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Publisher's Summary

The Fixer is the winner of the 1967 National Book Award for Fiction and the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The Fixer (1966) is Bernard Malamud's best-known and most acclaimed novel - one that makes manifest his roots in Russian fiction, especially that of Isaac Babel.

Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy. Bok leaves his village to try his luck in Kiev and, after denying his Jewish identity, finds himself working for a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds Society. When the boy is found nearly drained of blood in a cave, the Black Hundreds accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit.

©1966 Bernard Malamud, renewed 1994 by Ann D. Malamud (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Fixer

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Technical Problems Need To Ne Resolved

This is a great novel and very capably narrated. However, the audiobook literally cut off right before the ending of the book. Ridiculous but true. Audible needs to send me another recording (unless the author intended to finish this major work in mid-sentence!

6 people found this helpful

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10 hours of despair, hopelessness and cruelty.

it's well-written and well-read but I kept waiting for something more to happen; some relief to the suffering, but it never comes. In terms of misery this book lands somewhere between the Book of Job and Jude The Obscure. The abrupt ending shocked me. I was left wanting more. It's just so depressing.

1 person found this helpful

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Historical fiction written by a master

This story is based on the historical blood libel ordeal of Mendel Bialis in 1911 in Russia. Its unfortunate that Malamud didnt give proper attribution to Bialis. The story is an accurate presentation of the vicious anti-Semitism that was so prevalent in Russia at the time. An innocent Jewish man is falsely accused of a horrific child murder for ritual purposes and tortured in Russian prison without even a trial or a lawyer to represent him. The one person who could help him is himself murdered.
Malmud's portrayal is vivid and horrific. the narrator brings to life the fear and torment suffered by the protagonist, the "Fixer" Yaakov Bok and his quest to be cleared of false charges against a system determined to blame him just because of his ethnicity

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Depressing

This book was too depressing. It was narrated too fast to sometimes keep up with the story.

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when you thought it couldn't get any worse

after decades of waiting to find and listen to this book, finally I gratefully,
did.

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Long tedious, and?

Maybe I should have paid more attention to Spinoza, but this is a difficult tedious listen or read. Suffering is pointless, as is racism, but this book could easily have been condensed to 2 or 3 hours. Read a summary as I wouldn't recommend it.

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Good history lesson

The issue of always blaming the Jews for all a counties ills is continuous over time. It’s amazing how some people will create their own truth to satisfy their own prejudices. The book itself was pretty good but the ending ruined the whole experience.

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Utterly depressing

This book would be more aptly titled The Damned. Really not much story beyond the misery enacted on the Fixer.

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  • Blind Boy
  • 04-15-19

Worse than all the rest

I think Bernard wrote some really huge novels which are even today no dated crap. I have read 'The Fixer' back in the 80's when I was a kid in a briliant Hungarian translation. And you know what? This original version simply does not work for me. It's like a not bad Russian novel translated by a mediocre American high school teacher. The major irritation has been caused by its vocabulary. Like an ambitious first novel which desperately needs loads of editing. I don't recall what has been so appealing in it back in 1985. I am sorry.
If you want to know the real Malamud, read instead 'The Assistant' or 'A New Life' and please the incredible audio version of his complete stories released by Audible Studios. As fresh as today's peach.

1 person found this helpful

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  • EM
  • 12-31-20

Interesting but without emotions

It functions more as a testimony than a novel. The characters are functional to the argument.