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Like Never Before

by

Like Never Before Cover

ISBN13: 9780385497251
ISBN10: 0385497253
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.50!

 

Awards

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Book Review Best Fiction Book of the Year

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stirring portrait exploring the intersections of three generations of an Othodox Jewish family.

David Birnbaum is a middle-aged man at the crossroads — of youth and old age, of Othodox Judaism and assimilation, of the well-worn past and an uncertain future. He is also at the dramatic center of this sensative, often funny chronicle of three generations of a family straining to hold together in the face of changing cultures and shifting fortunes.

Throughout this extraordinary book, David struggles with the mixed loyalties he has felt since childhood and that continue to haunt his present and future. Capturing the hopes and conflicts of a Jewish family, from its most assimilated to its most Orthodox members, Like Never Before exudes on every page a poignancy and truthfulness that will print themselves indelibly on readers' minds.

Review:

"Quietly powerful...Havazelet writes with a kind of anatomical precision, his scalpel slicing at his characters to expose the dark reality beneath." Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

Review:

"Ehud Havazelet's delicate and lyrical voice is beguiling and consistent...A collection full of finely chiseled edges, painful division, and halting, hard-won renewals." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Splendid...Havazelet writes with elegance and authority, bearing down on moments of crisis with virtuoso intensity....Extraordinary." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"The ten interrelated stories of Like Never Before move inexorably toward a sadness that cracks the heart, and a hard-won reconciliation that affirms the human spirit." The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"The writing soars." The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Ehud Havazelet is the author of the critically acclaimed collection of stories What Is It Then between Us? He teaches at Oregon State University and the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, and lives in Corvallis, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

zenithblue, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by zenithblue)
Like Never Before is a novel-in-stories by Ehud Havazelet, each tale of the collection a singular story but all of them pivoting around the Birnbaum family (and specifically, David Birnbaum, a man we see across three decades). If there's an epicenter to the tales, it lies in the strained relations between David and his father, and the way David struggles beneath the weight of family history. David, over the course of his life, rejects the Orthodox Judaism of his father (a Holocaust survivor) and grandfather (a rabbi) out of little more than a willful desire to throw off the expectations of his family, and out of a child's desire to hurt his temperamental and sometimes abusive father. Of course denying your roots is never so easy.

Havazelet's prose is graceful in the extreme, inventive and beautiful. Even better, in spite of the bleak subject matter--pain and dysfunction and the Holocaust--the novel doesn't get dragged down by bathos or pathos either one. The stories are about life, and they are lively. They are about the failures of family, but there's also tiny vivid successes, human beings finding some part of love, finding ways to get by. They're also funny, with a great sense of the little absurdities that mark our path through pain.

One of my favorite aspects of the work are the incredibly deft endings to the stories. There's never the pat "epiphany" that passes for closure in a lot of contemporary short fiction; instead he leaves us with complicated and nuanced moments of connection or convergence. Some of the pieces are astonishingly good on their own merit; "The Street You Live On" and "Leah" were simply breathtaking tales. Put all together, they make a detail-rich and deeply touching picture of a the old world casting its seed into the new.

If you liked The Corrections or The Ice Storm, or are looking for a very satisfying and literate domestic novel, I highly recommend this one.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385497251
Author:
Havazelet, Ehud
Publisher:
Anchor
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Jewish men
Subject:
Jewish families
Subject:
Jewish fiction.
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
19990914
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.00x5.23x.81 in. .54 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Oregon Book Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Like Never Before Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385497251 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Quietly powerful...Havazelet writes with a kind of anatomical precision, his scalpel slicing at his characters to expose the dark reality beneath."
"Review" by , "Ehud Havazelet's delicate and lyrical voice is beguiling and consistent...A collection full of finely chiseled edges, painful division, and halting, hard-won renewals."
"Review" by , "Splendid...Havazelet writes with elegance and authority, bearing down on moments of crisis with virtuoso intensity....Extraordinary."
"Review" by , "The ten interrelated stories of Like Never Before move inexorably toward a sadness that cracks the heart, and a hard-won reconciliation that affirms the human spirit."
"Review" by , "The writing soars."
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