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The Master Butchers Singing Club by [Erdrich, Louise]
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The Master Butchers Singing Club Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, 17 Mar 2009
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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

From National Book Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author Louise Erdrich, a profound and enchanting new novel: a richly imagined world “where butchers sing like angels.”

Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend, killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious knife set, Fidelis sets out for America. In Argus, North Dakota, he builds a business, a home for his family—which includes Eva and four sons—and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New—in the person of Delphine Watzka—the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted. She meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine's life, and the trajectory of this brilliant novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2324 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0066209773
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (17 March 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC12QO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #311,106 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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OK. It's good to read an intelligent and complex novel for a change.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 276 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Read 1 March 2015
By Susan Drago - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was recommended by my book club. I've found that it is difficult to write about this very well-written, poignant and captivating story without the plot seeming to be a bit "soap opera"ish, but trust me, it is anything but! Be that as it may, I would encourage any serious reader to immerse yourself in the story, for it is well worth the time to read. I would have liked to give it a 4.5 rating, as I can't say that it is the best book I've read in the last year, but it comes close. I couldn't give it a 4, because that wouldn't rate it high enough.

The Master Butchers Singing Club is very little about singing and very much about the privations of the years between WWI and WWII in the upper Midwestern United States. It begins with the story of a German soldier who survives WWI and returns home to marry his fallen best friend's pregnant girlfriend, Eva, to fulfill his promise to his dying friend to take care of her. They fall in love and have three more boys while he studies with his father to learn the family's trade. When Fidelis first encounters a slice of American bread sent in a "care package" to a friend, he is amazed that this slice is "shaped with a precision that could only be the work of fanatics." He becomes enamored of a society so inventive that they would create machines to produce such commonplace items as a loaf of bread. Fidelis eventually boards the RMS Mauritania and migrates to the United States with a suitcase full of his father's "miraculous smoked sausages" to sell in order to pay his way across the United States to Seattle, where the bread was produced. However, he sells his last sausage in Argus, North Dakota, and settles there, working for the best butcher in town to establish his own reputation as a master butcher. Once he has settled, Fidelis sends for Eva and the boys.

In Chapter 2, we meet Delphine, a young woman who hasn't yet come to terms with her own youth of emotional deprivation with a drunken father and sans a mother whose face she's never seen. Argus was a town small enough that everyone knows everyone else's business, All she ever wanted was to escape to where her father wasn't a constant embarrassment and disappointment to her. So she runs off with a circus performer, Cypriani.

Eventually, Delphine returns home with Cypriani and finds employment at Fidelis' butcher shop. She and Eva become close friends, and Delphine becomes an integral part of the family.

The characters in this book are very well developed, and each plays an important part in the family's life. There is a bit of everything in the book - from mystery to history to romance - and throughout it all, Ms. Erdrich's writing genius keeps the reader captivated. The only criticism I would have for the book is that a translation of the few German passages would be appreciated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 strangely incongruous books in one 5 February 2017
By darla k. skolnekovich - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It felt to me that the first 2/3 of this novel had been carefully painfully crafted to create deep relationships between and with the lush characters and the last third tossed every storyline and character into schizophrenic chaos that felt like dismissive frantic nonsense. I sensed someone was harried to meet a deadline and the first 2/3's deserved better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The time Between The Wars 13 October 2014
By Gentle Reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this novel in two days. It would have been one day, but I had a houseguest in the form of a little dog who had to be walked. This story of time in the Dakotas during the period between World War One and World War Two and after was compelling. How could you not love a writer who describes a house plant as ferociously colorful? Erdrich's style is thick with description, but doesn't bore. It sets the stage.
The Master Butcher arrives in the US for opportunity and heads west. His skill as a Master Butcher from Europe is his path to success. His other gift is singing, so he enlists the time of other men in the community to join him and drink a lot of beer. Everything he does and has become is colored by his past as an austro-German in the war. The author does a masterful job setting the stage and describing a time in our history and illustrates how our pasts inform our lives.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The role of the outsider in small town North Dakota in the interwar period 26 May 2014
By Michelle Boytim - Published on
Verified Purchase
While the Master Butchers Singing Club of the title figures little in the story, the master butcher starts the story, from his journey from Germany post WWI, to North Dakota where he uses his family trade to make a life for his new wife (previously the fiance of his best friend). At first working for another butcher, he eventually sets up his own business. A woman returning to her hometown, Delphine, also is a primary character. She returns with a man, Cyprian with whom she has been working as part of a traveling balancing/acrobatic act. For the sake of propriety, she pretends that he is her husband. Her alcoholic father is found in a stinking house, with a horrifying discovery in the basement. Delphine becomes friends with the butcher's wife and starts to work there. Tragedy strikes the butcher's family and Delphine must decide what path she wants to take. The story is an unusual mix of historical fiction, mystery, and war story as the book continues through until WWII.
5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant writing style, readable yet multi-layered 13 June 2017
By ANT - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Master Butchers Singing Club is captivating story. The writing creates an involved, vibrant picture. The characters are memorable and while I wanted to "know what happens," I was drawn in by the moody, emotional descriptions. A must read.