Two Jews on a Train
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Two Jews on a Train : Stories from the Old Country and the New

3.76 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

So two Jews were on a train. "All Eastern European Jewish jokes start this way, or almost," says Adam Biro, who has masterfully assembled this rich volume of such stories, tales in which we hear the voices of generations using humor to teach about the delicacy, anguish, and unpredictability of life itself. Biro spins his stories artfully and patiently - "Biro takes his time," says the Spectator's Jonathan Mirsky, "a big plus in Jewish jokes" - gently guiding the reader toward the inevitable, yet surprising, and often poignant punch line.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 141.2 x 213.9 x 10.7mm | 195.05g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0226052168
  • 9780226052168
  • 466,838

Flap copy

"Somewhere between Isaac Bashevis Singer and Morey Amsterdam." "Kirkus Reviews" Two Jews were on a train: "All Eastern European Jewish jokes start this way, or almost," says Adam Biro, who has assembled this rich volume of such stories, tales in which thanks to a masterful translation by Catherine Tihanyi we can hear the voices of generations using humor to teach about the delicacy, anguish, and unpredictability of life itself."show more

About Adam Biro

Adam Biro is a French publisher and author who was born in Hungary. His previous books include Dictionnaire general du surrealisme et de ses environs (coedited with Rene Passeron) and Tsigane. Catherine Tihanyi is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University.show more

Review quote

"In applying an Old World sensibility to the present, the author underscores the nature of the divide between them, and the increasingly despairing punchline of each joke seems to become: Why did You abandon us?" - The New Yorker "A sort of whimsical Jewish Arabian Nights that takes you to Baghdad and New York, Paris and Brussels. If its spirit could be summed up in one sentence, it might be the one from the book describing a 100-year-old patriarch, who 'loved life in spite of his infinite despair about human beings and their condition." - Elaine Kalman Naves, Montreal Gazette "Somewhere between Isaac Bashevis Singer and Morey Amsterdam." - Kirkus Reviews "You have to read Adam Biro... for the little details between the lines, which are awe inspiring!" - La liberte, on the French edition "There are tales of schnorrers, matchmakers, gossips, immigrants, a golf-playing rabbi.... Between the lines are tales of the fragility of love, friendship and of life itself, and the possibilities of redemption. The strength of these stories is Biro's skill as a story-teller and his apparent love of the material. He has a light touch and the tales are short, but packed full of imagery and emotion." - Sandee Brawarsky, Jewish Weekshow more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 31% (8)
4 27% (7)
3 31% (8)
2 12% (3)
1 0% (0)
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