Ice Fire Water: A Leib Goldkorn Cocktail

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9780393320909: Ice Fire Water: A Leib Goldkorn Cocktail
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"At once a travel tale, a historical meditation, a Holocaust revenge fantasy, and a bedroom farce."―D. T. Max, New York Times Book Review

Leib Goldkorn, aged musician, first appeared almost a quarter-century ago in The Steinway Quintet. Now Leib has replaced his magic flute with his phallus: it is love, longing, and the quest for sexual fulfillment that must stave off both his own death and the imminent destruction of the Jews. In Ice he rescues the celebrated skater Sonja Henie from Hitler's clutches. In Fire his paramour is Carmen Miranda. And in Water he engages in a South Sea Island intrigue with a famous swimming star of the 1940s. Meanwhile, in the present, Leib seeks consummation with three other inamoratas: Clara, his wife; Hustler model Miss Crystal Knight; and the critic Michiko Kakutani (causing a real-life literary scandal). In this "wickedly funny" (Elle) and no less heartbreaking novel, Leib Goldkorn emerges as one of American literature's most enduring, and endearing, creations. A New York Times Notable Book; a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.

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Review:

Sonja Henie, Carmen Miranda, and Esther Williams have something more in common than simply their film careers--all have been romanced by Leib Goldkorn, the nonagenarian hero of Leslie Epstein's Ice Fire Water. Readers familiar with this elderly Holocaust survivor from Epstein's 1976 The Steinway Quintet and 1985 Goldkorn Tales will already know that he is hardly the most reliable of narrators. Even a newcomer to the Goldkorn universe will quickly find his or her suspicions aroused by the amazing role serendipity plays in the protagonist's life--if not his star-crossed romance with New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani. (An October 29, 1999 Times front-page personal ad reads: "Dear sweet Miss Michiko K.--Call your Leib Goldkorn.")

Take for example, the circumstances surrounding Goldkorn's providential departure from Europe on the eve of World War II, detailed in "Ice": having failed in an assassination attempt against Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, he finds himself in Paris during Kristallnacht. Then a telegram from movie mogul Daryl Zanuck arrives, summoning him to Hollywood to compose a score for a new Sonja Henie film. The next novella, "Fire," has our hero on his way to Brazil where he hopes to convince the great Arturo Toscanini to sneak his operetta A Jewish Girl in the Persian Court into a presidential performance of Aida--all part of a plan to woo the Brazilian president away from Germany. On his way, of course, he meets Carmen Miranda and the rest is history--according to Leib Goldkorn. The final selection, "Water," finds this wandering Jew back in Hollywood where Esther Williams is slated to star in a film version of his operetta. But just when it seems Goldkorn's mission of warning the world about the Nazi peril is about to be realized, he himself blows it out of the water--literally.

Epstein presents these adventures as memoirs, remembrances of things past recollected by an elderly man as he tries to masturbate on his 94th birthday (his doctor has prescribed a yearly ejaculation). Goldkorn's amorous adventures weave in and around greater issues: the destruction of European Jewry, and the burdens placed on those who survived. Ice Fire Water is a very funny book, but its high humor coexists with a profound recognition that the other side of this very thin coin is stamped with tragedy. --Margaret Prior

About the Author:

Leslie Epstein has written eight books of fiction including King of the Jews, San Remo Drive, and Pandemonium and won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Achievement in Literature for his creation of Leib Goldkorn. The director of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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9780393048049: Ice Fire Water: A Leib Goldkorn Cocktail

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Leib Goldkorn, aged musician, first appeared almost a quarter-century ago in The Steinway Quintet. Now Leib has replaced his magic flute with his phallus: it is love, longing, and the quest for sexual fulfillment that must stave off both his own death and the imminent destruction of the Jews. In Ice he rescues the celebrated skater Sonja Henie from Hitler s clutches. In Fire his paramour is Carmen Miranda. And in Water he engages in a South Sea Island intrigue with a famous swimming star of the 1940s. Meanwhile, in the present, Leib seeks consummation with three other inamoratas: Clara, his wife; Hustler model Miss Crystal Knight; and the critic Michiko Kakutani (causing a real-life literary scandal). In this wickedly funny (Elle) and no less heartbreaking novel, Leib Goldkorn emerges as one of American literature s most enduring, and endearing, creations. A New York Times Notable Book; a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Seller Inventory # APC9780393320909

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Condition: New. 272 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.4in. x 0.7in.At once a travel tale, a historical meditation, a Holocaust revenge fantasy, and a bedroom farce. D. T. Max, New York Times Book Review Leib Goldkorn, aged musician, first appeared almost a quarter-century ago in The Steinway Quintet. Now Leib has replaced his magic flute with his phallus: it is love, longing, and the quest for sexual fulfillment that must stave off both his own death and the imminent destruction of the Jews. In Ice he rescues the celebrated skater Sonja Henie from Hitlers clutches. In Fire his paramour is Carmen Miranda. And in Water he engages in a South Sea Island intrigue with a famous swimming star of the 1940s. Meanwhile, in the present, Leib seeks consummation with three other inamoratas: Clara, his wife; Hustler model Miss Crystal Knight; and the critic Michiko Kakutani (causing a real-life literary scandal). In this wickedly funny (Elle) and no less heartbreaking novel, Leib Goldkorn emerges as one of American literatures most enduring, and endearing, creations. A New York Times Notable Book; a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780393320909

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Leib Goldkorn, aged musician, first appeared almost a quarter-century ago in The Steinway Quintet. Now Leib has replaced his magic flute with his phallus: it is love, longing, and the quest for sexual fulfillment that must stave off both his own death and the imminent destruction of the Jews. In Ice he rescues the celebrated skater Sonja Henie from Hitler s clutches. In Fire his paramour is Carmen Miranda. And in Water he engages in a South Sea Island intrigue with a famous swimming star of the 1940s. Meanwhile, in the present, Leib seeks consummation with three other inamoratas: Clara, his wife; Hustler model Miss Crystal Knight; and the critic Michiko Kakutani (causing a real-life literary scandal). In this wickedly funny (Elle) and no less heartbreaking novel, Leib Goldkorn emerges as one of American literature s most enduring, and endearing, creations. A New York Times Notable Book; a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Seller Inventory # APC9780393320909

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