Call It Sleep

Call It Sleep

Henry Roth Walter Allen / Aug 19, 2019

Call It Sleep When Henry Roth published Call It Sleep his first novel in it was greeted with critical acclaim But in that dark Depression year books were hard to sell and the novel quickly dropped out of

  • Title: Call It Sleep
  • Author: Henry Roth Walter Allen
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Henry Roth published Call It Sleep, his first novel, in 1934, it was greeted with critical acclaim But in that dark Depression year, books were hard to sell, and the novel quickly dropped out of sight, as did its twenty eight year old author Only with its paperback publication in 1964 did the novel receive the recognition it deserves Call It Sleep was the first papWhen Henry Roth published Call It Sleep, his first novel, in 1934, it was greeted with critical acclaim But in that dark Depression year, books were hard to sell, and the novel quickly dropped out of sight, as did its twenty eight year old author Only with its paperback publication in 1964 did the novel receive the recognition it deserves Call It Sleep was the first paperback ever to be reviewed on the front page of The New York Times Book Review, and it proceeded to sell millions of copies both in the United States and around the world Call It Sleep is the magnificent story of David Schearl, the dangerously imaginative child coming of age in the slums of New York.

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      Posted by:Henry Roth Walter Allen
      Published :2018-011-01T08:32:11+00:00

    About "Henry Roth Walter Allen"

      • Henry Roth Walter Allen

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    814 Comments

    1. If I read this in 1934 I would have thrown my socialist cap into the air and declared it to be genius. But not now, friends, not now. James Joyce's name crops up in reviews of this book all the time, but the similarities are superficial. Stream of consciousness, yep, that's about it. Don't misunderestimate me through, Henry Roth is a very remarkable writer. But reading him gave me the same feelings the coffee shop manager has towards Phoebe's singing in Friends -"Don't you like Phoebe's singing? [...]


    2. I fell in love with the boy in this book. Proust, pay attention. A serious child who loves his mama doesn't have to whine. And this kid faced much more adversity than having to go to bed during dinner parties.Back when NKOTB still signed posters for squealing girls, I lived for sleeping over at a friend's house. Most of my friends attended the same church I did, but didn't live for church. They were allowed to breathe and have two piece bathing suits. I was not. My parents lived like a light on [...]


    3. Call It Sleep is a profound tale about all sorts of child’s fears. Bereft of father’s love David has no choice but to become a mummy’s boy. And he finds himself standing on the threshold of the hostile, inimical and indifferent world.“Relieved by slight flurries in traffic from his father’s smouldering eye, David stared unhappily at the houses gliding past the doorway. He felt strange – feverish almost. Whether it was that he had been staring down into the cellar too long, or whether [...]


    4. I'm not sure what to make of 450+ pages told through the eyes of a 6-8 year old child, with a child's thoughts, a child's understanding and a child's limited understanding. The story is told in 3 styles: the straightforward English style being the parts where people are speaking Yiddish, the phonetic dialect parts to supposedly show how difficult it is for immigrants to understand English and stream-of-consciousness style of David's thoughts (a child's thoughts). The phonetic sections were diffi [...]


    5. All the beauty of Joyce with none of his pretension, accessible and poetic, spiritual and religious. By far my most intense reading experience.


    6. After 20 years of attempting to break open this novel (Call It Sleep by Henry Roth, I have finally finished it, thanks to a challenge. Once I finally was able to deal with the long sections written in dialect form (something I find very difficult to read), deal with the interspersed writings in Yiddish as well as other languages (also written in a dialect-a double whammy), I discovered an amazing novel.A breathtaking, horrifying, gorgeous novel: poem, journalism, stream of conscious, realist, ps [...]


    7. To read Call It Sleep, one wouldn't automatically assume that it was published in 1934. There's a timelessness to the story, and the writing smells modern and familiar; I would have sworn it was published in the 70s or 80s and was just going to be a nice work of historical fiction. I'm think it is interesting to note that it was published during the Great Depression in America, and I wonder if that accounts for the lack of sales during its time. Perhaps readers weren't ready for it, perhaps it w [...]


