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The Bewitched Tailor

Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Classics, World Literature
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the end of the 19th century, Jewish writers began writing in Yiddish and creating for the first time popular literature that brought alive the small dramas, struggles, and joys of ordinary life. Sholem Aleichem was one of the very few modern writers who spoke for an entire people. This collection of stories includes the title piece and seven other tales. 

"Wherefore a novel, when life itself is a novel?" This epigraph to Sholom Aleikhem's autobiographical narrative From the Fair could be used for everything that came from the pen of that gifted Jewish writer: 

Sholom Aleikhem's characters tell their own story. The Kasrils - inhabitants of Kasilovka - as the writer affectionately calls them, appear before the listener in all their direct and artless simplicity. They wear their hearts upon their sleeves. The very pen-name of the author (Sholom Aleikhem means "peace be upon you") serves him, as it were, as a kindly greeting to his people, encouraging them to "Speak for yourselves. Show yourselves to the world." 

This collection contains:

  • "A Love Affair"
  • "Three Widows"
  • "The Bewitched Tailor"
  • "If I Were a Rothchild"
  • "The Pot"
  • "Advice"
  • "Kodno"
  • "Methuselah"
Public Domain (P)2019 Steven Jay Cohen

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Talented Voice Artist

Charming old tales brought to life by a gifted Narrator and voice artist. Well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Visit to Times Past

Sholom Aleichem was a writer of Yiddish stories, and I recall as a child that my grandmother used to read his and those of other Yiddish authors in their original language. What I like best about connecting with the stories is that it helps me to feel like I'm at the side of my grandmother again. It's not just nostalgia. There was something very special about the humor of that generation, their folk-wisdom, and it comes through clearly in the characters he writes about. Also fascinating is how he captures the era of transition between two worlds. On one hand, the Jewish community was strongly steeped in folklore, familial and cultural loyalty and tradition, and on the other it was curious about and engaged in the process of being part of a new, bigger world. The clashes were the stock from which the author drew many of his stories. Sholom Aleichem's stories capture the frustration and comedy inherent in that and over a hundred years later, I also can resonate with and empathize with his characters. After all, many changes occurring all around us today are not less jolting than those that they experienced. As much as thing change, I suppose we still resonate with these characters because at least this stays the same for them and us. I'm very pleased that the narrator took these stories from the public domain and brought them to audiobook format, because these stories deserve to live and spread. It's a past with qualities and characters, depth and passion that I am able to touch again. If I had a quibble, it would be one that's common with books in Yiddish and Hebrew that have been translated into English, and it's that the Narrator sometimes mispronounces names and words, or changes the accentuation of a syllable from what it would have been if the story were spoken by someone from the author's era. It's a small quibble, though - it doesn't take away from the story for most and I believe anyone who hears the stories will enjoy them. I have received a review copy of this book for no cost, on the condition that I offer my non-biased opinion about it.

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Mark Twain meets my Jewish grandma

I loved this short story collection. Some of the stories were funny, some were sad, all were full of wonderfully interesting and entertaining characters. It was like getting a peek into a different place and time. It was a neat experience since even though my grandmother could tell you who everyone in the cemetery was, how they died, and how we were related, my family was very private and never talked about their old lives in Russia and the Austrian Hungarian empire. It was a chance to get a glimpse into what they left behind. I didn't realize I was familiar with this author's works until I went to look up his other works. My sister is named for a character from his best known work . Chavah from Fiddler on the Roof.
I was given this book in exchange for a fair review.

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