With a new introduction by Aleksandar HemonIn The Tenants 1971 , Bernard Malamud brought his unerring sense of modern urban life to bear on the conflict between blacks and Jews then inflaming his native Brooklyn The sole tenant in a rundown tenement, Henry Lesser is struggling to finish a novel, but his solitary pursuit of the sublime grows complicated when Willie SpearmWith a new introduction by Aleksandar HemonIn The Tenants 1971 , Bernard Malamud brought his unerring sense of modern urban life to bear on the conflict between blacks and Jews then inflaming his native Brooklyn The sole tenant in a rundown tenement, Henry Lesser is struggling to finish a novel, but his solitary pursuit of the sublime grows complicated when Willie Spearmint, a black writer ambivalent toward Jews, moves into the building Henry and Willie are artistic rivals and unwilling neighbors, and their uneasy peace is disturbed by the presence of Willie s white girlfriend Irene and the landlord Levenspiel s attempts to evict both men and demolish the building This novel s conflict, current then, is perennial now it reveals the slippery nature of the human condition, and the human capacity for violence and undoing.
The Tenants With a new introduction by Aleksandar HemonIn The Tenants Bernard Malamud brought his unerring sense of modern urban life to bear on the conflict between blacks and Jews then inflaming his nati
SPOILERS Before reading THE TENANTS, my only exposure to Bernard Malamud was his wonderful baseball novel THE NATURAL That was almost ten years ago To be honest, I had forgotten all about him even if I do think that THE NATURAL is one of the finest books of fiction about my favorite sport So let s come to the present THE TENANTS.The story centers on Harry Lesser, a novelist who has seen success with one novel, followed by a sopho stinker For the past ten years he has been laboring over his third [...]
First, for the record the review that posted a couple of days ago was incomplete The mistake was mine, not GR s Thanks to Alan Shane for helping me notice this Bernard Malamud brought off some of the most finely balanced American short stories of the 50 years, tent shaped angularities of terror vs magic vs the stubborn quandary over what s right The Magic Barrel, The Jew Bird, these other stories tug at the neck hairs beautifully Yet the work of this author that taught me most that haunts me mos [...]
Terrific book ostensibly about Afro Semitic relations in New York set in an all but empty apartment building with intermittent electricity, rats running around and rarely flushable toilets The landlord offers Harry Lesser, a Jewish novelist increasing amounts of money to leave he s the last tenant , but he refuses to do so until he finishes his third novel which he has spent ten years on and thinks the disturbance would ruin it He finds a squatter in a flat below who is black and also a writer a [...]
My God, that was a good book I bought an old edition of Malamud s The Tenants at a used book sale a year ago because I am familiar with and like his work and have taught some of his short stories in my introductory literature courses But none of my previous knowledge about Malamud s work prepared me for this edgy and disturbing masterpiece The novel is set in the late 1960s, early 1970s in a borough of New York City in a run down tenement building, and when we arrive in this world it is the dead [...]
Bernard Malamud s The Tenants, published in 1971, is the fraught story of the novelist Harry Lesser, last remaining tenant of a dilapidated New York apartment building His landlord wants to demolish the old and get on with building something new, but Harry is exercising his statutory rights as a tenant and can t, under the law, be evicted Harry is in the final stages of writing a novel and, fearing the disruptive effects that packing up and moving will have on his creative process, has decided t [...]
Perhaps I should ve read Malamud s works in order, because I just jumped through time into a completely different author I ve read Malamud s first two books and loved them I even loved the crazy debut novel about baseball for crying out loud Then I stepped over five other books and landed in the 1970s 1970 s Malamud is not the same as 1950 s Malamud Gone is the easygoing, beautiful prose that glimmers in its place is a noisy, experimental tale that felt like cocaine on the brain Hey, it was the [...]
The reputation of The Tentants as a novel of Afro Semitic race relations gave me low, low expectations After getting burned bad by Rabbit Redux and Updike s retrospectively cartoonish take on hip African American culture in the 70s I d expected a similar letdown The Tenants surprised me by unfolding as a novel just as much or about writing and the creative process as a novel about race Racial tension figures prominently, I can t deny, but it seems to be a narrative tool than a central focus.Th [...]
