The Jew of Home Depot and Other Stories

Overview

This is the first collection to appear in twenty years from one of America's best short story writers. His thirteen stories are marvelous—funny, heartbreaking, and wise by turns, and on occasion all three at once.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Overview

This is the first collection to appear in twenty years from one of America's best short story writers. His thirteen stories are marvelous—funny, heartbreaking, and wise by turns, and on occasion all three at once.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Bookforum
This is Apple's art.

— Paul Maliszewski

Philadelphia Inquirer
Apple's stories move easily from the funny to the heartbreaking—always with a strain of wisdom lurking just behind the bushes.

— Sanford Pinsker

Los Angeles Times
Apple is still capable of dialing into emotions that ring of truth.

— Tod Goldberg

Washington Post Book World

Apple is an amiable, good-hearted, sweet-tempered writer whose short pieces occupy an agreeable territory somewhere between fact and fiction.

Jewish Week
One of America's best short-story writers... his first collection of stories in 20 years. He writes with the same playful imagination and comic intelligence as in his earlier stories, layered with irony and an infallible sense of detail.

— Sandee Brawarsky

New York Times Book Review
Thank you, Mr. Apple! There's an art to writing a sad story that's also fun to read... Many of Apple's stories are heartbreaking, but there's hardly a page that doesn't yield a smile at one line or another.

— Ann Hodgman

Jewish Journal
This new book of short stories once again demonstrates Apple's ability to write spare prose with a minimum of adjectives and adverbs that, nevertheless, mixes humor and satire with a wry comment on the human condition... testifying to the quiet power of Apple's writing.

— Morton Teicher

Foreword
When it comes to Max Apple, what's not to like?... Apple is never ferocious, never crabby and rarely sentimental. He does not dislike his characters, and he refuses to condescent to them.

— David Kaufmann

New Jersey Jewish News
Each story in the book is unique and well-crafted. Apple has not lost his touch.

— Morton I. Teicher

Brooklyn Jewish Week
He writes with the same playful imagination and comic intelligence as in his earlier stories, layered with irony and an infallible sense of detail.

— Sandee Brawarsky

Jewish Book World

This collection of poignant, very human stories leaves the reader wishing for even more of them... a worthwhile addition to the story collection shelf.

Sunday Sun-Times
If you remember Apple from 20 years ago... this book will reacquaint you with an old friend, too long gone.

— Neil Steinberg

Baltimore Magazine
This collection of charming short stories is populated by offbeat characters... held together by Apple's big-hearted warmth, understated wit, and completely believable plot twists... [Apple] also manages to resolve his short stories in ways that are both unexpected and satisfying, yet another sign of his mastery of the form.

— John Lewis

Palm Beach Daily News
13 delightful, utterly cynicism-free stories.

— Lisa Zeidner

Sun-Sentinel
In straightforward, unpretentious prose, Max Apple has patiently crafted a delightful collection.

— Peter Schmitt

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

The author creates situations that are both touching and funny. Ths book is highly recommended for all libraries, andwould be great for a discussion group.

Newport News Daily Press
In straightforward, unpretentious prose, Max Apple has patiently crafted a delightful collection.

— Peter Schmitt

Reporter
Most of Apple's stories are clever and warm-hearted... Short story lovers will find much to enjoy in all of Apple's works.

— Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Hadassah Magazine
The short story has long been called 'the lonely voice,' and to that intrinsic loneliness Max Apple adds his gentle insights and his rare and precious ability to be amused by the tragic stuff of life, in particular, Jewish life.

— Gloria Goldreich

Newsday

Apple may not be as well known a humorist as Russell Baker, Calvin Trillin, or Garrison Keillor. But he should be. He belongs in the same crowd.

USA Today

A tender, tough, and totally compelling account.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

The slim, sweet slices of this particular Apple pie are always served warm and contain generous amounts of humor, off-the-wall inventiveness, and down-to-earth intelligence.

Bookforum - Paul Maliszewski

This is Apple's art.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Sanford Pinsker

Apple's stories move easily from the funny to the heartbreaking—always with a strain of wisdom lurking just behind the bushes.

Los Angeles Times - Tod Goldberg

Apple is still capable of dialing into emotions that ring of truth.

Washington Post Book World - Lisa Zeidner

13 delightful, utterly cynicism-free stories.

Jewish Week - Sandee Brawarsky

He writes with the same playful imagination and comic intelligence as in his earlier stories, layered with irony and an infallible sense of detail.

