The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern Publication Day

When I was five, I developed a morbid fascination with the chicken fillets in my grandmother’s freezer. I was absolutely sure that they were the remains of her late, misanthropic cat Griffer. I was denied animal companionship for the first five years of my life because we lived in a no-pets apartment. Luckily, I was an inventive kid. I had a slew of imaginary pets, Dead Griffer included. I don’t think my grandmother was particularly attached to Griffer (not enough to store him in the freezer, anyway), but I was convinced. I distinctly remember sneaking out of bed at night to pay my respects to the frozen chicken breasts.

In The Frozen Rabbi, the basement freezer houses something even better than cat fillets: a cryogenically preserved, nineteenth-century rabbi. Steve Stern cavorts across a century of Jewish history, through a pogrom, and across the Atlantic to tell the story of how Rabbi Eliezer ben Zephyr ended up in a freezer, where he is discovered by a hapless fifteen-year-old boy named Bernie. “Some people got taxidermied pets in the attic, we got a frozen rabbi in the basement,” says Bernie’s father. Bernie unwittingly thaws the rabbi during a blackout and unleashes him on Memphis, setting off a chain of mayhem and miracles that will keep you on the edge of your beach chair until the last, scintillating sentence.

Steve Stern is a born storyteller. He lets absurd situations carry the plot while downplaying their absurdity. The result is understated, hilarious, and bursting with Steve Stern’s uncorked enthusiasm. I’d like to imagine that most authors have fun writing their books, but rarely have I seen such tangible evidence as in The Frozen Rabbi. Better still, it’s now out in paperback! Get thee to thy local bookstore.

We’re giving away three copies this week. To enter, just leave a comment on our blog or our Facebook page.

Jordan Castelloe, Intern

Praise for The Frozen Rabbi:

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

“[An] extraordinary story… recounted by Stern with manic virtuosity.  The voracious pace lets Stern spill a hundred years of vivid Jewish history onto the page… He writes with piercing zeal.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Among the wonders awaiting the reader of Steve Stern’s exuberant new novel . . . is one of sheer logistics: How did he get all of this in here? The book’s 370 pages are packed to bursting with epic adventure and hysterical comedy, with grim poignancy and pointed satire, as Stern repeatedly shifts time and tone to craft a wildly entertaining tale.” —The Washington Post Book World

“In the 25 years since [Stern] published his first book, younger Jewish writers have run with a similar shtick . . . In Jonathan Safran Foer, you see Stern’s fanciful English, in Nicole Krauss his magic realism, in Michael Chabon his updated golems and gun-toting shtarkers. But Stern was there first, and with The Frozen Rabbi it feels like he may be last too: this is a novel so rich, full, funny, dense and exhausting, it feels like there may be no more Steve Stern books left to write—by him, or anyone else.” —The Toronto Globe and Mail

“[A] wonderfully entertaining, inventive new novel that evokes Amy Bloom, Michael Chabon and Isaac Bashevis Singer . . . Laugh-out-loud funny, the sort of humor that takes you by surprise.” —NPR.org

“A funny, profound and virtuosic work . . . This fast-paced romp through history . . . is a rare enchantment.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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31 Comments On This Post:

June 14, 2011
10:28 am
jenny says...

would really love to try your books

June 14, 2011
10:28 am
Athena says...

I’ve been wanting to read this! It sounds great. Would love to win a copy!

June 14, 2011
10:29 am
Paula says...

This sounds like one of those “laugh out loud” books!!!

June 14, 2011
10:29 am
JJ Patton says...

I’d love a copy of this book.

June 14, 2011
10:30 am
Rena says...

This looks like a really fun book! Would love to read and review it!

June 14, 2011
10:31 am
carmen says...

enter me–i’d love a copy :)

June 14, 2011
10:31 am
Boyu H says...

Sounds cool! Please count me in! :)

June 14, 2011
10:33 am
Margie Hunter says...

I really need a laugh-out-loud book right this minute! This sounds great!

June 14, 2011
10:34 am
Heather says...

The synopsis has me hooked!!! Now I’ll HAVE to read it!

June 14, 2011
10:35 am
Jill Hartmann says...

Have heard really good things about this book – would LOVE a copy! Thanks

June 14, 2011
10:37 am
Lucy Ruthnum says...

This sounds brilliant and something a bit different for a poolside read. Would love a copy!

June 14, 2011
10:39 am
Colleen Turner says...

Wow this definitely sounds like nothing I have ever heard before! I would love the opportunity to win a copy!

June 14, 2011
10:40 am
Rachel McElhany says...

That sounds like a great book – I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for doing a giveaway!

June 14, 2011
10:52 am
Pam S. says...

Sounds like a lot of fun. Intend to read it soon.

June 14, 2011
11:10 am
Grace says...

I would love to win a copy of the book!

June 14, 2011
12:02 pm
Phyllis Herrick says...

This sounds like the perfect summer read!

June 14, 2011
12:04 pm
Greg says...

Count me in!

June 14, 2011
12:13 pm
Michelle Miller says...

This sounds like a very interesting book. Thanks for the chance!

June 14, 2011
12:21 pm
Laurie Blum says...

Sounds like a unique read…hope I win a copy :-)

June 14, 2011
12:25 pm
matkeltri says...

At first glance I thought it was “The Frozen Rabbit.” That would be a very different story.

June 14, 2011
12:40 pm
Susan Johnson says...

I would love to read this! Sign me up for the give away….crossing my fingers;)

June 14, 2011
1:08 pm
Linda Hoffenberg says...

I just finished Algonquin book “my father’s paradise” and loved it! This sounds like another fascinating book-I would love a copy!

June 14, 2011
1:32 pm
Jenn Flynn says...

This is bringing back memories of the stories my late father used to tell us! I have got to find this for my collection!!

June 14, 2011
2:01 pm
Susan says...

This sounds hilarious, actually sounds, sort of like the Golem( a clay man that came alive).Please enter me in the giveaway.

June 14, 2011
2:40 pm
Jackie says...

Yes, please! :)

June 14, 2011
2:41 pm
Jessica M. says...

Sounds like a really fun read — I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

June 14, 2011
4:51 pm
Anjelica Whitehorne says...

I’d like in, too! Sounds great!!

June 14, 2011
5:29 pm
Martha@Hey, I want to read that says...

Sounds like a wonderful read, thanks for the chance.

June 14, 2011
11:17 pm
Shannon Campbell says...

This sounds like a wonderful read! And to know the author enjoyed writing it I am sure it will be amusing. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

June 15, 2011
2:54 pm
May says...

I have frozen chicken in my freezer but no rabbi. This sounds like a winner of a book and I’d love to win a free copy.

June 19, 2011
11:58 pm
Tiffany D. says...

This looks really interesting. I’d love to give it a go!

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