The Complete Stories of Bernard Malamud is "an essential American book", Richard Stern declared in the Chicago Tribune when the collection was published in hardcover. His praise was echoed by other reviewers and by audiences, who embraced the book as they might a displaced person in one of Malamud's stories, now returned to us, complete and fulfilled and recognized at last.
The volume gathers together 55 stories, from "Armistice" (1940) to "Alma Redeemed" (1984), and including the immortal stories from The Magic Barrel and the vivid depictions of the unforgettable Fidelman. It is a varied and generous collection of great examples of the modern short story, which Malamud perfected, and an ideal introduction to the work of this great American writer.
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New Lesson: Audible Is NOT for Short Stories
Yes, its genius writer.
I own the hard copy of this book and know the stories well, some of which I also taught several times. I adore Malamud. I needed to re-read this particular volume, in its entirety, for a research project and thought that listening to it, instead, could be a great new way to appreciate it. Oh boy! I will never buy an audiobook of short stories again. I understand (now) that audiobooks are great for novels, but not for short narratives. You don’t have the time to get used to the voice of the narrator, to penetrate deeply a story through that performer’s voice and interpretation. It was awful. I could not pay attention, and I did not like some of the voices either (particularly, one of the female readers in the bunch).
I highly recommend this book in print but would discourage everybody from purchasing the audio-version.
- Mitzi Hol