The stories had two qualities which I found highly enjoyable. Firstly, Singer's combination of modern realism with Jewish folklore and fantasy is what first got me hooked, as I myself am Jewish and have a great interest in our religion, folklore and mythology. Secondly, the simple, direct style in which the stories were written. It was as if Singer himself was sitting in front of me telling a story. The book certainly did not disapoint and I finished it in a matter of days. It was such an enthralling read, that I raided most the second-hand book shops in the neighbourhood for Singer books. Now I have quite a large Singer collection of both novels and short stories - all of them works of art in their own right. This collection of twenty-four stories is varied - ghost stories, fables set in little Polish-Jewish villages and stories set in pre-World War II Warsaw and post-World War II New York. Although most of the stories have a distinctly Jewish flavour, many of the themes, including love, lust, politics, greed and family life are universal. Some of the tales end in twists, which can often leave you surprised or spooked, not that this is a bad thing, of course.
My favourite stories are as follows: "A Crown Of Feathers" is a phantasmagoric tale of a young woman losing and then trying to regain her faith. It's full of witchcraft, sorcery and violent imagery and it might disturb the average reader on first reading, but it is a very moving and rewarding read. "Property" is an interesting look into the political theory of anarchism. "A Quotation From Klopstock" is a love story with a twist. "The Magazine" is all about holding on to dreams and aspirations and following them. These are just a few of the great stories included in this book. It is a shame that "A Crown Of Feathers and Other Stories" is now probably out of print, but have a look around for it, it will be well worth the search. I highly recommend this book.