HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Call It Sleep (1934)

by Henry Roth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,115407,684 (3.86)110
When Henry Roth published his debut novel Call It Sleep in 1934, it was greeted with considerable critical acclaim though, in those troubled times, lackluster sales. Only with its paperback publication thirty years later did this novel receive the recognition it deserves-- --and still enjoys. Having sold-to-date millions of copies worldwide," Call It Sleep" is the magnificent story of David Schearl, the " dangerously imaginative" child coming of age in the slums of New York.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 110 mentions

English (36)  Spanish (3)  Italian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Reason Read: special event/March 2024.
This story by Henry Roth, published in 1934, out of print for a number of years was reprinted in 1960, is the story of the immigrant experience, specifically the Jewish immigrant. It is most likely set in the time period of the early 20th century. 1907 brought the greatest number of immigrants through Ellis Island into New York City where they mostly stayed and turned the streets into slums.

The family consists of David Schearl, a 6 y/o boy, his mother Genya and his father Albert. Other characters include; Bertha, sister to Genya, Reb Yidel, Rabbi teaching David who is an exceptional student, Leo a Catholic boy.

While this is the story of the immigrant experience it is more than that. It is also the story of a family and family secrets. It is a story of language and dialects. There is Yiddish, Irish, Polish, English, Hebrew. It is a story of culture; Jewish, Yiddish, Catholic, slum culture. It also looks at feminist experience. The patriarchal society, the consumerism of American Society.

Themes include the mother son bond, oedipal rivals, parricide, "purity".

David becomes fixated on a passage from Isaiah where Isaiah's unclean lips are cleansed with a burning coal. David sees a "white light" one day, he decides that this is what is being referred to in Isaiah. So there is the theme of purity. David resists sexual explorations that other boys seek. His aunts step daughters are another example.

There is much to glean in the novel. It is a great example of the Jewish novel, I think. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read about Jewish experience but also the immigrant experience. ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 26, 2024 |
I enjoyed this book though I did feel the length somewhere around past page 200. I picked this one up and read it because Fran Lebowitz recommended it on that Scorsese HBO documentary. Besides the fact that I frankly hate her writing, I do like hearing her talk, so I decided to check out the recommendation. I was not disappointed the book did hook me immediately. However, the street pidgin started to wear on me somewhere around after page number two hundred as well. Other than that, I liked it and am glad I read it. I would recommend this to a reader who's looking for something substantial to read, this is not light reading. ( )
  Ranjr | Jul 13, 2023 |
too violent ( )
  bederson | Dec 17, 2020 |
Some where in all my moves have lost this book, much to my regret. The story had a profounc impact on me at the time I read it. The social issues presented and those of the middle 60s, when I read it, galvanized my understanding of and importance of the social issues of both times. It was a book and story I dearly loved and miss not being in my library. ( )
  can44okie | Aug 28, 2020 |
I love reading about early 20th Century New York and this book recreates it in minute detail. Parts of it were hard to get through and I had trouble following the narrative in some sections. But this is a book that should be taught in schools and read by everyone. How was this never made into a movie??

The more I ponder this book, and reread sections, the more it takes my breath away with its complex structure and breathtaking ambition. What a fabulous novel. Not an easy read, but I think this will stay with me for a long, long time. ( )
  Gittel | Jan 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (57 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Henryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Walter ErnestAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maisel, JayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Materassi, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roth, WalterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schalekamp, Jean A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Beccy deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
A Eda Lou Walton
First words
Standing before the kitchen sink and regarding the bright brass faucets that gleamed so far away, each with a bead of water at its nose, slowly swelling, falling, David again became aware that this world had been created without thought of him.
De pie ante el fregadero de la cocina y mirando los relucientes grifos de latón que brillaban muy lejos, cada uno de ellos con una gota de agua en la nariz, que lentamente se hinchaba y caía, David se dio cuentan vez más de que este mundo había sido creado sin pensar en él.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

When Henry Roth published his debut novel Call It Sleep in 1934, it was greeted with considerable critical acclaim though, in those troubled times, lackluster sales. Only with its paperback publication thirty years later did this novel receive the recognition it deserves-- --and still enjoys. Having sold-to-date millions of copies worldwide," Call It Sleep" is the magnificent story of David Schearl, the " dangerously imaginative" child coming of age in the slums of New York.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.86)
0.5
1 5
1.5 3
2 24
2.5 4
3 62
3.5 18
4 87
4.5 17
5 94

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 206,986,641 books! | Top bar: Always visible