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Job is the tale of Mendel Singer, a pious, destitute Eastern-European Jew and children’s Torah teacher whose faith is tested at every turn. His youngest son seems to be incurably disabled, one of his older sons joins the Russian Army, the other deserts to America, and his daughter is running around with a Cossack. When he flees with his wife and daughter, further blows of fate await him. In this modern fable based on the biblical story of Job, Mendel Singer witnesses the collapse of his world, experiences unbearable suffering and loss, and ultimately gives up hope and curses God, only to be saved by a miraculous reversal of fortune.
A beautifully written, and in the end uplifting, parable for an era of upheaval . . . Job, opened to any page, offers something of beauty. . . Ross Benjamin's excellent new translation gives us both the realism and the poetry."
—The Quarterly Conversation
The totality of Joseph Roth's work is no less than a tragédie humaine achieved in the techniques of modern fiction."
Joseph Roth was a permanent novelist. His Job was a worthy precursor of that masterpiece [The Radetzky March] . . . [Job is] both immensely sorrowful and finally strangely hopeful."
Job is more than a novel and legend, it is a pure, perfect poetic work, which is destined to outlast everything that we, his contemporaries, have created and written. In unity of construction, in depth of feeling, in purity, in the musicality of the language, it can scarcely be surpassed."
This life of an everyday man moves us as if someone had written of our lives, our longings, our struggles. Roth’s language has the discipline and rigor of German Classicism. A great and harrowing book that no one can resist."
Job is perfect. . . . a novel as lyric poem."