A Stone for Danny Fisher

( 7 )

Overview

As a teenager, Danny Fisher had all he ever wanted — a dog, a grown-up summer job, flirtatious relationships with older women — and a talent for ruthless boxing that quickly made him a star in the amateur sporting world. But when Danny's family falls on hard times, moving from their comfortable home in Brooklyn to Manhattan's squalid Lower East Side, he is forced to leave his carefree childhood behind. Facing poverty and daily encounters with his violent, anti-Semitic neighbors,...

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A Stone for Danny Fisher

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Overview

As a teenager, Danny Fisher had all he ever wanted — a dog, a grown-up summer job, flirtatious relationships with older women — and a talent for ruthless boxing that quickly made him a star in the amateur sporting world. But when Danny's family falls on hard times, moving from their comfortable home in Brooklyn to Manhattan's squalid Lower East Side, he is forced to leave his carefree childhood behind. Facing poverty and daily encounters with his violent, anti-Semitic neighbors, Danny must fight both inside and outside the ring just to survive.

As his boxing becomes legendary in the city's seedy underworld, packed with wiseguys and loose women, everyone seems to want a hand in Danny's success. Robbins's colorful, fast-talking characters evoke the rough streets of Depression-era New York City. Ronnie, a prostitute ashamed of how far she's fallen and desperately in need of friendship; Sam, a slick bookie who wants to profit from Danny's boxing talent; and Nellie, a beautiful but lonely girl who refuses to believe Danny is beyond redemption — each of whom has a different vision of Danny's future — will help steer his rocky course.

Gritty, compelling, and groundbreaking for its time, A Stone for Danny Fisher is a tale of ambition, hope, and violence set in a distinct and dangerous period of American history. A classic, sexy bestseller by Harold Robbins, reintroduced to a whole new generation of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Robbins grabs the reader and doesn't let go."

Publishers Weekly

"A lusty, vital tale."

The New York Times

"Robbins's books are packed with action, sustained by a strong narrative drive, and given vitality by his own colorful life."

The Wall Street Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416542841
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 506,497
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Robbins was born in 1915 in New York's Hell's Kitchen. He wrote twenty-three novels, as well as numerous film and television scripts. A bestselling novelist for over half a century, his novels have sold over 500 million copies.

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Read an Excerpt

A Stone for Danny Fisher

1

There are many ways to get to Mount Zion Cemetery. You can go by automobile, through the many beautiful parkways of Long Island, or by subway, bus or trolley. There are many ways to get to Mount Zion Cemetery, but during this week there is no way that is not crushed and crowded with people.

"Why should this be so?" you ask, for in the full flush of life there is something frightening about going to a cemetery — except at certain times. But this week, the week before the High Holy Days, is one of these times. For this is the week that Lord God Jehovah calls His angels about Him and opens before them the Book of Life. And your name is inscribed on one of these pages. Written on that page will be your fate for the coming year.

For these six days the book will remain open and you will have the opportunity to prove that you are deserving of His kindness. During these six days you devote yourself to acts of charity and devotion. One of these acts is the annual visit to the dead.

And to make sure that your visit to the departed will be noted and the proper credit given, you will pick up a small stone from the earth beneath your feet and place it on the monument so that the Recording Angel will see it when he comes through the cemetery each night.

You meet at the time appointed under an archway of white stone. The words MOUNT ZION CEMETERY are etched into the stone over your head. There are six of you. You look awkwardly at one another and words come stiffly to your lips. You are all here. As if by secret agreement, without a word, you all begin to move at once and pass beneath the archway.

On your right is the caretaker's building; on your left, the record office. In this office, listed by plot number and burial society, are the present addresses of many people who have walked this earth with you and many who have walked this earth before your time. You do not stop to think of this, for to you, all except me belong to yesterday.

You walk up a long road searching for a certain path. At last you see its white numbers on a black disk. You turn up the path, your eyes reading the names of the burial societies over each plot section. The name you have been looking for is now visible to you, polished black lettering on gray stone. You enter the plot.

A small old man with a white tobacco-stained mustache and beard hurries forward to meet you. He smiles tentatively, while his fingers toy with a small badge on his lapel. It is the prayer-reader for the burial society. He will say your prayers in Hebrew for you, for such has been the custom for many years.

You murmur a name. He nods his head in birdlike acquiescence; he knows the grave you seek. He turns, and you follow him, stepping carefully over other graves, for space is at a premium here. He stops and points an old, shaking hand. You nod your head, it is the grave you seek, and he steps back.

An airplane drones overhead, going to a landing at a nearby airport, but you do not look up. You are reading the words on the monument. Peace and quiet come over you. The tensions of the day fall from your body. You raise your eyes and nod slightly to the prayer-reader.

