Odessa Stories by Isaac Babel
(Pushkin Collection)

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This is an excellent translation by Boris Dralyuk; I gather Babel can be a nightmare to translate. By the time you get to the final story, “Esther’s Ring”, and read the words “What on earth could compare to the Odessa flea market?”, you need no convincing that it would indeed have been incomparable.
-Guardian

Synopsis

'Everyone makes mistakes, even God.'

In the original Odessa Stories collection published in 1931, Babel describes the life of the fictional Jewish mob boss Benya Krik - one of the great anti-heroes of Russian literature - and his gang in the ghetto of Moldavanka, around the time of the October Revolution. Praised by Maxim Gorky and considered one of the great masterpieces of twentieth-century Russian literature, this is the first ever stand-alone collection of all Babel's narratives set in the city, and includes the original stories as well as later tales.
 

About Isaac Babel

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Isaac Babel (1894–1941) was a short-story writer, playwright, and correspondent with the Red Army forces during the Russian civil war. He died in a Soviet gulag in 1941.Efraim Sicher teaches at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.David McDuff has translated works by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky for Penguin Classics.
 
Published November 15, 2016 by Pushkin Collection. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Nov 01 2016

This is an excellent translation by Boris Dralyuk; I gather Babel can be a nightmare to translate. By the time you get to the final story, “Esther’s Ring”, and read the words “What on earth could compare to the Odessa flea market?”, you need no convincing that it would indeed have been incomparable.

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