    8. An elegant, pre-adolescent Bildungsroman of sorts, a sort of urban-poetic mural of artistic perception and familial love. While reading Call It Sleep, I had the feeling of being in the presence of the most unassuming literary genius I'd never heard much about. Though the linguistic characteristics are fairly interesting, it's the wholly authentic rendering of David's inner struggles and the portrayal of mother-son love that make the book great.Thanks, Will!


    9. This book is incredible - I've never read anything like it. I was expecting an immigrant experience story, a sort of "American Tail" rife with descriptions of seders and gefilte fish the way Mama used to make and so forth. This is NOT that. This book is completely original, intensely personal, and very disturbing. Disturbing not because of a specific event (e.g rape, abuse, etc. - though those things, or at least close relatives of those things, do happen), but because, for the 400 or so pages o [...]


    10. The weather for the last two days has been spectacular. Not a cloud in the rich blue sky, the temperature sitting at a perfect 72 degrees, with a gentle ten miles an hour breeze. How do I know? I looked it up on weather. No, I did not go out this weekend. I was reading. I even had to make a ‘numbah one,’ as it is described by the young boy in this novel, for the last four hours of it. But I could not. I was reading. I, for some very odd reason, am stuck in a period in which I never existed. [...]



    11. Memo to Saul Bellow THIS is how you write an American Jewish novel. Joking aside, and with little in the way of preamble, please allow me to say that this truly is an opus of the rarest kind. Akin to Melville's Moby Dick and Jones' From Here to Eternity, this work is the result of a soul laid bare and detailed with the heaviest, the most austere, but in the end, most telling kind of language. Though some of the dialogue (better parsed as dialect) is hard to read (probably more so for those witho [...]


    12. Finally done with this horrendous book! It was so long, and practically nothing happened in it. The main character is a whiny, snivelling, cowardly little boy who goes around living in fear. The awful dialogue throughout the book is both excessive and confusing, and David's stream-of-consciousness internal monologues are extremely irritating. It's over 400 pages of insufferable pain, and at the end, nothing really happens. Nothing is resolved. One of the worst books I've ever read.



    13. Henry Roth all’età di 25-26 anni (viene pubblicato per la prima volta nel 34) fa sua la lezione di Harry James e quella di James Joyce, la trapianta nel solco ebraico tracciato da Isaac Singer, ma la fa propria e tira furi uno dei massimi capolavori della letteratura americana del 900, uno di quei libri che restano impressi nella memoria, per poi scomparire nel nulla fino agli anni sessanta. Solo allora una ristampa di questo grande romanzo lo riporta in auge e lo convince a scrivere ancora, [...]


    14. With remarkable control over language and an intuitive instinct for rhythm and sound, Roth presents life through the eyes of a young Jewish immigrant. When David, the boy, is with his mother in the sanctuary of their home, the language is melodic and harmonious. When outside, interacting with others, the language becomes more chaotic, stressful, and ultimately jarring. Using voice, Roth presents all sides of a character. You know, and understand them through the eyes of David, but when another c [...]


    15. This sounds terribly vulgar, but I just couldn't get over Roth's ham-fisted attempts to transliterate New York street-kid English to the written page. My mental reading voice makes each sentence sound like Feivel from An American Tail.There were some utterly lovable scenes, and some memorable characters. I'd kick it with Aunt Bertha any day of the week. But the bulk of the story was simply pleasant, honest, and unexceptional.And then the ending, holy crap. Suddenly, Roth takes flight on this biz [...]


    16. The cover says, "One of the few genuinely distinguished novels written by a 20th-century American." (What does that even mean.) Pero lo siento, I think that Faulkner > Henry Roth.Call It Sleep is a lot of gorgeous writing in an incredibly drawn-out narrative with no sense of pacing. Jarringly throughout there's the frequent enthusiastic insertion of choppy streams of consciousness, which are inspired by James Joyce, which makes me not want to read James Joyce.Some people wonder why this novel [...]


