CALL IT SLEEP by Henry Roth

CALL IT SLEEP by Henry Roth, (1934 and again 1991 reprint).

Cover quote:
“One of the few genuinely distinguished novels written by a twentieth century American.”
IRVING HOWE, The New York Times Book Review

This book has a rather long introduction, and I admit I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s like an all inclusive blabbing of the whole story. I don’t want to know what’s going to happen ahead of time. I want to find out as I read it. Here is what I want you to know about this book.

It’s a coming of age book about a young immigrant Jewish boy growing up in 1907 Brooklyn, NYC, and the story starts out in the prologue. Young David meets his father who was already living in Brooklyn, and his young wife didn’t even recognize him when he went to pick them up from Ellis Island he had changed so much.  The unsatisfactory meeting sparked David’s first encounter with his father’s domineering and violent temper. Already we feel sorry for David and his mother having to live with such a man, who loses jobs due to his anger, as we see in the beginning of the book.

Now isn’t that enough for me tell you of this book? I love to read about Jewish people who lived in the past. Perhaps I was a Jew in a past life, you never know….


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