Thursday, July 23, 2009

Opening Sentence of the Day: The Fixer

"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." -- The Fixer by Bernard Malamud. Based on a true story, The Fixer is the story of a Russian Jew in Tsarist Russia who was unjustly accused of murdering a Christian boy. It won the 1966 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award and I am trying to read the books on both of these lists. I keep putting off The Fixer because I have been unable to work up enthusiasm for a book this grim. To spur me into reading it, I made it the "double dipper" choice for my Battle of the Prizes Challenge. Now that I have started it, I am sucked in. Even though this will end in tears, Malamud is such a masterful storyteller, I am completely absorbed by Yakov's tragic tale.


  1. I didn't know The Fixer was based on a true story. I only wish I were reading it now, so we could compare thoughts. As it is I don't think I will get to it until the end of August:(

  2. I have been yearning for Olive Kitteridge to kick off your challenge, but feel a change of direction coming on, due to your enthusiasm.

    Glad to hear you are so pleasantly surprised by this one! I'll know my reaction around Aug. 1 (when my current challenge ends).

  3. This sounds incredibly interesting. I can imagine just how grim this must be, but the topic is a fascinating one and I doubt it would have received so much recognition for no reason. I'm surprised I never noticed this one... I'll certainly have to read it.

  4. I am glad I'm reading it. It is deceptively simple as the story just tumbles along, but you realize that things are getting really, really bad and you are being sucked down the same whirlpool of hopelessness as the hero. And now I can't stop thinking about it.


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