comes less from a passionate, inward set of convictions and more from a sense of inferiority, and a desire to find meaning in ideas. His activities and how quickly he reacts to the new environment are fascinating - he wastes no time getting inappropriately involved with a female student, sleeping with the wife of a trusting colleague or getting embroiled in the politics of the English department (here Malamud provides an interesting look at a college in a conservative town that values professional training at the expense of literature and learning) and being drawn into a myriad of ethical and moral dilemmas. Without spoiling the plot any further, Levin breaks every conventional rule in the book - this makes him less a sympathetic character and more someone the reader is almost glad to see suffer the fate he does.Read more ›
I have only read Malamud's The Assistant, and that in college, so my pleasure at his plot became all the more pronounced when I found so much of the setting alarmingly familiar--I teach English too at a non-liberal arts college, run by number-crunching techies, so Sy's predicaments--although now I doubt if he could land his position without a PhD--stayed fresh despite happening half-a-century ago.
Issues of academic freedom, nourishing of the soul, escape into nature and ideals vs. the mundane may be new material for those used to Malamud's urban explorations of often NY and Jewish characters, but here it all works. I was mildly intrigued that Sy's Jewishness never gains but one mention, near the end of the novel, but is assumed, I suppose, throughout as he is marked by his beard and his "East Coast" origins as an outsider all the time. The near-absence of religion and the substitution of a longing for nature, perhaps a Wordsworthian sort of wonder, permeates much of the lyrical passages interspersed with the more tormented episodes--which gain as the book lengthens.Read more ›
Although the story of S. Levin, "reformed drunkard," and his married lover, Pauline Gilley, is set firmly in 1950, it still seemed relevant when I read it again this week (July 2012). It remains a classic novel of academia at its worst. A director of composition who cuts pictures out of magazines, hoping to publish a picture book of literature. A dean who was once a successful used car salesman. The frustrated 'old maid' instructor. The office/departmental politics, the genteel poverty, and the sexual intrigue and pecadilloes - it's all still going on in the small third-rate colleges around the country. The McCarthy-ism has been replaced by the ill-conceived "patriot act" of post-9/11 and the nasty partisan garbage that has rendered our Congress nearly impotent.
But most of all it is Seymour Levin who carries Malamud's tale. More mensch than schlemiel or schlimazel, Levin comes across as a Sad Sack Eeyore sorta guy, but with big dreams of improving things, of building "a new life," as the title indicates. Shot through with allusions to Hardy and the rural life, Malamud has nailed the academia of the post-war years perfectly. Much of this is probably due to the author's own years spent teaching at a small college in Oregon back in the 1950s. For more background info on those years, a reader could benefit greatly from reading Janna Malamud Smith's memoir of her father, MY FATHER IS A BOOK, which I found simply delightful and infinitely informative.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
East meets West- lovely descriptions of Oregon- academic lilfe at its worst with a "happy ending."Published 2 days ago by Peter K. Manning
Even though I felt there were weak points in this novel, it contains enough classic passages, often hilarious, and portrays such a memorable character (type) that I will surely... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Joel Marks
The term “shenanigans” in my review title demeans the really quite serious content of this novel. But viewed from a distance we do have typical departmental shenanigans: A new,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Stephen Schwartz
Bernard Malamud's third novel, A New Life, suffers from an overemphasis on the least interesting part of the "new life" of its protagonist, S. Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. Buzalka
A Bit dated but I enjoyed it for the flashback to the 70's. I had lived in the town where he lived when writing the book so it had special meaning. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Linda
I found the writing to be exceptional but was disappointed by the substance. The main character, Levin, was sad and at times depressing. Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by Norman H. Rosen
Good story of a
Displaced New Yorker in an Academic setting in Pacific Northwest. Levin is, however, a gossip and a yenta, behaves badly at every turn, and with most... Read more
Poor main character! He's a mess, but he manages to make a new life by hook or by crook. It feels like an early work by Malamud and is very interesting on that level.Published on July 27, 2013 by Jamie