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The Death of Methuselah: and Other Stories [Paperback]

Isaac Bashevis Singer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 16 2003
Twenty stories from the Nobel Prizewinner, including "Disguised," a transvestite tale of the yeshiva student whose deserted wife finds him dressed as a woman and married to a man, and the title story, which portrays Methuselah at the age of 969 -- "and when you pass your nine hundredth birthday, you are not what you used to be."

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From Publishers Weekly

Set in the present, as well as pre-WW II Poland, in the netherworld and even at the time of the biblical deluge, this latest offering by the skillful and prolific Nobel laureate is suffused with melancholy, hypochondria and death. The 20 stories bear the Singer hallmarks: they are seemingly autobiographical, possess gossipy, digressive dialogue and simple, intimate language, frequently allude to the Holocaust and the painful rootlessness of exile, and are obsessed with sexual perversion and betrayal. A European refugee trapped by her punitive husband into an affair with his young nephew tells the narrator "that of all the hopes a human being can have, the most splendid is death." "What betrayers men are!" a woman exclaims in one story, while, in another tale, a man declares that "the whole male gender is at the mercy of women." The narrator of "The Accuser and the Accused" is convinced that "here on earth justice and truth are forever and absolutely beyond our grasp." Two bright, delightfully fanciful rays that pierce an otherwise bleak collection are "The Missing Line" and "Sabbath in Gehenna." In the former, an uncommon phrase, somehow omitted from a writer's column, absurdly turns up in a news item of a rival newspaper; in the latter, sinners in hell discuss how to win concessions from the angels of paradise.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This tenth volume of short stories by the Nobel Prize author is vintage Singer. At home in the underworld, he gives us stories of Gehenna, the occult, and the demonic forces of evil, of unrequited love, transvestism, and unfaithful spouses. Thus, "The Accuser and the Accused" asks how one can explain, except by multiple personality, that a Yiddish mystic from New York can also be a priest in Peru. In the title piece, the biblical character is portrayed at 969"But when you pass your nine hundredth birthday, you are not what you used to be." Longing for death, he is taken to Cain's city and learns of Satan and Lilith just prior to the deluge and the rescue of his nephew Noah. Highly recommended for all audiences. Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN July 18 2000
Format:Paperback
Master story teller Isaac Bashevis Singer regales us once again with this remarkable collection of short stories. Woe to those who are faint of heart or have inflexible moral standards. His stories are sure to give you a coronary as you are confronted with issues of blasphemy, debauchery, mystery and intrigue. Singer assaults the whole of human fickleness in his tales.
Yet his tales are not all sordid. In "The Bitter Truth" we see a man's loyalty to his friend over-rides a secret that could spell disaster. "House Friend" will have you laughing at the mere concept of a friend having sexual relations with another friend's wife with full hearted encouragement from the friend. Go figure? Singer's stories are down to earth and deal with the varied human negativities that we display unashamedly. God's presence is very much in the foreground of the stories as the characters stuggle with their own ethical isssues. Despite the fact that we as a human race can be sordid, the collection as a whole points out that we are redeemable and can display the best of ourselves. Laugh, cry, become shocked and fearful as you enter the complexities of humanity through the eyes of Singer. No collection of his is complete without this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN July 18 2000
By Bonita L. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Master story teller Isaac Bashevis Singer regales us once again with this remarkable collection of short stories. Woe to those who are faint of heart or have inflexible moral standards. His stories are sure to give you a coronary as you are confronted with issues of blasphemy, debauchery, mystery and intrigue. Singer assaults the whole of human fickleness in his tales.
Yet his tales are not all sordid. In "The Bitter Truth" we see a man's loyalty to his friend over-rides a secret that could spell disaster. "House Friend" will have you laughing at the mere concept of a friend having sexual relations with another friend's wife with full hearted encouragement from the friend. Go figure? Singer's stories are down to earth and deal with the varied human negativities that we display unashamedly. God's presence is very much in the foreground of the stories as the characters stuggle with their own ethical isssues. Despite the fact that we as a human race can be sordid, the collection as a whole points out that we are redeemable and can display the best of ourselves. Laugh, cry, become shocked and fearful as you enter the complexities of humanity through the eyes of Singer. No collection of his is complete without this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the Title Story Alone Jan. 15 2008
By J. Axtell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Death of Methuselah, the title story, is one of the best short stories I've ever read. It deals with the hallucinatory last moments of Methuselah. The reader is taken taken on a trip through Jewish and Mesopotamian mythology, a trip brought on by Methuselah's lusting for Naamah the she-devil, consort of Asmodeus.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars book did not come Aug. 31 2010
By saved - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered a book from this seller, they shipped it within 2 days but it never came. I contacted the seller and they very quickly responded and refunded my account. Even though I never received my book, because of their quick response and quick solution to the matter I would recommend them again! The have other quick and great reviews which makes them a safe and appropriate place to order from!
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