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Enemies, A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis…
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Enemies, A Love Story (original 1966; edition 1988)

by Isaac Bashevis Singer

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611None15,890 (3.94)18
Member:aluvalibri
Title:Enemies, A Love Story
Authors:Isaac Bashevis Singer
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1988), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:literature, 20th century, America, Jewish, Nobel Prize

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Enemies, A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer (1966)

Recently added byFransKoopmans, private library, sollocks, Dagge51, fitakyre, CongregationGC, BethEl.Library, Coccolobis, rscohen
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English (7)  Dutch (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Herman before: retreating mensch, vaguely overwhelmed, lies for love. Herman after: same retreating mensch, vaguely overwhelmed, lies for love, but now he's in a new world, among refugees, anxious about returning nazis, scouting bell towers, caves, cellars just in case, just in case "they" come back. And they do. Herman dissembles, juggles women, his multiple selves, can't say no, and piles up the obligations, the little lies, and tries to keep going as life takes him for a ride. Comic characters, dark survivalist humor, a hero you can love, it's a movie in a book. ( )
  grheault | Jan 30, 2014 |
A great story. The bleak confusion of post holocaust Jews in America. Gives plenty of harrowing detail of what actually happened, including the next stage in Stalin's Russia, but the centre of the book is a helper-skelter tragicomedy of an innerly empty survivor who ends up with 3 wives and a wrecked life. Page -turning pace, surprises and cliff-hangers, enough Jewich humour to make you laugh as you weep. ( )
  vguy | Jan 12, 2014 |
00002809
  cavlibrary | Jun 3, 2013 |
The story was that of a man who'd survived the holocaust in Poland. Believing that his wife had been killed, he eventually emigrated to New York and married a Polish woman, who'd been his mother's servant and was eventually responsible for hiding him during the Nazi occupation.

The story begins several years after he'd moved to New York and in those ensuing years, he's taken a mistress. His life is complicated, as he's in love with his mistress but feels beholden to his wife. To add further confusion for him, his first wife turns up alive and living in Brooklyn. Only when he is reunited with her does he realize that the idealized version of her he remembered was very much fiction. In fact, he openly despised her and left her and his two children well before the holocaust would have separated them.

The writing is tight, and funny. There are a ton of secondary characters that add humor and complications to the tale. I felt both pity and disgust with the main character, and these feelings only increased as he refused to make a choice between the women, even as they gradually learned more about his situation.

In summation : I found this book to be complex, at both times funny and incredibly moving. I would recommend it to anyone who likes challenging writing coupled with a complex storyline. ( )
  agnesmack | Sep 24, 2011 |
I tend to think of Singer as old -- Old World, old school, old religion. Clearly, I've been reading the wrong Singer. "Enemies" is an amazing story of post-Holocaust life, love, and psychopathology in New York. It's sparingly written -- detailed, but only as necessary -- and conveys the oddities of a multi-lingual environment very effectively. More importantly, it is in its way a thoroughly modern story of a man and his wives, and the challenges of belief after the near-total destruction of European Jewry. One of the best and most moving books I have read in a long time, with an unpredictable ending. Highly recommend it. ( )
  TTAISI-Editor | Nov 28, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Bashevis Singerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromet, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shevrin, AlizaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shub, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374515220, Paperback)

Almost before he knows it, Herman Broder, refugee and survivor of World War II, has three wives: Yadwiga, the Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis; Masha , his beautiful and neurotic true love; and Tamara, his first wife, miraculously returned from the dead. Astonished by each new complication, and yet resigned to a life of evasion, Herman navigates a crowded, Yiddish New York with a sense of perpetually impending doom.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:15 -0400)

A Holocaust survivor and ghostwriter in 1949 New York finds himself involved with three women - his current wife, the married woman with whom he's having an affair, and his long-vanished wife whom he thought was killed during the war. Focuses on Holocaust survivors who no longer abide by religious morals and question a God who could let the Holocaust occur.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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