Supposedly about man s inhumanity to man, but really about one guy taking another guy s girl when neither of them really give a shit about her , and one writer trying to destroy another s work although both are insatiably intrigued at what the other one is up to The ending COMPLETELY falls apart due to Malamud s inadequaciesd, no, I don t believe it was intentional just because the book was about a writer who couldn t finish his novel after working on it for the last ten years Still, there was s [...]
For context, I have only read The Assistant and The Fixer, and none of Malamud s other books I guess this just wasn t what I was expecting compared to the other two books I d already read it is much experimental in nature, and not as in depth about the characters However, it wasn t just because it simply was this in this style that made me dislike the book because I love other books that are both experimental and wider in scope I just didn t feel as emotionally invested in this one, and ultimat [...]
What an incredible book I mean, the characters are nothing yet, sometimes, something than racial caricatures straight out of a Dave Berg Lighter Side of comic strip from the 70s but Malamud uses them to teach so much about the craft of writing the art, the fear, the envy that it will make you sick in a good way I wouldn t agree with the jacket copy saying that this is was his best work to date Come on , to quote Gob Bluth, I mean, but, hello, The Natural set an unusually high bar for any and a [...]
In this 1971 novel by author Bernard Malamud, Harry Lesser, a Jewish writer is the lone tenant in a New York City resident building that is being abandoned He is struggling with the landlord to allow him to stay there until he finishes the last chapter of his novel, as he likes the quiet of the old building One night, however, while he is there, he hears typing and discovers a black man named Willie Spearmint who unbeknown to the landlord, has taken up temporary residence in the building After d [...]
This is my first experience with Malamud It isn t bad I kind of get sick of the whole writer writing about a writer writing thing It kind of gets tired Still, he has some well developed, interesting characters The pacing is good and the plot interesting It reminded me of Henry Miller a little, though I think I like Malamud better I ll be checking out his other stuff.
I couldn t really get into this book.
Publicado en lecturaylocura los inquiliYa habl de Bernard Malamud en esta rese a de otra novela suya En este caso, y gracias a la misma editorial podemos gozar nuevamente de otra muestra de su buen hacer la sencillez argumental de la novela Los inquilinos esconde sin embargo una complejidad de forma y fondo con una serie de ideas que subyacen desde el principio y que vertebran el texto que nos ofreci el escritor en las apenas doscientas p ginas de las que consta.De entre estas ideas, me gustar a [...]
Meh A Jew and a Black are writers and they hate each other and they treat women like objects Yawn What happened, Malamud
I recall reading this novel shortly after it had come out in 1971 I had fallen in love with his The Natural and admired the The Assistant, but I recall that I didn t know how to appreciate this particular novel I m better prepared this time around, after having read Dubin s Live and the Complete Stories of Bernard Malamud back in November 2013 I can now see that he s working some of the same artist as subject material he covers in that novel and in all of the Fidelman stories In all this, there [...]
Finally a fiction that has me addicted I picked this up to take with me on my current trip, which has me bopping all over the place in airplanes and capable of working only as long as my computer battery lasts It is with great pleasure that I see the battery power run out so I can get back to this book About a couple of writers living in a run down tenement house, this book is original and captivating, both from the point of view of the fiction writer s life and addiction and from the point of v [...]
Basically, a book that makes you hate and distrust black people even than you already do It s hard to find a book written in the past Hell, it s difficult to find now where a black character is admirable unless he s a slave and telling Huck Honey to get back on the boat Most black characters are seen as vicious, untrustworthy individuals who don t talk in complete sentences , and Malamud continued with that tradition The only book I can really think of that had a redeemable, respectable black c [...]
Not as good as earlier Malamud Especially his short story collections The Magic Barrel and Idiots First.Probably was regarded as risky and risque material for a writer his age He was probably approaching 60 when he wrote this book The book deals with a white Jewish writer and an African American writer who work , i.e do their writing, in the same crumbling tenement scheduled for demolition By today s standards fairly stereotypical black white portrayals Occasional surreal passages of dream and p [...]
