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It has been ten years since Malamud's last story-collection—and here, instead of a brand-new batch of tales, is an agreeable enough substitute: the author's own choice of 25 stories, almost all of them from his previously published collections. (The National Book Award-winner The Magic Barrel, 1958; Idiots First, 1963; and Rembrandt's Hat, 1973.) Among them: the title stories from all three collections and the famous "Angel Levine." Plus, an uncollected story from 1972: "God's Wrath"—a brief, painful tale about a retired synagogue sexton whose youngest daughter, the product of a second marriage, becomes a prostitute. ("The sexton follows her. . . . She knows he is there. He waits. He counts the number of her performances. He punishes by his presence. He calls down God's wrath on the prostitute and her blind father.") A solid sampling of Malamud's short-story art, with a short author's introduction—the same piece that recently appeared in the New York Times Book Review.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 1983

ISBN: 9994696874

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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