Books: Singer's Midget

EAST OF EDEN—I. J. Singer—Knopf ($2.50).

Israel Joshua Singer's big book, published two years ago, was The Brothers Ashkenazi, a chronicle of Polish Jewry told against a background of the textile industry of Lodz. Critics praised the vigor of its narrative, verisimilitude of its atmosphere, especially its detachment. Some critics called it a Polish Forsyte Saga; a few went so far as to call Author Singer the Polish Tolstoy.

Of East of Eden, the best that can be said is that its earlier chapters compare favorably with the minor novels of Sholom Asch. The worst that can be said is that much of...

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