The Adventures of Menahem-Mendl

Front Cover
Putnam, 1969 - Fiction - 222 pages
1 Review
Menahem-Mendl is one of Sholom Aleichem's richest characterizations. An incurable optimist, whose every venture ends in disaster, he is the perennial Luftmensch who never ceases to build castles in the air.

The exchange of letters between Menahem-Mendl, trying his luck in the bigger cities of Czarist Russia, and his wife, who remains behind in a small town in the hinterlands, relates his hilarious, but frustrating, experiences as he seeks his fortune-first as a currency and stock speculator (who cannot speculate), as a matchmaker (who cannot arrange marriages), as an author (who cannot write), and as an agent (who buys what he cannot sell).

As his hopes repeatedly rise only to vanish in smoke, as he becomes involved with rascals and rogues, rich men and poor, the reader is at once amused and astounded by the predicaments in which he becomes entangled. But no more so than his long-suffering, ever-faithful wife, Sheineh-Sheindl -- scolding and querulous, but ever ready to succor him in his most desperate moments.

In re-creating a vanished way of life with warmth and considerable verve, the book reflects the eternal human condition, equally true and meaningful today. "The adventures of Menahem-Mendl" is a memorable achievement-a masterwork by an eminent figure of world literature.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mojomomma - LibraryThing

A husband and wife's exchange of letters while he goes off to Odessa and other cities to seek his fortune. He is taken over and over again while she sits at home and stews and passes on her mother's ... Read full review

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1969)

Sholom Aleichem (Hebrew greeting meaning "Peace be unto you!") was born near Pereyaslav, Ukraine, and settled in the United States two years before his death. The most popular and beloved of all Yiddish writers, he wrote with humor and tenderness about the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe and won the title "the Jewish Mark Twain". One of his creations, Tevye the Dairyman, has become world famous, thanks to the highly successful Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, which is based on Sholom Aleichem's Tevye stories. Although he also wrote plays and novels, it is for his short stories and his humorous monologues that Sholom Aleichem is best remembered.

Bibliographic information