Scum

Overview

An authentic literary great, Singer was an author whose extraordinary talents won him a worldwide audience. And with this impressive novel, he proved that he was at the height of his creative power until his recent death at age 86. Scum evokes the teeming life of 1906 Warsaw's backstreets.

Max Barabander, distraught over the recent death of his son, flees the life ofwealth and respectabilty he has attained in Buenos Aires, to return to thepo verty and shadows of his ...

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Overview

An authentic literary great, Singer was an author whose extraordinary talents won him a worldwide audience. And with this impressive novel, he proved that he was at the height of his creative power until his recent death at age 86. Scum evokes the teeming life of 1906 Warsaw's backstreets.

Max Barabander, distraught over the recent death of his son, flees the life ofwealth and respectabilty he has attained in Buenos Aires, to return to thepo verty and shadows of his youth spent in Warsaw. He fears animpotence which leads him to the pursuit of mindless sex with five different women who view him only as an escape from their drab lives. The author recalls the teeminglife of 1906 Jewish Warsaw in this impressive novel of changing mores and values. .

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Mr. Singer displays his usual verve for storytelling. His energetic prose, his exuberant imagination, his ability to make familiar plots yield an endless supply of new twists -- all are joyously undiminished."
--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Marvellous descriptions of Warsaw life."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Culturally rich."
--Publishers Weekly

"That Singer is a master storyteller is evident in this compelling--and quite modern--tale.... a striking novel ... full of memorable characters sketched with great artistry. Highly recommended."
--Library Journal

"The plot of 'Scum' is simple, but Mr. Singer twists it until its vision is new and unexpected."
-- Bette Pesetsky, The New York Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written two decades ago and first published in English early last year, this culturally rich but oddly uninvolving novel by the late Nobel laureate focuses on the existential dilemma of a Jewish man in 1906 Warsaw. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Shady Max Barabander, a Polish Jew, forsakes his adopted home of Argentina after his teenage son suddenly dies and his wife loses interest in living. He goes back to Poland, ostensibly to visit the graves of his parents. Instead, he finds companionship in the criminal underworld of Warsaw. Max seeks out women for his sexual salvation and to escape the constant fear he has of imprisonment and isolation. He becomes involved with a prostitute, a baker's wife, and a rabbi's daughter and others who see him as a means of escaping the legal and societal subjugation they experience in the Poland of 1906. Max deceives them all, and his deceptions--which reflect his spiritual anarchy--lead to violence. That Singer is a master storyteller is evident in this compelling--and quite modern--tale. Although not on par with his greatest works--e.g., Family Moskat , The Slave --this is a striking novel nevertheless, full of memorable characters sketched with great artistry. Highly recommended for most libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90.--Paul Kaplan, Dakota Cty. Lib. System, Apple Valley, Minn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374529079
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904–91) was the author of many novels, stories, and children’s books. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.

Biography

Isaac Bashevis Singer emigrated to New York from Poland in 1935 and found work with the Jewish Daily Forward. Author of many novels, collections of short stories, and books for children, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Isaac Warshofsky
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 14, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Radzymin, Poland
    1. Date of Death:
      July 24, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      Surfside, Florida

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