New York Times Book Review - Ann Hodgman

Thank you, Mr. Apple! There's an art to writing a sad story that's also fun to read... Many of Apple's stories are heartbreaking, but there's hardly a page that doesn't yield a smile at one line or another.

Jewish Journal - Morton Teicher

This new book of short stories once again demonstrates Apple's ability to write spare prose with a minimum of adjectives and adverbs that, nevertheless, mixes humor and satire with a wry comment on the human condition... testifying to the quiet power of Apple's writing.

Foreword - David Kaufmann

When it comes to Max Apple, what's not to like?... Apple is never ferocious, never crabby and rarely sentimental. He does not dislike his characters, and he refuses to condescent to them.

New Jersey Jewish News - Morton I. Teicher

Each story in the book is unique and well-crafted. Apple has not lost his touch.

Sunday Sun-Times - Neil Steinberg

If you remember Apple from 20 years ago... this book will reacquaint you with an old friend, too long gone.

Baltimore Magazine - John Lewis

This collection of charming short stories is populated by offbeat characters... held together by Apple's big-hearted warmth, understated wit, and completely believable plot twists... [Apple] also manages to resolve his short stories in ways that are both unexpected and satisfying, yet another sign of his mastery of the form.

Sun-Sentinel - Peter Schmitt

In straightforward, unpretentious prose, Max Apple has patiently crafted a delightful collection.

Reporter - Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Most of Apple's stories are clever and warm-hearted... Short story lovers will find much to enjoy in all of Apple's works.

Hadassah Magazine - Gloria Goldreich

The short story has long been called 'the lonely voice,' and to that intrinsic loneliness Max Apple adds his gentle insights and his rare and precious ability to be amused by the tragic stuff of life, in particular, Jewish life.

Ann Hodgman
It's been more than 20 years since Apple's last collection, but when I read The Jew of Home Depot I found that I recognized, almost scene for scene, stories I'd read years ago in magazines. And that owes much less to my fabulous recall than it does to Apple's knack for creating memorable little fictional worlds…Many of Apple's stories are heartbreaking, but there's hardly a page that doesn't yield a smile at one line or another. And Apple is sufficiently confident not to need to bang you over the head with a message.
—The New York Times
Lisa Zeidner
Comic movies don't often get Oscar nods. In fiction, too, tragedy wears the capital L for Literature, whereas comedy—good luck, happy endings, pleasure itself—is deemed to be the fluffy stuff of chick lit and beach books. With The Jew of Home Depot, his first collection of stories in two decades, Max Apple challenges the canard that misery reveals more about our identity than joy does. It's as if Apple has heard the complaint of one his characters, who demands, "Doesn't this family have any really happy stories? Didn't we have picnics or go on vacations or go fishing? Why is it always war and vengeance?" The 13 delightful, utterly cynicism-free stories collected here are mostly tales of courtship, and as the title not so shyly suggests, they often star Jews.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

Apple's new story collection, his third after an absence of 20 years from the genre, sets up variations on the stranger-in-a-strange-land theme. The stranger is often a Diaspora Jew, and the strange land could be Buenos Aires, Cleveland, or a carwash in Las Vegas. In the title story, the strange land is Marshall, TX, where dying 80-year-old Jerome Baumgarten, a retail giant and acquaintance of Wal-Mart magnate Sam Walton, "orders" himself from Brooklyn "a bunch of real Jews, I'll pay their way and make it worth their while." In this story and others, the characters are well drawn rather than caricatures out of Central Casting, and the transformation each encompasses is both surprising and well earned. In a pair of memorable stories, "Strawberry Shortcake" and "Adventures in Dementia," the strange land is the country of advanced Alzheimer's, where the humor is both unexpected and familiar to any adult child who has gained entry by force of circumstance into this chaotic territory. Readers will find much to admire, along with a respite from the more typical geography of the American short story. With Apple's stories, we know we're a long way from either the Carver trailer park or the Cheever suburb, and that's a welcome place to be. Recommended for public and university libraries.
—Sue Russell

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801887383
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Series: Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction Series
  • Edition description: 20
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 493,275
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Apple has published two collections of stories, The Oranging of America and Free Agents, two novels, Zip and Propheteers, and two books of nonfiction, Roommates and I Love Gootie. Five of his books have been New York Times Notable Books. Apple lives near Philadelphia and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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