Overview

The Fixer is the winner of the 1967 National Book Award for Fiction and the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.



The Fixer (1966) is Bernard Malamud's best-known and most acclaimed novel -- one that makes manifest his roots in Russian fiction, especially that of Isaac Babel.


Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, ...

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The Fixer

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Overview

The Fixer is the winner of the 1967 National Book Award for Fiction and the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.



The Fixer (1966) is Bernard Malamud's best-known and most acclaimed novel -- one that makes manifest his roots in Russian fiction, especially that of Isaac Babel.


Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy. Bok leaves his village to try his luck in Kiev, and after denying his Jewish identity, finds himself working for a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds Society. When the boy is found nearly drained of blood in a cave, the Black Hundreds accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit.

Winner of the 1967 National Book Award

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliant [and] harrowing . . . Historical reality combined with fictional skill and beauty of a high order make [it] a novel of startling importance." —-Elizabeth Hardwick, Vogue

"What makes it a great book, above and beyond its glowing goodness, has to do with something else altogether: its necessity...This novel, like all great novels reminds us that we must do something." — Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated

"The Fixer deserves to rank alongside the great Jewish-American novels of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth." —The Independent (London)

"A literary event in any season." —Eliot Fremont-Smith, The New York Times

From the Publisher
"Brilliant [and] harrowing . . . Historical reality combined with fictional skill and beauty of a high order make [it] a novel of startling importance." —-Elizabeth Hardwick, Vogue

"What makes it a great book, above and beyond its glowing goodness, has to do with something else altogether: its necessity...This novel, like all great novels reminds us that we must do something." — Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated

"The Fixer deserves to rank alongside the great Jewish-American novels of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth." —The Independent (London)

"A literary event in any season." —Eliot Fremont-Smith, The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466804968
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/5/2004
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 176,372
  • File size: 375 KB

Meet the Author

Bernard Malamud

Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) published eight novels, including The Fixer, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The Magic Barrel, a collection of short stories, also won the National Book Award. Born in Brooklyn, Malamud was a beloved teacher for many years at Bennington College in Vermont.


Bernard Malamud (1914-86) wrote eight novels; he won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for The Fixer, and the National Book Award for The Magic Barrel. Born in Brooklyn, he taught for many years at Bennington College in Vermont.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1914
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      March 18, 1986
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., City College of New York, 1936; M.A., Columbia University, 1942

Read an Excerpt

The Fixer

I

From the small crossed window of his room above the stable in the brickyard, Yakov Bok saw people in their long overcoats running somewhere early that morning, everybody in the same direction. Vey iz mir, he thought uneasily, something bad has happened. The Russians, coming from streets around the cemetery, were hurrying, singly or in groups, in the spring snow in the direction of the caves in the ravine, some running in the middle of the slushy cobblestone streets. Yakov hastily hid the small tin can in which he saved silver rubles, then rushed down to the yard to find out what the excitement was about. He asked Proshko, the foreman, loitering near the smoky brickkilns, but Proshko spat and said nothing.Outside the yard a black-shawled, bony-faced peasant woman, thickly dressed, told him the dead body of a child had been found nearby. "Where?" Yakov asked. "How old a child?" but she said she didn't know and hurried away. The next day the Kievlyanin reported that in a damp cave in a ravine not more than a verst and a half from the brickworks, the body of a murdered Russian boy, Zhenia Golov, twelve years old, had been found by two older boys, both fifteen, Kazimir Selivanov and Ivan Shestinsky. Zhenia, dead more than a week, was covered with stab wounds, his body bled white. After the funeral in the cemetery close by the brick factory, Richter, one of the drivers, brought in a handful of leaflets accusing the Jews of the murder. They had been printed, Yakov saw when he examined one, by the Black Hundreds organizations. Their emblem, the Imperial double-headed eagle, was imprinted on the cover, and under it: SAVE RUSSIA FROM THE JEWS. In his room that night, Yakov, in fascination, read that the boy had been bled to death for religious purposes so that the Jews could collect his blood and deliver it to the synagogue for the making of Passover matzos. Though this was ridiculous he was frightened. He got up, sat down, and got up again. He went to the window, then returned hastily and continued to read the newspaper. He was worried because the brick factory where he worked was in the Lukianovsky District, one in which Jews were forbidden to live. He had been living there for months under an assumed name and without a residence certificate. And he was frightened of the pogrom threatened in the newspaper. His own father had been killed in an incident not more than a year after Yakov's birth—something less than a pogrom, and less than useless: two drunken soldiers, shot the first three Jews in their path, his father had been the second. But the son had lived through a pogrom when he was a schoolboy, a three-day Cossackraid. On the third morning when the houses were still smoldering and he was led, with a half dozen other children, out of a cellar where they had been hiding he saw a black-bearded Jew with a white sausage stuffed into his mouth, lying in the road on a pile of bloody feathers, a peasant's pig devouring his arm.

