He could tell jokes, perform tricks, pick locks, shell peas with his toes, dance on the tightrope and turn somersaults on the high wire. He owned a house and had a wife who was devoted to him. Life was good. But Yasha was destined to find God and to discover faith, and there was no middle road.
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"Though "The Magician of Lublin" has major philosophical underpinnings, Singer excels at moving the story along like a compulsively readable thriller. Blessed with the gift of creating worlds, his narratives invariably feel not like they've been written but as if they are happening in front of our eyes. Part of this gift is Singer's facility for vivid characters. Whether it be minor bystanders who appear for a moment or major players like the brazen blond pimp Herman, 'a giant who knows himself invincible, ' Singer never fails to conjure up people who get up off the page and walk around. Being a modern can be a sometime thing, but great writing engages and endures." "--"Kenneth Turan", Los Angeles Times Book Review""Singer, far from being gentle and grandfatherly, was as shockingly modern a writer as Dostoevsky. He is a chronicler of spiritual disintegration, exploring the devastating effects of appetite and passion--even of thought itself--on souls unprotected by faith . . . The dark power of "The Magician of Lublin" is nowhere clearer than in its concluding message--that, for a modern man, to return to God may require a decision as violent and frightening as any crime."--Adam Kirsch, "Tablet""Singer's minute particulars, at which he is a master, invariably are Eastern European Jewish. His eye for detail is manifest throughout "The Magician of Lublin"." --Harold Bloom, "The New York Review of Books""[Singer] is a spellbinder as clever as Scheherazade; he arrests the reader at once, transports him to a far place and a far, improbable time and does not let him go until the end." --Jean Stafford, "The New Republic""A peerless storyteller, Singer restores the sheer enchantment with story, with outcome, with what-happens-next that has been denied most readers since their adolescence."--David Boroff, "Saturday Review""Singer is a genius. He has total command of his imagined world." --Irving Howe, "The New Republic"About the Author:
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91) was the author of many novels, stories, children's books, and memoirs. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.
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