Regular price: $25.17

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $25.17

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In the Polish city of Lodz, the Brothers Ashkenazi grew up very differently in talent and in temperament. Max, the firstborn, is fiercely intelligent and conniving, determined to succeed financially by any means necessary. Slower-witted Jacob is strong, handsome, and charming but without great purpose in life. While Max is driven by ambition and greed to be more successful than his brother, Jacob is drawn to easy living and decadence.
As waves of industrialism and capitalism flood the city, the brothers and their families are torn apart by the clashing impulses of old piety and new skepticism, traditional ways and burgeoning appetites, and the hatred that grows between faiths, citizens, and classes. Despite all attempts to control their destinies, the brothers are caught up by forces of history, love, and fate, which shape and, ultimately, break them.
First published in 1936, The Brothers Ashkenazi quickly became a best-seller as a sprawling family saga. Breaking away from the introspective shtetl tales of classic 19th-century writers, I. J. Singer brought to Yiddish literature the multilayered plots, large casts of characters, and narrative sweep of the traditional European novel. Walking alongside such masters as Zola, Flaubert, and Tolstoy, I. J. Singer’s pre-modernist social novel stands as a masterpiece of storytelling.
Israel Joshua Singer (1893–1944)was born in Bilgoraj, Poland, the son of a rabbi. He contributed to Yiddish newspapers in Warsaw and Kiev, where his short story, “Pearls,” was published, which brought him immediate recognition. He came to the United States in 1934, and within two years The Brothers Ashkenazi was published, a work that was not only an instant success but was also destined to become a classic in its time.
©1937 I. J. Singer. © renewed 1965 by Joseph Singer. English translation © 1980 by Joseph Singer. Foreword © 2010 by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

“The book has the grand sweep of Tolstoy…with pitch-perfect artistry and pace.” ( Wall Street Journal)
“One of the great books…It can be compared to Tolstoy’s War and Peace without condescension.” ( New York Sun)
“The Brothers Ashkenazi rates a place on any shelf devoted to modern works of art.” ( Newsweek)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lisa on 01-02-13

Historical fiction at its finest

The story of three generations of the Ashkenazi family and set in 19th and 20th Eastern Europe, its themes are specific to that time and place, yet also universal. Illuminates the clash between traditional Judaism and the Jewish enlightenment, orthodoxy and progress, capitalism and workers rights, accepting the world as it is and risking your life to change it.

Good narration, with the exception of mangling some of the Yiddish.

Read More Hide me

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul Z. on 11-30-10

Great Book!

What a great book! Looking at reviews this book seems often to be pigeonholed as a book by a Jew and about Jews almost implying that it is for Jews. This is a great travesty. That’s like saying Crime and Punishment is by a Russian and for Russians, or Ulysses is by the Irish and for the Irish. This is a wonderful book about greed, oppression, and men pushed to the limits of life. Some parts are heavy and dark, some tender and loving, and often laced with bits of humor. I don’t think anyone will truly like the Ashkenazi’s, but I for one respect them in the same way as the protagonist of other great works. It will forever be in my group of favorite books.

Read More Hide me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Janes Mesam on 07-26-15

One of my favorites

What made the experience of listening to The Brothers Ashkenazi the most enjoyable?

The book brings to life the Jewish life in Poland more than a century ago. But beyond this, it is also a cautionary tale about greed and ambition and their consequences.

Any additional comments?

It's a book I can listen to time and again. Both story and performance are top notch.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc