!!> Epub ➞ The Frozen Rabbi ➝ Author Steve Stern – Buyprobolan50.co.uk

The Frozen Rabbi And What Happens When Bernie Karp, The Impressionable Fifteen Year Old Son Of The Couple In Whose Home The Rabbi Lies Frozen, Inadvertently Thaws Out The Ancient Man Such Are The Questions Raised In This Wickedly Funny And Ingenious Novel By Author Steve Stern, Who, According To The Washington Post Book World, Belongs In The Company Of Such Writers As Stanley Elkin, Cynthia Ozick, Michael Chabon, Mark Helprin, And Philip Roth, All Of Them Innovative And Restless Practitioners Of Contemporary American Jewish Fantasy When The Rabbi Comes Fully And Mischievously To Life, Bernie Finds Himself On An Unexpected Odyssey To Understand His Heritage Jewish , His Role In Life Nebbish Hero , And His Destiny To Ensure The Rabbi S Future And The Reader Enters The Lives Of The People Who Struggled To Transport The Holy Man S Block Of Ice, Surviving Pogroms, A Transatlantic Journey In Steerage, Of Course , An Ice House Fire In Manhattan S Lower East Side, And Finally, A Train Trip To The City On The Mississippi An Epic Novel In The Spirit Of Michael Chabon S The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, Steve Stern S The Frozen Rabbi Is A Wildly Entertaining Yet Deeply Thoughtful Look At The Burdens Inherent In Handing Down Traditions From One Generation To The Next


About the Author: Steve Stern

Stern was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1947, the son of a grocer He left Memphis in the 1960s to attend college, then to travel the US and Europe living, as he told one interviewer, the wayward life of my generation for about a decade, and ending on a hippie commune in the Ozarks He went on to study writing in the graduate program at the University of Arkansas, at a time when it included several notable writers who ve since become prominent, including poet C.D Wright and fiction writers Ellen Gilchrist, Lewis Nordan, Lee K Abbott and Jack Butler.Stern subsequently moved to London, England, before returning to Memphis in his thirties to accept a job at a local folklore center There he learned about the city s old Jewish ghetto, The Pinch, and began to steep himself in Yiddish folklore He published his first book, the story collection Isaac and the Undertaker s Daughter, which was based in The Pinch, in 1983 It won the Pushcart Writers Choice Award and acclaim from some notable critics, including Susan Sontag, who praised the book s brio whiplash sentences energy and charm, and observed that Steve Stern may be a late practitioner of the genre Yiddish folklore , but he is an expert one By decade s end Stern had won the O Henry Award, two Pushcart Prize awards, publishedcollections, including Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American Fiction and the novel Harry Kaplan s Adventures Underground, and was being hailed by critics such as Cynthia Ozick as the successor to Isaac Bashevis Singer Stern s 2000 collection The Wedding Jester won the National Jewish Book Award, and his novel The Angel of Forgetfulness was named one of the best books of 2005 by The Washington Post.Stern, who teaches at Skid College, has also won some notable scholarly awards, including fellowships from the Fulbright and the Guggenheim foundations He currently lives in Ballston Spa, New York, and his latest work, the novel The Frozen Rabbi, was published in 2010.



10 thoughts on “The Frozen Rabbi

  1. says:

    I disliked this book with a passion and I recommend it to no one In a nutshell, teenage boy finds frozen rabbi in family freezer, Rabbi from a time long ago, family knew of Rabbi, boy defrosts the rabbi The book covers, through alternating chapters, the rabbis travels from Out of body experiences that resulted in his freezing near a river almost 200 years ago to his defrost, and the boy s story of coming of age In the present, the boy thinks the Rabbi will be, well, a Rabbi to him, but ins I disliked this book with a passion and I recommend it to no one In a nutshell, teenage boy finds frozen rabbi in family freezer, Rabbi from a time long ago, family knew of Rabbi, boy defrosts the rabbi The book covers, through alternating chapters, the rabbis travels from Out of body experiences that resulted in his freezing near a river almost 200 years ago to his defrost, and the boy s story of coming of age In the present, the boy thinks the Rabbi will be, well, a Rabbi to him, but instead the rabbi becomes a guru to the masses, a Jerry Falwell time 2.This is deemed dark humor, I found it boring and offensive and uncomfortable.There was no real character, the back stories lost cohesiveness,and the end was offensive SPOILER It ends, in the last two pages, with a rapeor sort of Yes, there is no such thing as rape, sort of and this is why this book was offensive and uncomfortable The old rabbi reaches for a teenage girl and This is a huge plot point in the book she is the girlfriend of the main character boy and they have wanted to have sex, but the boy has his troubles The boy, like the Rabbi, travels outside his body and as a result as well as the boy s inexperience , the boy and the girl can never have sex So, the rabbi has sex with the girl and she has an out of body experience End book.And that end would have been finebut instead the author himself uses the word rapewhich makes this not a bizarre joining of 70 man and teenage girl that would leave anyone uncomfortable, but a rape which made the whole thing repugnant I am unsure what the author was going for here, again, the age difference was disturbing enough, but add the rape image, and I was left with an awful book, making me feel dirty myself


  2. says:

    The Frozen Rabbi, or as I found myself calling it several times a day, Der Frozener Rebbe , is a great American Jewish story We might say that the author s subject is the holy and the profane In the course of this novel there is no doubt that every mystical and divine and folklorish reality is, and is not, utterly real, and that every profanity and lustful desire is, and is not, the ultimate truth Steve Stern plays with our minds, making the reader believe, mocking his or her belief, making The Frozen Rabbi, or as I found myself calling it several times a day, Der Frozener Rebbe , is a great American Jewish story We might say that the author s subject is the holy and the profane In the course of this novel there is no doubt that every mystical and divine and folklorish reality is, and is not, utterly real, and that every profanity and lustful desire is, and is not, the ultimate truth Steve Stern plays with our minds, making the reader believe, mocking his or her belief, making the reader lust, mocking his or her lust, and searching all the while for the point where ultimate being and ultimate earthliness meet in joyful nothingness and oblivion.Stern draws on a full pallet of Eastern European and Lower East Side cultural references, Jewish mysticism, and Memphis, Tennessee lore to paint a picture of astonishing feeling, velocity and depth Thugs, low lifes, cheats and whores all there Lies, robbery, rape and murder all there The gender ambiguous, and the abused, and the deluding and the deluded and the simple miscanim the pathetic ones , all trapped in the helpless physicality of life in a body, are woven into the fabric of the tale If there is a Jewish truth or a Jewish angle on reality that he doesn t apply to some corner of this story, I don t know what it is Excursions to a kibbutz in the 1930s and a Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 21st century are also handled with a great sense of language and place He paints with all the colors of Jewish on a canvas of Elvis To relay plot elements of how der Frozener Rebbe that holy man that charlatan that old goat came to be ensconced in his block of ice, and preserved from the late 19th century to the early 21st century before thawing out and creating cosmic havoc in Memphis, would be pointless For that you should read the book Suffice it to say that there are at least three or four generations of characters who unwind here, and in the telling we experience an intense cultural authenticity manner of expression, details of daily life , all in service of a much bigger, funnier and weirder tale than any of the individual lives alone For readers who don t know much about various aspects of Jewish culture, I felt that this book does a marvelous job of explaining what it is talking about without being the least bit didactic about it For those who are Jewishly familiar, I think you will be impressed with how well the author tells this vernacular American story, this Memphis Tennessee story, with an informed Jewish voice Stern s similarity to Eastern Europeans like Isaac Bashevis Singer or Chaim Grade is easy to see, but he inhabits an American Jewish cultural position with a persuasive indigeneous authenticity Persuasive indigenous authenticity Is that even a thing Der Frozener Rebbe would surely permit it I wouldn t say that this story has a didactic point, or even any point at all Like the Rebbe perhaps it points beyond itself Perhaps laughter is its mystical potion Perhaps it exists to enable us to experience the joy of being alive, even when being alive hurts.Read, read, read this book Transmigrate your souls Let the heavens and earth be joined in holy fleshly union