He steps forward again and stands in front of you. He asks your names, so that he may include them in his prayer. One by one you answer him.

My mother.

My father.

My sister.

My sister's husband.

My wife.

My son.

His prayer is a singsong, unintelligible gibberish of words that echoes monotonously among the graves. But you are not listening to him. You are filled with memories of me, and to each of you I am a different person.

At last the prayer is done, the prayer-reader paid and gone to seek his duty elsewhere. You look around on the ground beneath you for some small stone. Carefully you hold it in your hand and, like the others, one at a time, step forward toward the monument.

Though the cold and snow of winter and the sun and rain of summer have been close to me since last you were here together, your thoughts are again as they were then. I am strong in each of your memories, except one.

To my mother I am a frightened child, huddling close to her bosom, seeking safety in her arms.

To my father I am a difficult son, whose love was hard to meet, yet strong as mine for him.

To my sister I am the bright young brother, whose daring was a cause of love and fear.

To my sister's husband I am the friend who shared the common hope of glory.

To my wife I am the lover, who, beside her in the night, worshiped with her at the shrine of passion and joined her in a child.

To my son — to my son I know not what I am, for he knew me not.

There are five stones lying on my grave and still, my son, you stand there wondering. To all the others I am real, but not to you. Then why must you stand here and mourn someone you never knew?

In your heart there is the tiny hard core of a child's resentment. For I have failed you. You have never made those boasts that children are wont to make: "My daddy is the strongest," or the smartest, or the kindest, or the most loving. You have listened in bitter silence, with a growing frustration, while others have said these things to you.

Do not resent nor condemn me, my son. Withhold your judgment, if you can, and hear the story of your father. I was human, hence fallible and weak. And though in my lifetime I made many mistakes and failed many people, I would not willingly fail you. Listen to me then, I beg you, listen to me, O my son, and learn of your father.

Come back with me to the beginning, to the very beginning. For we who have been of one flesh, of one blood, and of one heart are now come together in one memory.

Copyright © 1951 by Harold Robbins

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Table of Contents

A Stone for Danny Fisher

Moving Day. June 1, 1925

All the Days of My Life. The First Book

Moving Day. December 1, 1932

All the Days of My Life. The Second Book

Moving Day. May 17, 1934

All the Days of My Life. The Third Book

Moving Day. September 15, 1936

All the Days of My Life. The Fourth Book

Moving Day. October 3, 1944

A Stone for Danny Fisher

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!...the unabridged version that is.

    It was 1970, when I was 16 years of age that my father introduced me to this tome. You could find me reading from it every second I could spare. After only a few times of being "pulled away" from reading this book, by say, being asked to set the table for dinner, that I noticed my mood was Danny's mood in the part of the book where I was forced to put Harold's story down while fulfilling household chores.

    Wow, Harold Robbins' proved he has the ability to do what only great authors can do, when he made me, the reader, become the main character in his story while reading.

    I have long-treasured Harold Robbins' A Stone for Danny Fisher, and became exasperated with "John-public" for applauding Mordecai Richler's obvious (or so I thought!) copy of Harold Robbins' story. In fact, I wrote many essays on this topic. Didn't do any good though; to this day "John-public" seems to think and credit Mordecai Richler's diluted version though it were a unique story.

    Once you've read the unabridged version of A Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins you'll know EXACTLY what I mean... well, that's providing you've also read the diluted version of Harold's story that I referred to above... the one by Mordecai Richler's titled; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. In my opinion, Mordecai Richler clearly copied Harold Robbins' jewel of a story, and Harold Robbins was denied the recognition of a truly GREAT story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Read the Book Twice

    This is such an AWESOME story line. I have the pleasure of reading this is twice within a few years apart. I wouldn't be surprised if I read it again...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Don't miss the opportunity to read a CLASSIC

    I read this when I was 16, it was my first delicious taste of Harold Robbins infectious writing and I think I've read most of his books since then -- and I'm now almost 60. He has a way of transporting you the the era and stage that he has set in the story. While Danny Fisher was my first and I loved every minute of it, each book that followed grasped my attention as well. Like the review above, I was hard pressed to put the book down and do my chores or my school work. At one time I had all his book in hard cover, then I moved and divorce and so on and ..... Boy do I wish I had those original books now. Not that I'd get rid of a single one, I love his writing and I remember passing away many hours reading those books as they took me to another place and time. Only a brilliant author can do that -- and Mr. Robbins was the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Wow.! Reviews below are gright on..!

    Yes i am the same age as the reviewers below and remember what it was like to get completely lost in Robbins' books. And the need to read certain sections behind locked doors. But the plots were hypnotic and truly enjoyable. Yes I spent many enjoyable hours with those books and attribute my love of reading to H R.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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