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The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern
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The Frozen Rabbi (2010)

by Steve Stern

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A great premise -- boy finds frozen rabbi in meat freezer -- but a messy novel. After the rabbi thaws out during power shortage, Stern tells lots and lots of family history and gives the rabbi a following. There are some good laughs but, alas, it felt as if Stern tried to fit too much Jewish history into one novel. A plus: lots of Yiddish vocabulary. ( )
  LizoksBooks | Dec 15, 2018 |
This book got off to a strong start. It jumps between present time - when Bernie finds an frozen 100 year old Rabbi in his parents freezer, and the past as the frozen Rabbi is carted through Europe and the Lower East Side. It combines an immigrant tale with a satirical send-up of the Kabballah movement. I did not really enjoy the modern chapters, and the story of what happens when the Rabbi is defrosted gets ridiculous and offensive. The last few chapters were painful to read. Many have compared this to a Michael Chabon. Chabon does not let his readers down like Stern did here!
( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
An epic novel reminiscent of Michael Chabon's THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, THE FROZEN RABBI tells how a nineteenth century rabbi from a small Polish shetl ends up in a deep freeze in twentieth century Memphis, Tenn.; and what happens to the boy who finds the rabbi, thaws him, and introduces him to the modern day world. Dramatic and outrageously funny, this novel is a wonder. ( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
This book went on and on and on and then had a quick ending. Very stark portrayal of Jewish history and immigrant life. Very confusing for anyone with no clue whatsoever about Judaism. Something about it kept me reading, maybe it was some wish for the family curse to let up on its grip... ( )
  Michelle_Wendt | Jun 15, 2016 |
Liked all but last 20 or so pages. Convoluted ending. ( )
  ellenuw | Jan 27, 2016 |
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Für Sabrina, die mich fast zum Menschen macht
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Irgendwann während seines rastlosen fünfzehnten Lebensjahrs entdeckte Bernie Karp in der Gefriertruhe seiner Eltern - einem weiss emaillierten Kelvinator, der in der Ecke des Hobbyraums im Keller vor sich hin brummte - einen alten Mann in einem Eisblock.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156512619X, Hardcover)

And what happens when Bernie Karp, the impressionable fifteen-year-old son of the couple in whose home the rabbi lies frozen, inadvertently thaws out the ancient man? Such are the questions raised in this wickedly funny and ingenious novel by author Steve Stern, who, according to the Washington Post Book World, belongs in the company of such writers as Stanley Elkin, Cynthia Ozick, Michael Chabon, Mark Helprin, and Philip Roth, all of them "innovative and restless practitioners of contemporary American-Jewish fantasy."

When the rabbi comes fully and mischievously to life, Bernie finds himself on an unexpected odyssey to understand his heritage (Jewish), his role in life (nebbish hero), and his destiny (to ensure the rabbi’s future). and the reader enters the lives of the people who struggled to transport the holy man’s block of ice, surviving pogroms, a transatlantic journey (in steerage, of course), an ice-house fire in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and finally, a train trip to the city on the Mississippi.

An epic novel in the spirit of Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Steve Stern's The Frozen Rabbi is a wildly entertaining yet deeply thoughtful look at the burdens inherent in handing down traditions from one generation to the next. 


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:15 -0400)

How does a nineteenth-century rabbi from a small Polish town end up in a freezer in a suburban Memphis home at the end of the twentieth century? And what happens when a teenage boy thaws him out and miraculously brings him back to life?

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