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Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish: The Heeb Storytelling Collection Paperback – October 26, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Liebman, arts editor of the hip Jewish lifestyle magazine Heeb, introduces a refreshing set of essays that reveal an array of both ordinary and extraordinary modern-day Jewish experiences. Arranged by theme (sex, drugs, work, youth, family, body and soul), these four dozen essays—the products of a Heeb storytelling performance series—explore the humorous, scandalous and often sentimental moments in life. Rebecca Addelman re-evaluates the college summer she spent in Israel getting naked with another kibbutz volunteer and a middle-aged Israeli. Andy Borowitz conveys the irony of a Jewish Harvard graduate (himself) writing a hip-hop sitcom for Will Smith: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Most outstanding is Eric Weingrad's account of spying his loathed Hebrew school teacher naked during a Sabbath night spent at her house. The contributors—musicians, actors, comedians and writers—will be familiar to many. Full of wit, irony, heartbreak and vindication, these essays will undoubtedly please those in search of an honest but creative look at Jewish life and its many trials. B&w photos. (Oct. 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"[This is] the era of Sarah Silverman, Heeb Magazine and Curb Your Enthusiasm" (Entertainment Weekly)
"The oldest tradition of our people, that of telling our stories with humor, passion, and sincerity, has been transformed by the newest generation of Jewish minds and souls. From the irreverent to the desperate; from the sacred to the profane; from the tender to the torturous: this is the voice of the next wave of the Jewish experience. You will laugh, you will cry, you will blush, you will call your Aunt Pearl. Thank G-d literature in print is alive and well and thank G-d that HEEB has captured it all."
"With Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish, Heeb proves once again that it is the undisputed voice of young Jews today. G-d help us all."
"After reading this book, I feel relieved as well certain that Jews will be able to retain control of the media."
"Move over Cynthia Ozick, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and the rest of 'em...there's a new group of Jews writing about stuff from a Jew's perspective!! Finally, this last hurdle (entrance in the literary profession) has been hurdled in a Jewish way by a bunch of Jews!"
Top customer reviews
I quite enjoyed myself while reading this fantastic collection. The stories are sorted by their subject, so there are several in each category which include but are not limited to sex, drugs, work and family. If your looking for a collection of stories that will keep you thoroughly entertained, you must pick up a copy of this one! And by the way, for those that don't know, gefilte fish are poached fish patties made from a mixture of ground deboned fish, in case you were wondering.
The other sections is the anthology are Sex, Work, Youth, Family, and Body & Soul. Youth is the longest at 52 pages; Sex is the shortest at 23. (Drugs clocks in at 25.) My favorite stories were "Prime-Time Playa" by Andy Borowitz, "Poop Sandwich" by Abby Sher, and "Finding My Kegel Muscles" by Stephen Glass. Why these three? Well, "Prime-Time Playa" tells about the beginning of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I loved that show as a kid, and it's interesting to see just how it came to be. "Poop Sandwich" definitely makes me uncomfortable, but Sher perfectly captures the It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time existence of high school. "Finding My Kegel Muscles" reminded me of my own inability to let something go when I think it's wrong. And I agreed with Stephen; I don't think men have Kegel muscles. (My reason for liking the story really stood out once I realized it was that Stephen Glass.)
Some of the stories are strike-. It's an anthology; it happens. But overall SEX, DRUGS, & GEFILTE FISH is humorous and thought-provoking. Though the commonality is being an American Jew (except for one story), there is a range of experiences, including sexuality, represented. Ignore the cover and pick it up for these stories that show good satire survived past in the eighteenth century.
From In Bed With Books
It's a funny, funny book. I found myself picking it up every time I glanced at it to read just one more story. Of course, the "just one more" turned into two or three or four. I also had to share bits and pieces with my husband, who sometimes laughed and sometimes looked at me like I was crazy.
The stories aren't connected, so you can start with any story. You'll likely not be able to stop at one. I would read at least three or four at a sitting. No doubt the stories would be even more enjoyable to someone fully familiar with the culture and religion.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 26, 2009), 288 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.