As a devotee of his contemporary Isaac Bashevis SInger, a writer of the same Jewish immigrant experience of the early 20th century, this was my first taste of Malamud and I was disappointed. Many of the stories were very slow moving and not that interesting - a fair amount of pathos as with the failing store owners of the depression era, but not much joy and whatever scandal fairly tame stuff from one accustomed to SInger. He does know how to tell a story, the craft is there, it just isn't that exciting.
While "The Lady of The Lake" is the best story many of the other stories are great.
Unforgettable characters reappear throughout many of his stories. I still remember his likable "Jew Bird" complaining about "anti-Semeets."
This author is a master of his craft. Locales include NYC of course, but also an artistic journey to Venice, relayed in dazzling imagery.
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