In this book Malamud shows a gallows humor beyond any of his other books and in places it can only be described as grotesque Malamud s choice of themes is not promising The story of a writer struggling to turn ideas into a coherent novel has been the centerpoint of many a book and seldom delivers an inspiring and enjoyable work of art Racial conflict in this case between urban Jews and blacks has also been covered many times By combining those two themes, we get a double dose of both two deeply [...]
Oooook So the pacing of this book is gorgeous deliberate and fascinating particularly how it speeds up like an out of control train that flies off the tracks at the end upwards of a thousand miles per hour The ending of this book is intensely terrifying, and also brilliantly justified Harry and Willie, a middle aged white man and a middle aged black man, are passionate writers essentially squatting in a decrepit tenement building slated for demolition as they painstakingly type their novels Harr [...]
In the process of deaccessioning some of my books gulp I came across this one, and surprisingly, through research of old journal entries, learned that this was not required reading for a class, but something I chose to buy, along with Lovingkindness by Anne Roiphe, as research for my collegiate novel thesis about a Jewish American family This one did not touch me as much as Lovingkindness, perhaps due to self centered reasons both on my part and Malamud s he was writing of male writers competing [...]
Incredible I was very surprised to find that The Tenants is so different from The Fixer in style, period and mood.Mallamud disguises this book He tricked me into believing that it was a story about self realization in which the hero ties up all of his loose ends after learning his lesson the hard way It s not that I don t enjoy that kind of story, but The Tenants is just so much than that Mallamud does not miss one opportunity to create profound art with his words His message is so important, b [...]
This book started off a little slowly, but it got a lot better after about twenty or so pages It deals with a Jewish writer who is struggling to finish a book he has been trying to write for almost a decade The writer Harry Lesser stubbornly refuses to move out of his apartment in a dilapidated old apartment building, much to the constertation of the landlord, Mr Levenspiel While still in his apartment, Lesser encounters Willie Spearmint, a highly intelligent yet thin skinned African American wr [...]
un palazzo in attesa di demolizione in cui harry lesser continua a vivere sperando di finire il suo romanzo, l arrivo di willie spearmint anche lui scrittore e la rivalit fra i due uomini che sar letteraria, razziale uno ebreo e l altro afroamericano e anche sentimentale romanzo abbastanza tardo di malamud del 1971 e anche molto diverso dalle altre cose sue che ho letto eppure particolare e interessante nel raccontare l ansia creativa che diventa quasi una gara e le differenze tra due persone al [...]
Here s a book that shows its age in its pernicious portrayal of Black anti Semitism long since out of fashion even among the most zealous of our crackpots.E for effort, and T for nice try Fuckin Ofay.See that I flipped it It s me, y all.But seriously, I question this book s continued relevance, except as a cultural historical document, which happens to be written by a sometimes great writer.
Absolutely brilliant Perhaps Malamud s finest work If you are a writer yourself you ll find yourself identifying with Lesser and his desperate race to finish his novel If you have ever considered wanting to write for a living, you ll love this book Malamud has a way with words that s just breathtaking It s present in The Assistant, it s present in the Fixer, and it s present here And with three endings, The Tenants structure and plot never fails to captivate the reader 5 Stars.
This was a disappointment as I m a big fan of BM one of the very few 5 stars on I gave to one of his books I don t hand those things out very much This novel, from 1970 or 1971 is incredibly dated to me It is very much of the era of late 60s and early 70s when counter culture and its off shoots dominated all kinds of creative avenues The book is about writers, race, NY in the early 70s but just comes off dated, naive and kind of silly Too bad.
It s experimental stylistically than other Malamud than I have read, and I like how his yiddish idiom is used for this radical purpose The plot is surreal and maybe symbolic two writers, one white and one black, squatting in a tenement, trying to finish novels keep their wary distance The stories within the story are trippy, disturbing, and still resonant.
I wanted to give the book 4 stars at the opening then 3 stars about halfway 5 3 4 of the way through and 2 stars by the end It s quiteunstable Perhaps that s intentional on the part of the author and I missed the subtle evidence of that fact Either way, it s a book I would probably re read in a few years time to see if maybe I missed something.