  3. says:

    This book maintained my interest sufficiently to make me want to read all of it, BUT I would not reccommend it to anyone else Briefly, the book follows the fate of a rabbi who becomes frozen into a block of ice somewhere in rural Poland sometime in the late 19th century He remains frozen in this block whilst it it is transported across Europe, and then the Atlantic, to the USA There, in the early 21st century, the refrigerator containing the ice encased rabbi breaks down The rabbi steps out This book maintained my interest sufficiently to make me want to read all of it, BUT I would not reccommend it to anyone else Briefly, the book follows the fate of a rabbi who becomes frozen into a block of ice somewhere in rural Poland sometime in the late 19th century He remains frozen in this block whilst it it is transported across Europe, and then the Atlantic, to the USA There, in the early 21st century, the refrigerator containing the ice encased rabbi breaks down The rabbi steps out of the freezer and rapidly adapts to life in the southern USA.Alternate chapters deal with the history of the rabbi s travels betweeen the Polish shetl and the southern States In between these chapters, there are chapters that describe the rabbi s life after he has thawed out in 21st century USA A major problem with this interesting novel is its excessive length The story would have been mucheffective had it been about half or two thirds as long As I read it, I felt as if the author was deliberately dragging out the text in order to produce a hefty volume There was too much detail, but not enough justifuication for it


  4. says:

    The oldest thing I have in my freezer right now is a 48 count pack of fish sticks I bought in 2007 In the intervening 3 years I have purchased and consumed other fish sticks I m not sure why the catch of whatever day it was in 2007 is still in my freezer awaiting an archaeological expedition to make it to the oven Maybe I just like knowing they are there at the ready They have survived numerous minor power outages and 2 outages that lastedthan 3 hours I have to say I m a little proud The oldest thing I have in my freezer right now is a 48 count pack of fish sticks I bought in 2007 In the intervening 3 years I have purchased and consumed other fish sticks I m not sure why the catch of whatever day it was in 2007 is still in my freezer awaiting an archaeological expedition to make it to the oven Maybe I just like knowing they are there at the ready They have survived numerous minor power outages and 2 outages that lastedthan 3 hours I have to say I m a little proud of them.However, I would trade them in for one Frozen Rabbi It sounds like a drink doesn t it I ll have the Frozen Rabbi, shaken not stirred and nice as that might be a Frozen Rabbi also makes a terrific novel Ask for a Frozen Rabbi at your local independent bookstore and you will get a novel that you will love not the do you have Prince Albert in a can kind of response that you might expect thanks to author Steve Stern.Fifteen year old Bernie Karp lives with his family in Memphis Tennessee Everything is all pretty typical Then one day when Bernie s looking for some food out from the fridge comes a frozen old dude Go figure Young Bernie Karp finds the frozen Rabbi in his parents basement freezer The Ice Age began generations ago for Rabbi Eliezer ben Zephyr when he was accidentally frozen while meditating and was presumed dead by his colleauges Later he was found in cased in a block of ice by a Polish laborer and has been in that family s care ever since Their own lost Ark of the Covenant to keep and preserve The Rab sicle has been a deaf, dumb and blind family burden through the worst the 20th century had to offer for Jews He has been protected by the family until he defrosts one day in Memphis in 1999 The big thaw makes young Bernie a bit of a mystic He has out of body experiences, becomes a seeker of knowledge and has hundreds of questions for the Rabbi The Rabbi on the other hand becomessecular andconvinced that America is a paradise every day The Rabbi bites into every indulgence that contemporary life has to offer Of course he attracts flocks of followers and his New House of Enlightenment is an immediate successful Telling me that a book is funny is the kiss of death There have been amusing moments in many novels I have read but I have always found that the phrase comic novel is an oxymoron I have been proved wrong Steve Stern can write funny There is funny end to end in The Frozen Rabbi Everything from slapstick to sarcasm There is also an outstanding novel in there From the historical elements surrounding the Rabbi s travels in his ice cube disguise to Stern s dovetailing Bernie s new spirituality into the Rabbi s hedonism The Frozen Rabbi is waiting to make you laugh so stop waisting time and go get him already.It all makes me wonder what Walt Disney will do when he gets thawed out