    17. Anybody who has ever wanted to write should read this. I mean no hyperbole by saying so. This is one of the few novels I've ever seen to use dialect and get it right. In most hands it's distracting, or patronizing to the outsiders it is usually attributed to. In Call It Sleep the broken Yiddish-English and street lingo complete the reader's immersion in young David Schearl's world.As a recent immigrant, David's journey from innocence to experience is a vivid one. A sensitive child, he is bullied [...]


    18. I decided to read this book when I found it on several lists of modern classics, and I'd never heard of it before.Call It Sleepseemed to me to have three different styles of narration: first, the direct description of the boy David's experience in his home, written in plain, excellent prose that captures the depths of his love for his mother and his fear of his father. Second is the immigrant child's life on the streets, written in phonetically rendered dialect that made me want to bang my head [...]


    19. People like this book for all kinds of reasons. Most important to me has always been that Roth is really good at rendering what it's like to be a scared kid, especially how painful it is to become aware of things one was happier not knowing.


    20. 1993. Nach Osten, Vienna, Cescky Crumlov, Brno, Bratislava, Budapest, Cracovia, Praga, Trieste (saltando Berlino perchè in 20 giorni la quantità di cose belle e nuove che si possono vedere ha un limite, in me) in compagnia di un bambino polacco ebreo che vede le cose e fa sogni strani. In mezzo a campi di concentramento, cimiteri ebraici, sinagoghe, ghetti e atrocità varie. Tra abbazie benedettine nel mezzo della puzta (e multe di sedicenti poliziotti ungheresi) e terme favolose. In un Est ch [...]


    21. Poor young David is an only child on the Lower East Side a bit more than one hundred years ago. His life is laid bare in this tale. Descriptions and lots of dialog describe the Jewish culture at this time. Somewhat dull, and very long.


    22. I do not award five stars to any books lightly, but this marvelous evocation of early-20th century New York through the eyes of a young immigrant boy easily earns this rating.Davy emigrates from Eastern Europe as a child. He comes with his mother to join a father who has been in the United States for some years, saving money for their passage. His mother is strong and stalwart, while his father is bitter and suspicious. In this mix, Davy tries to make sense of life in New York City, shuttling be [...]


    23. OK, I'm going to go for it this time. First of all I started out liking the book but after about 80 pages lost interest. And in fact I stopped reading twice before finally deciding to finish it. While some of the writing is gorgeous, I found much of the book unreadable and often felt like tearing out page after page of the idiomatic dialogue which, I had to read out loud to get any sense of what was going on. And then realizing that knowing what was being said didn't really matter in the end. I [...]


    24. In Call It Sleep, David Schearl, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, straddles between his Yiddish background and the American culture. The dialogues in the novel—Yiddish written in prose and English in dialect—highlight the clash and synthesis of the two worlds. It is the essential immigrant experience, to straddle between two cultures, to struggle with identity, and ultimately to reconcile and integrate the two into a new creation. Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been a microc [...]


    25. A very simple story about an immigrant boy growing up inNew York's Jewish ghettoes in the early 20th century. Thebook captures the fear of being an outcast child betterthan anything else I've ever read; indeed, it gets insideof one character's head better than most any writer.Spectacular characterization; worth owning for that reasonalone.


    26. revelatory when i read it, not sure now as it was so long ago, but twenty years ago it was one of the greatest novels ever written to me


    27. Takes the personal stories of Modern writers like James Joyce and brings them to an American immigrant's experience, showing how that experience colors the Bildungsroman in distinctly American ways. Some of the text rises to high poetic levels, though I think other writers of the period were better at working with stream of consciousness than Roth. Has some very difficult scenes to read, so be prepared to be disturbed, even shocked.


    28. I hate to admit that I'm throwing in the towel at page 200. I loved the first 100 pages but then it became too repetitive and I found the NYC dialect the kids spoke annoying. I gave up in the middle of the Hebrew school section with the nasty rabbi. I liked the first part enough to have ordered his later trilogy ( or is it quartet?), but we shall see if I get around to reading it.


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