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The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel by…
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The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel

by Isaac Babel

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English (10)  Dutch (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is a collection of stories by Isaac Babel, a 20th century Russian writer who met his death at the hands of Stalin's secret police in 1941. The collection is divided into three segments: an autobiographical series, a series of stories taken from Babel's experience fighting the Polish army in the 1920s, and a third series revolving around a gangster hero in Babel's native Odessa. In the autobiographical series, "The Story of My Dovecot" is an absolutely gut-wrenching description of an anti-semitic pogrom carried out during Babel's youth. The Red Cavalry series is a wonderful tale of the pettiness, misery, humor, and senselessness of warfare. The Odessa stories feature the Jewish gangster, Benya Krik, and the often humorous situations that he and his family get themselves into in Odessa. I think Babel did a great job of conveying to the reader not only the experience of being Jewish in Russia in the early 20th century, but he also did a great job of conveying what it was to be a human being caught in the Stalinist machinery of state. ( )
1 vote ninefivepeak | Nov 8, 2011 |
I'll probably get flak for this but I thought these stories very disappointing. The usual great names of short story writing are thrown around in regards to Babel but I fail to see at all why he deserves to be in such company.

Some of his early sketches are nice and some of the stories from the Red Cavalry section are decent but that's as good as it gets. There always seemed to be a lack of soul to Babel's writing. Some of the stories Babel describes are very sad but they read, to me, like simple accounts of events, rather than stories designed to move the reader. As a result many tales simply felt like the author was going through the motions. There's none of the feeling present in contemporaries like Chekhov or Joyce's short stories.

That made it a rather dull collection to read through, despite the short length of all the stories. Perhaps the translation didn't help but I can't see myself returning to these stories to try and discover what I missed. ( )
  DRFP | Aug 18, 2011 |
Russian-Jewish writer conflicted by his faithfulness to Jewish roots and rejection of them. Lived and wrote in the first half of the 20th c in Russia until executed in 1940 on espionage charges
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
Fall asleep in a war zone & when you stretch you're kicking her papa who pleaded with the soldiers to kiill him in the backyard out of sight of his daughter but they smashed his head in right there & where in the world will she find such another father.
  simonaries | Feb 6, 2010 |
Loved the stories, but unfortunately, the translation from Russian was less than adequate. I must re-read it in original. ( )
  Clara53 | Dec 13, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Babelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morison, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morison, WalterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trilling, LionelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393324028, Paperback)

"A book that will last, that you will reread all your life and then pass on to your grandchildren. Or ask to be buried with."—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

Following the historic publication of Norton's The Complete Works of Isaac Babel in the fall of 2001, The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel appears as the most authoritative and complete edition of his fiction ever published in paperback. Babel was best known for his mastery of the short story form—in which he ranks alongside Kafka and Hemingway—but his career was tragically cut short when he was murdered by Stalin's secret police. Edited by his daughter Nathalie Babel and translated by award-winner Peter Constantine, this paperback edition includes the stunning Red Cavalry Stories; The Odessa Tales, featuring the legendary gangster Benya Krik; and the tragic later stories, including "Guy de Maupassant." This will be the standard edition of Babel's stories for years to come. Maps

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:58 -0400)

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W.W. Norton

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