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The Manor Paperback – Apr 1979

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / General (April 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380430428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380430420
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Product Description

From AudioFile

This is the story, perhaps even the saga, of a Jewish family in nineteenth-century Poland. In it are reflected many of the large movements of the time. Singer's writing is a relentless staccato of short, declarative sentences. Noah Waterman makes the worst of them by reading at a breathless, enervating speed with minimal inflection; however, his diction is amazingly clear. But this is a reading, not a performance. Those who believe that an audiobook should have minimal interpretative intervention from the reader may find this a model production. Those who enjoy oral performance are more likely to be disappointed. Waterman's particular skill and style would be more at home in nonfiction. J.N. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With the backdrop set during the late 1800s clash between the tradition and the renewal of Polish Jewry, Isaac Bashevis Singer introduces his novel, The Manor. A host of well developed characters represent the various paths taken in this historical time period. The story revolves around the manor, a residence meant to bring prosperity and the illusion of consequent happiness riches are expected to produce. Calman Jacoby, a spiritual and honest Jew, obtains the manor, and so begins a new phase of his life as a wealthy business man.
The Jacoby's have four daughters, and their stories show a different level of keeping, or rejecting, the traditions instilled in each by Calman. The relationships between characters, especially between the daughters and their husbands, are continually being tested. Singer explores how passion can lead one into irrational and blatantly immoral behavior. Loyalties are promised and broken and then reaffirmed again amidst affairs, lost belief in G-d, and renewed spirituality. The constant questioning thoughts of each character invokes conflicting feelings in ones own mind as to what is correct, and with which point of view Singer himself consents. The conflicts extend beyond what the characters actually think. Singer presents the beauty of certain scenes through metaphors and people's good deeds, only to contrast them to the mundane reality of others.
The novel is told in a refreshingly simple tone that is somehow able to communicate the characters' innermost feelings. Although I was surprised by the lack of communication among the daughters, I found The Manor to be an impressive book, one that incorporated historical fiction with exciting storylines, credible characters, and a theme that is still witnessed today: traditions clashing with the desire for progress.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0ea14f8) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d25300) out of 5 stars Jews Are Bustin' Out All Over Dec 14 2004
By Bob Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Why should the Jews live in a narrow, religious world bound by myriad restrictions when all Europe is moving towards an industrial, modern future ? On the other hand, isn't leaving the guidance of one's own tradition, and walking on thin ice towards material and emotional satisfactions frought with dangers and fears ? As usual, Singer asks big questions in his novel and answers ambiguously. Readers have to look within themselves to divine the answers to such questions. Materialism and individual freedom offer rewards, but then so do spirituality and family ties.

Calman Jacoby takes over the management of a Polish manor after the failed revolt of 1863. He rapidly makes a success of it, becomes a capitalist, and willy-nilly moves away from maintaining the minute observations of Jewish tradition. Yet, he regrets this, he struggles to remain honest. When his wife dies, he marries an independent woman of dubious morals with an eye for the main chance. His eldest daughter marries the ambitious-but-traditional son of a local rabbi. Amother marries a no-count nobleman---son of the original manor owner---and lives a miserable life as an apostate to Judaism. Another marries a holy rebbe, leader of a Hasidic sect. The fourth weds a man who chooses rationalism and science over the mysticism and superstition of the village Jewish community. She cannot keep up with him. How can Jacoby deal with the stress of such transformations in traditional Jewish life ? While some men strive in the world of old, Talmudic scholarship, serving as guides to the gullible poor, speak only Yiddish, and shun contact with outsiders, others begin to shave, wear European clothing, eat non-kosher food, and associate with women outside the family. New political ideas appear and shake old certainties. Singer traces the tensions and upheavals in families who live in times of rapid transition from one kind of society to another.

Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and other novels can be related to THE MANOR, but a lot of African and Asian literature deals with the same theme, as does the literature of Native Americans. Singer's version is rich, rewarding, and full of poetic description. Perhaps, with so many characters, THE MANOR is more diffuse than some of his other novels, but most of them are vivid and well-developed. As always, he brings the lost world of the Eastern European Jews alive. It will live forever in these pages, as long as people read books or want to know what people once lived and struggled in Poland.

Singer wrote many novels set in different times---from "Satan in Goray" (1600s) to "The Slave" and "The Magician of Lublin" and "The Family Moskat"---as well as "Enemies, a Love Story" set in post-war New York, after the Jewish world was destroyed. THE MANOR is yet another jewel set in the necklace of his work.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d25354) out of 5 stars A manor of worship: to God or oneself? June 10 2004
By Avital - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With the backdrop set during the late 1800s clash between the tradition and the renewal of Polish Jewry, Isaac Bashevis Singer introduces his novel, The Manor. A host of well developed characters represent the various paths taken in this historical time period. The story revolves around the manor, a residence meant to bring prosperity and the illusion of consequent happiness riches are expected to produce. Calman Jacoby, a spiritual and honest Jew, obtains the manor, and so begins a new phase of his life as a wealthy business man.
The Jacoby's have four daughters, and their stories show a different level of keeping, or rejecting, the traditions instilled in each by Calman. The relationships between characters, especially between the daughters and their husbands, are continually being tested. Singer explores how passion can lead one into irrational and blatantly immoral behavior. Loyalties are promised and broken and then reaffirmed again amidst affairs, lost belief in G-d, and renewed spirituality. The constant questioning thoughts of each character invokes conflicting feelings in ones own mind as to what is correct, and with which point of view Singer himself consents. The conflicts extend beyond what the characters actually think. Singer presents the beauty of certain scenes through metaphors and people's good deeds, only to contrast them to the mundane reality of others.
The novel is told in a refreshingly simple tone that is somehow able to communicate the characters' innermost feelings. Although I was surprised by the lack of communication among the daughters, I found The Manor to be an impressive book, one that incorporated historical fiction with exciting storylines, credible characters, and a theme that is still witnessed today: traditions clashing with the desire for progress.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0d2578c) out of 5 stars Shines light into a dark hole... Oct. 9 2014
By Tasawuf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For many of us born into Jewish families in the mid 20th century, we have little or no sense of from whence we came, let alone the forces, stresses and pressures which impacted and shaped, if not warped, our not too distant ancestors. This book seems to be so close to getting into the hearts and minds of those who came before us. The other reviews of this book set out the story and many of the issues, the struggles, and the joys with which the characters lived.

Not having really known much about my ancestry, The Manor provided a sense of 3-D for me and some, call it what you will, "fleshing out, putting meat on the bones" feel for some of that programming and conditioning (world or life view) which has lurked in the background; or, has unconsciously driven me in this life. I have a sense of gratitude for this book, its author, its contribution to my further awakening; and, a deeper appreciation for those who came before me.

Thank you Mr. Singer.
HASH(0xa0d25b4c) out of 5 stars Entertaining & Insightful Dec 7 2014
By Steven Tiger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Entertaining with good insight into life of Jews of various social strata in mid-to late 19th century Poland. I like the easy portability of the old mass-market paperbacks.
HASH(0xa0d25af8) out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 10 2015
By Shopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoying reading this.


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