Copyright © 1966 by Bernard Malamud, renewed 1994 by Ann D. Malamud Introduction copyright © 2004 by Jonathan Safran Foer All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    Fixer

    'The characters are all well-written, but Yakov is a masterpiece character, the kidn you cry for at the end of the story. The settings are very important in conveying the feeling of oppression. The dialogue indicates the world-weary attitude of the people of Kiev. If you like historical novels, you will love THE FIXER. It is in fact a classic.'-Keri Watson. THE FIXER by Bernard Malamud is a gripping and provacative novel with an eztremely interesting setting and characters, a well developed plot and authenic portrayal of Tsarist Russia at the genesis of the 20th century. The main character, a Jew fleeing his home town in search of work, unexpectedly ends up begging for the bare necessities of life in a desolate, damp, dank jail cell after being accused of a murder he didn't commit.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    Fixer

    'The characters are all well-written, but Yakov is a masterpiece character, the kind you cry for at the end of the story. The settings are very important in conveying the feeling of oppression. The dialogue indicates the world-weary attitude of the people of Kiev. If you like historical novels, you will love THE FIXER. It is in fact a classic.' Keri Watson, a free-lance writer, wrote the preceding words in her review of THE FIXER for Curled Up with a Book, and she understands just as I do how expert Malamud is writing descriptive passages. THE FIXER by Bernard Malamud is a gripping and provacative novel with an eztremely interesting setting and characters, a well developed plot, and an authenic portrayal of Tsarist Russia at the genesis of the 20th century. The main character, a Jew fleeing his home town in search of work, unexpectedly ends up begging for the bare necessities of life in a desolate, damp, dank jail cell after being accused of a murder he didn't commit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2006

    A Very good book on The Russian Jews and How they were treated.

    This book is a very good book about when czars were rulers of Russia. They way they treated Yakov Bok was terrible. But eventually he survived the mos horrible torment when he was in prison. I reccomend that anyone to read this book. You can get a lot of values about how crime doesn't payand how the Russian treated the Jews.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2006

    A Very Commendable Book

    I am both a Russian and a Jew. My teacher assigned a book report and one of the books in the selection was the fixer, so i ran for that book first. This book is very intensifying, astonishing, astounding, and comiserating all at once. One of Bernard Malamud's best. Every chapter advented a new scenario about the main character's future, and many chapters dwelled on his past.The more i read the more i grew hungry to find out what would be the fate of the poor Jew.It is a very strong and powerful book.This book has given me a good look on how the Jews were treated during the last Tsar of Russia.This book has taught me a lot and i would recommend it to anyone, even if they are not Russian or a Jew.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    Good Stuff

    I've read a few by Malamud, and this is one of the more cynical. The Fixer leaves his small town in Czarist Russia hoping for a better life in the big city. He doesn't find it. This is a story about what's wrong with people- bigotry, authoritarianism, ingratitude, etc. If you're one of those who likes to read happy, life-is-great books then steer clear of this novel. But if you can appreciate good writing and don't mind an author with a critical mind then The Fixer is quite solid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2001

    The Fixer Fixed My World!

    I was given this book as a school assignment and I thought it would be another boring book I had to read. But instead, it was the most amazing book I ever read. I couldn't put it down, I was at the edge of my seat and every time I turned the page to the next one, I was more taken into the book because of all the suspicion it held me in. YOU to can enjoy this book if you read it today!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2001

    Search Your Soul

    The Fixer was a penetrating novel, which, I have to admit, I just chose at the last minute one day at the library. The book kept me on edge and I was finished reading it before the evening was up. I have since read and thoroughly enjoyed the book many times after that, and recommend it to anyone who is ready for serious soul-searching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

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    Posted November 5, 2014

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