The Thousand Deaths of Mr. Small Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Thousand Deaths of Mr. Small

Charles Small, the son of Jewish parents in post World War I London, wants to be an actor. He actually has some talent, but his folks will never countenance that. They also won't let him marry the love of his life, Ivy Narwhal. The novel tells the story not only of Charles and his screechingly abusive parents (actually his father is a nice enough sort, but utterly terrorized by his mother), but the parallel fortunes of Solomon "Solly" Schwartz, a clubfooted, humpbacked little man who has a knack for advertising and other capitalist ventures. More than once Solly gives Charley's father a helping hand, and a job to Charles. But Charley Small is doomed -- by his hysterical parents, his evil sister, an uncaring world, and most of all his spineless nature. Kersh's 1950 novel leaps effortlessly back and forth through time, with the usual vast array of colorful characters, but is a real downer, however well told.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Thousand Deaths of Mr. Small

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   rekindling lost love/marriage Life of a profession:    -   businessman, small Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Jew Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   all of family Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Gerald Kersh Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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