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Publisher's Summary

One of the most stunning literary debuts of our time, these energized, irreverent, and deliciously inventive stories introduced an astonishing talent.

In the collection's hilarious title story, a Hasidic man gets a special dispensation from his rabbi to see a prostitute. "The Wig" takes an aging wigmaker and makes her, for a single moment, beautiful. In "The Tumblers", Englander envisions a group of Polish Jews herded toward a train bound for the death camps and, in a deft, imaginative twist, turns them into acrobats tumbling out of harm's way.

For the Relief of Unbearable Urges is a work of startling authority and imagination; a collection that is as wondrous and joyful as it is wrenchingly sad. It's the work of a remarkable storyteller.

©1999 Nathan Englander; (P)2007 Random House Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A debut collection of nine stories that explore the condition of being Jewish with an often hallucinatory, epigrammatic eloquence that is, as advertised, reminiscent of the fiction of Isaac Singer, Saul Bellow, and especially Bernard Malamud." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Taut, edgy, sharply observed....A revelation of the human condition." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Remarkable art....The author fills each of these pieces with vivid life, with characters that jump off the page." (Newsday)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • 09-25-12

Powerful Literature

What did you love best about For the Relief of Unbearable Urges?

the powerful writing.

Which scene was your favorite?

all the short stories were outstanding and well written.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no. it is best enjoyed story by story. The stories are so well written you need to enjoy one and savor it. Then exlpore another title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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