Reuben Sachs: A Sketch


Read by Adrian Praetzellis

(4.3 stars; 11 reviews)

Reuben Sachs is a London lawyer whose political aspirations do not include marriage to Judith Quixano, the daughter of a respectable but unexeptional family. But without Reuben, a woman like Judith might have a bleak future in mid-19th century England: a loveless marriage or lifelong dependancy are apparently her only options...
A feminist, a Jew, and a lesbian, Amy Levy wrote about Anglo-Jewish cultural mores and the lives of would-be independent women in Victorian society. Levy was as repelled by contemporary literature's occasional paragon (e.g., Daniel Deronda) as by its more frequent anti-Semitic stereotypes. REUBEN SACHS was her attempt at an honest, warts-and-all account of middle class Jewish life in late-19th century London. While many of Levy's contemporaries condemned the book as a shanda fur die goyim (an embarassment), Oscar Wilde wrote: "Its directness, its uncompromising truths, its depth of feeling, and above all, its absence of any single superfluous word, make REUBEN SACHS, in some sort, a classic." Amy Levy (1861-1889) was born in London and educated in Brighton and at Newnham College, Cambridge. Her social set included Beatrix Potter and Eleanor Marx, with whom she studied in the British Museum Reading Room, and lover Vernon Lee (Violet Padget). (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)

(4 hr 1 min)

Chapters

Chapters 1 and 2 14:39 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 3 and 4 25:50 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 5 and 6 33:56 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 7 and 8 26:49 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 9 and 10 29:04 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 11 and 12 27:24 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 13 and 14 17:17 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 15 and 16 24:42 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapters 17 and 18 20:09 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 19 and Epilogue 22:05 Read by Adrian Praetzellis

Reviews

Just a hint of Amy Levy

(5 stars)

This is a beautiful and sensitive rendering of Amy Levy's short and many layered novel. Tragically, Miss Levy, died by her own hand at a very young age, during years of extreme conformity and repression. So sadly, the reader has been deprived of much insightful prose and poetry, and possibly exquisite writing that surely would have come along if Miss Levy had lived during a more welcoming and enlightened time. I highly recommend reading her scant biographies, prose, poetry, minor editorial/newspaper pieces and the secondary sources which are beginning to appear. To become more acquainted with Miss Levy on a deeper emotional level, try to find accounts of her association with artist, writer, philosopher, and free-thinker, Vernon Lee.

Meh

(2 stars)

I couldn’t keep going with this one. No story for a verrry long time, just endless shallow descriptions of not very interesting characters engaged in banal social interaction. Maybe it eventually goes somewhere, but I just couldn’t stick with it any longer. Great narration from this reader as usual...it’s the book I was un-thrilled by.

Well read short story

(4 stars)

Could almost be non-fiction story of Jewish family life. Twists of fate for any human is story plot.

very good

(5 stars)

a fabulous reader for a very good book.