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The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping Audiobook, by Aharon Appelfeld Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Aharon Appelfeld Narrator: Lance Rubin Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781504796408
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From the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author called by the London Guardian “one of the greatest writers of the age” comes this story of a young Holocaust survivor, wounded in body and spirit, who takes his first steps toward creating a life for himself in the newly established state of Israel.

Erwin doesn’t remember much about his journey across Europe when the war finally ended—and with good reason. He spent most of it asleep, carried by other survivors as they emerged from their hiding places or were liberated from the camps and traveled by train, truck, wagon, or on foot to the shores of Naples, where they filled the refugee camps and wondered what was to become of them.

As he struggles to stay awake, Erwin becomes part of a group of young boys being trained in both body and mind for their new lives in Palestine. The fog of sleep gradually lifts, and when he and his comrades arrive in Israel, they are assigned to a kibbutz, where they learn how to tend to the land and how to speak their new language. But a part of Erwin desperately clings to the past—to memories of his parents and other relatives, to his mother tongue, to the Ukrainian city where he was born—and he knows that who he was is just as important as who he is now becoming.

When he is wounded while on night patrol, Erwin must spend long months recovering from multiple surgeries and trying to regain the use of his legs. As he exercises his body, he exercises his mind as well, copying passages from the Bible in his newly acquired Hebrew and working up the courage to create his own texts in this language both old and new, hoping to succeed as a writer where his beloved father had failed. With the support of his friends and of other survivors, and with the ever-present memory of his mother to spur him on, Erwin takes his first tentative steps with his crutches—and with his pen.

Once again, Aharon Appelfeld mines heart-wrenching personal experience to create dazzling, masterful fiction with a universal resonance.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As its title suggests, there is a dazed, dreamlike quality to the prose of this bildungsroman, in which a masterly English translation by Jeffrey M. Green manages to retain the direct, concrete quality of the original Hebrew as well as its austere poetry.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Throughout, Appelfeld focuses not on historical events or moral judgments but on the formation of a writer, one…able to transform memory into transcendent prose.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

  • “Gently tragic, intensely moving, and filled with metaphor…the author’s exquisite poetic style…[draws] us into Erwin’s painful experiences and his determination to form an identity.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Appelfeld offers a fictional account of his experiences as a young Holocaust survivor who has made his way from war-torn Europe to preindependence Israel…The most intriguing parts of the novel are the young man’s coming alive again, bonding with his comrades, and learning to begin a new life.”

    Library Journal

  • “A novel of great sensitivity…Appelfeld’s style is never flashy, but the plainness of his writing gives post-Holocaust events both starkness and power.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for January 30, 2017

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About the Author

Aharon Appelfeld (1932–2018) wrote more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Iron Tracks and Until the Dawn’s Light, both winners of the National Jewish Book Award. His book The Story of a Life won the Prix Médicis Étranger, and Adam & Thomas won the Sydney Taylor Book Award and was a finalist for the 2016 National Jewish Book Award. His other honors include the Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize, Nelly Sachs Prize, Israel Prize, Bialik Prize, the MLA Commonwealth Award, and the London Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received honorary degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and Yeshiva University.

About the Narrator

Lance Rubin spent his twenties working as an actor and writing sketch comedy, with several successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He has now turned his comedic talents to fiction.