The Assistant

The Assistant

A Novel

Book - 1957
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Frank Alpine, an Italian-American drifter on the run from his past, stumbles into the orbit of struggling Brooklyn grocer Morris Bober. Seeing a chance to atone for his sins, Frank becomes Bober's stock boy and runs the store when the owner takes ill. But it is Bober's daughter , Helen , who gives Frank a real reason to turn his life around.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957
Characteristics: 246 p. ; 22 cm


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Oct 29, 2015

This 1957 novel depicts the story of a NYC Jewish shopkeeper operating a failing business in a gentile neighborhood. Morris Bober, our poor shopkeeper lives daily on the brink of bankruptcy when along comes “The Assistant” to help run the shop. “The Assistant may be skimming some money from the till and soon he has eyes on Bobers’ daughter, which would be another kind of theft that Bober would have to suffer. We view this all in the context of 20th century Jewish big city culture. Rated as one of the best 100 novels rated in Time Magazine since 1923.

multcolib_central Jul 24, 2014

The storytelling is masterfully and the intensity is nearly Russian. The protagonist in this brilliant novel is haunted by guilt and seeks redemption for crime which he can't help but commit. There's a great deal going on in this powerful tale.

Dec 20, 2013

Bernard Malamud was part of the wave of post-war East Coast Jewish writers (Roth, Bellow, Mailer), but his reputation has been eclipsed by his contemporaries. He is probably best know because he wrote "The Natural," which became a movie. His second novel is a rather drab, social realist look at characters working in a store in NYC.


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

When I don't feel hurt, I hope they bury me.


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