THE ADVENTURES OF MOTTEL THE CANTOR'S SON by Sholom Aleichem

THE ADVENTURES OF MOTTEL THE CANTOR'S SON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A translation by Tamara Kahana of the last work of the famous Jewish humorist who has at times been dubbed the Yiddish Mark Twain. His writing here marks him as a loving and meticulous observer of his people's- and they were an immigrant people who came from Russia to New York in the early 1900's- customs and mores, and it is in this vein rather than suspense or social import that he finds attraction for readers. Nine year old Mottel's adventures are written in the first person. From the time he becomes a semi-orphan in Russia to his family's and friends' eventual successful establishment in America, his days are filled with adventures that even when disastrous, are couched in the kind of witticisms that are saved from the earmarks of corniness by a sincerity and a gift for good yarn-spinning. Mottel's father dies. He goes to live with friends- fat Pessie and her brood of thirteen. Then his brother Eli, after several foolish business failures, decides they should go to the U. S. A. The whole gang have their troubles at the frontier, get separated, meet again in various cities across Europe and under various conditions of poverty, and finally make Ellis Island and Manhattan where they are amazed by the El and the subway and start making livings. Episodic all, this can be dipped into at will almost and as a genre, has a limited marked.

Publisher: Henry Schuman