  5. says:

    ZERO STARSIntrigued by the title, repulsed by the story A rabbi is meditating in 1800 s Poland, goes into a trance while at a lake, doesn t wake up, is frozen in the ice, removed by a family, and kept frozen and protected by that family for over 100 years I like multi generational stories, but this is ridiculous The rabbi in his zinc lined casket so he doesn t melt is brought to America, kept in a Kelvinator freezer, and then one day the Rabbi melts and is once again alive The family which ZERO STARSIntrigued by the title, repulsed by the story A rabbi is meditating in 1800 s Poland, goes into a trance while at a lake, doesn t wake up, is frozen in the ice, removed by a family, and kept frozen and protected by that family for over 100 years I like multi generational stories, but this is ridiculous The rabbi in his zinc lined casket so he doesn t melt is brought to America, kept in a Kelvinator freezer, and then one day the Rabbi melts and is once again alive The family which kept the Rabbi goes through horrible disasters and tragedies for 100 years, and when the rabbi thaws, he s a jerk, and the obnoxious teenage boy in the family becomes religious Ever enjoy a book except for whenever the main characters appears Yeah, me neither


  6. says:

    I m sort of surprised Steve Stern isn t better known it s clear he s a quite talented writer, the prose is beautiful at times, and at others captures that modern American ennui irony beautifully How can you go wrong with a book that starts with the sentence Sometime during his restless fifteenth year, Bernie Karp discovered in his parents food freezer a white enameled Kelvinator humming in its corner of the basement rumpus room an old man frozen in a block of ice Then it slides immedi I m sort of surprised Steve Stern isn t better known it s clear he s a quite talented writer, the prose is beautiful at times, and at others captures that modern American ennui irony beautifully How can you go wrong with a book that starts with the sentence Sometime during his restless fifteenth year, Bernie Karp discovered in his parents food freezer a white enameled Kelvinator humming in its corner of the basement rumpus room an old man frozen in a block of ice Then it slides immediately into a reference to Portnoy s Complaint The mix of the absurd, the lyrical, and the whimsical make this really enjoyable This was an incredibly fun read, though you probably have to be pretty well versed in Jewish culture and 18th 19th century trends to fully enjoy it I see that a lot of people didn t like the end, but I think that s because it didn t come together in a traditionally Western paradigm I rather liked it, the cosmic unity above and below, as expressed by two souls placed somewhat randomly into two somewhat wretched bodies and lives, and ultimately, very Jewish in the idea that even enlightenment is illusory, isn t really what we re here for, but rather to writhe around on this earth Again, I m surprised Stern isn t as well known as some of the other writers I found him muchentertaining than some in the genre, and his prose is often beautiful


  7. says:

    A fantastic read difficult to put down once you get going Stern s bouncing back and forth between the current day and Bernie Carp and his dealings with the unfrozen rabbi, and the historical journey the rabbi took from his original freezing until he arrived in Bernie s freezer, are masterfully handled.Stern is an author that cares both about the individual sentence AND the overall story Absolutely go out and support this author and wonderful publishing house and buy, read and enjoy The Froze A fantastic read difficult to put down once you get going Stern s bouncing back and forth between the current day and Bernie Carp and his dealings with the unfrozen rabbi, and the historical journey the rabbi took from his original freezing until he arrived in Bernie s freezer, are masterfully handled.Stern is an author that cares both about the individual sentence AND the overall story Absolutely go out and support this author and wonderful publishing house and buy, read and enjoy The Frozen Rabbi


  8. says:

