Praise for The Shoemaker’s Tale

“Painter-storyteller Ari’s first novel is a true original, with roots in Jewish mysticism and Yiddish folklore…Extravagant, charming, and deeply serious in its matter-of-fact mingling of moral history, prophecy and magic.” Kirkus Reviews

“Mark Ari…seamlessly blends Jewish folk tales and mysticism with the universal quest for life’s  meaning…clever, tragicomic and highly imaginative.” The New York  Times  Book  Review

“A remarkable work of fiction, finely conceived, beautifully written, powerful and humorous at once…It seems to have existed forever…An astonishing performance. An unforgettable, marvelous book.” Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.

“A charming novel…Ari deftly presents a series of linked fantasies, fables and surreal vignettes. His style combines aspects of the allegorical tales of Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav (an early Hasidic sage and storyteller), the Hasidic parodies of Woody Allen and magical realism.” Publishers Weekly

“A winning debut…a knockabout comic fable set in the Poland of the Yiddish fabulists. Never quite what it seems to be, The Shoemaker’s Tale is a tour de force of surprises, a page by page, sentence by sentence pleasure.” Jonathan Baumbach

“[The Shoemaker’s Tale] is so wise and so funny. It’s amazing. This book will be treasured in my family forever.” Carolyn Chute

“The shoemaker’s adventures are portrayed with an artist’s sensitivity, and we get an exquisite and humorous portrait of life [in] 18th-century Poland. The number of allegorical tales in the novel add to its stature…” Cecil Bloom, The Jerusalem Post

“Rich with the ironic wisdom of the great Yiddish  folklorists.” Elinor J. Brecher, The Miami Herald

“A great writer and a great reader.” Bob Shacochis

“Awesomely imaginative.” Jerry Stern, Tallahassee Democrat, author of Making Shapely Fiction

A magical tale…The Shoemaker’s Tale has the kind of blurbs on the back that we
all dream about. I add my voice to that as well.” Leonard Lopate, “New York & Co.”
WNYC-AM (New York, NY)

“Ari’s provocative world of metaphors reflects…his awareness of the impact of the
Holocaust on the Jewish psyche and the intricacies of modern Jewish humor.” Jewish Week

 “Mark Ari’s well-shod first novel, The Shoemaker’s Tale, is a delight, a genuinely original look at Jewish life in the Eastern Europe of the eighteenth century. The critics have been enthusiastic…and so am I. It’s universal. I felt that immediately!” Ruth Jacobs, “The Jewish Home Show.” WEVD-AM (New York, NY)

“If ever there was a book that reads like a Chagall painting, this is it. The
Shoemaker’s Tale
is comic, surrealistic and engrossing. A wonderful story.” Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

 “All a novel ought to do. And The Shoemaker’s Tale does it splendidly.” Na’amat Woman

“Mark Ari continues the rich centuries-old legacy of Eastern European Jewish story-telling in this captivating tale… This novel introduces readers to an exciting new voice. To read The Shoemaker’s Tale is akin to being plunged into a Chagall painting with its vivacity, eccentricity and a unique inner world blending with rich folk wisdom and humor to form a satisfying synthesis.” Joan Hinkemeyer, Rocky Mountain News   

“A fantastic yarn…” Rob Thomas, “Ninety in the Shade.” WJCT-FM (Jacksonville, FL).

“This book is so much fun. It’s full of magic and mysticism. I love the characters. It’s a great book.” Robin Rauch, “Eyewitness News.” WJXT Television (CBS affiliate).

2 Replies to “Praise for The Shoemaker’s Tale”

  1. Hey Ari, I was a student in your English class when you were teaching at the Arts Institute Of Jacksonville in 2010. Really loved your class. I was the black kid with poetic rap lyrics that did a really fast poem at the coffee shop style poetry session we did in the library for extra credit. Now Im in Virginia and I’m on my way to London… Anyways I wish you the best. Peace and Love.


  2. Hey Richard,

    Sounds like good things happening for you. Glad to hear it. About your question, send me an email. You can find my address at the UNF website. Have a great time in London. Great town.

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