The Fixer: A Novel (FSG Classics)
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The Fixer is the winner of the 1967 National Book Award for Fiction and the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The Fixer (1966) is Bernard Malamud's best-known and most acclaimed novel -- one that makes manifest his roots in Russian fiction, especially that of Isaac Babel.
Set in Kiev in 1911 during a period of heightened anti-Semitism, the novel tells the story of Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman blamed for the brutal murder of a young Russian boy. Bok leaves his village to try his luck in Kiev, and after denying his Jewish identity, finds himself working for a member of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds Society. When the boy is found nearly drained of blood in a cave, the Black Hundreds accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Arrested and imprisoned, Bok refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit.
want to eat,” said the fixer, “I want to fast.” “What the hell for?” said Kogin. “For God’s world.” “I thought you didn’t believe in God.” “I don’t.” “The hell with you,” said Kogin. “Well, good luck and no hard feelings,” Berezhinsky said uneasily. “Duty is duty. The prisoner’s the prisoner, the guard’s the guard.” From the window came the sound of a troop of horses clattering into the prison yard. “It’s the Cossacks,” said Berezhinsky. “Will I have to walk in the middle of the street?”
left side of the carriage, a thick-shouldered man with overhanging brows and a mustache turning gray, gazed impassively ahead; but the rider cantering along on the door side, a youth of twenty or so on a gray mare, from time to time stole a glance at Yakov when he was staring out the window, as though trying to measure his guilt or innocence. “Innocent!” the fixer cried out to him. “Innocent!” And though he had no reason to, he smiled a little at the Cossack for his youth and good looks, and for
after a while there was a splash. The officials looked at one another but the Investigating Magistrate walked away. “The room’s upstairs, your honor,” Marfa said to the Prosecuting Attorney. “It’s small as you’ll see, but Zhenia was small himself for a lad his age. That’s not from me, you’ll notice, because I don’t lack size, but from his cowardly father who deserted us.” She smiled nervously. Marfa led them in and hurried upstairs to show the officials where the poor child had slept. They
the world? Please have mercy.” “The Tsar’s heart is in God’s hands.” He stepped into his white sailboat and sailed away on the Black Sea. Nikolai Maximovitch had lost weight, the girl limped badly and would not look at the fixer. Proshko, Serdiuk and Richter came in on three skittish horses whose droppings were full of oats he longed to get at. Father Anastasy sought to convert him to Roman Catholicism. Marfa Golov, wept dry-eyed and haggard, offered him a bribe to testify against himself; and
He asked what good news. The former jurist said this was the year of the three-hundredth anniversary of the rule of the House of Romanov and that the Tsar, in celebration, would issue a ukase amnestying certain classes of criminals. Yakov’s name would be listed among them. He was to be pardoned and permitted to return to his village. The old man’s face flushed with pleasure. The prisoner clung to the wall, too burdened to speak. Then he asked, Pardoned as a criminal or pardoned as innocent? The