    I loved this book..couldn t stop readingup until about the last 40 pages I enjoyed the look at the family through time and would be glad to readabout Shmerl and Jocheved , and even liked the parts set in the present day The ending, I must admit, rather lost me So I m giving it 4 stars for all the rest of the story


  9. says:

    I need to see Tennessee Not as much as I need to visit Virginia, but Memphis is definitely a destination The Tennessee Titans my favorite NFL team play in Nashville, so I would want to get over to the Music City as well preferably in the fall , but there is something going on in Memphis At least that s the impression I get from reading The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern, who is from Memphis and now teaches in upstate New York A very good amount of the back story takes place in New York Cit I need to see Tennessee Not as much as I need to visit Virginia, but Memphis is definitely a destination The Tennessee Titans my favorite NFL team play in Nashville, so I would want to get over to the Music City as well preferably in the fall , but there is something going on in Memphis At least that s the impression I get from reading The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern, who is from Memphis and now teaches in upstate New York A very good amount of the back story takes place in New York City as well as the traditional Jewish settlements in the Russian Pale and Eretz Israel, but the real action is in modern Memphis.That s where fifteen year old Bernie Karp discovers his family s peculiar secret in the basement freezer The Rabbi Eliezer ben Zephyr was in a state of transcendent meditation when his body was submerged and frozen by a freak storm The only heirloom of the Karp family to survive the upheaval from Poland to America, the former Boibiczer Prodigy emerges from his suspended trance in new surroundings that are equal parts Gan Eydn and Gehenna The tzaddik s passage through time is remarkable, although the frozen rabbi serves primarily as a device for propagating the mystical transformations of a long line of Karps, including Bernie.References to prominent Jewish texts and Yiddish terms abound, but Stern wields them with such fluency that they never become recondite For a multiple award winning author National Jewish Book Award with multiple books published The Angel of Forgetfulness , Stern is underappreciated The Frozen Rabbi ought to have been an Indie Next pick for May His writing has been compared to Michael Chabon s, and it s an apt comparison There are elements reminiscent not only of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as promised, but of Gentlemen of the Road as well Phoebe Gaston, a book rep and friend who knows I have a weak spot for Chabon and writing that won t tolerate a weak constitution, made that very comparison when she pitched The Frozen Rabbi to me She knows her books and her audience This is not a book for the faint of heart credit Steve Stern for writing the book he wanted to write, and credit Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill for publishing it.In June I will be in North Carolina, home of Algonquin To be in such close proximity to both Tennessee and Virginia without the time to go to either state will be excruciating If only I could learn to send my soul aloft, as Bernie and the Rabbi do, I could coverstates, mental and physical


  10. says:

    has never steered me wrong before, until now And it s not to say that I hated this book, because I didn t I just had a hard time getting along with it I kept thinking I should put it down for good and read something else While the characters are interesting, the plot leaves a lot to be desired It s like molasses running uphill in the middle of January in New England The Frozen Rabbi could have been a lot shorter and a lot better And there are some plot points that I won t mentionhas never steered me wrong before, until now And it s not to say that I hated this book, because I didn t I just had a hard time getting along with it I kept thinking I should put it down for good and read something else While the characters are interesting, the plot leaves a lot to be desired It s like molasses running uphill in the middle of January in New England The Frozen Rabbi could have been a lot shorter and a lot better And there are some plot points that I won t mention because I d rather not ruin it for those of you who do choose to read it that really made me question Steve Sterns literary prowess Not that he has any, I wouldn t know, this is the first work I ve read by him And while the first page was funny and grabbed me by the hair to pull me in, it just gradually started to let go after that But, I soldiered on and finished it, disappointed by the way it ends If you can even call it an ending If you found this book in the sci fi section, like I did, it s in the wrong place, unless you call a book about extreme Judaism Sci Fi, which I don t, I call it a novel about Judaism And that s what it is There is so much Yiddish really old school Yiddish, that I couldn t even understand a decent amount of it Read at your own risk, and keep a Yiddish to English dictionary handy And maybe a class of Brandy too, to help you through the slow parts The really long slow parts


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