The Master Butchers Singing Club

The Master Butchers Singing Club

Book - 2005
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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.

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2005, c2003.
Edition: First Harper Perennial edition
ISBN: 9780060837051
Branch Call Number: ERDRICH
Characteristics: 389, 16 pages ; 21 cm.


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Feb 20, 2019

I really enjoyed this novel: once again, it is the power of family secrets that kept the plot moving: I can't help but think; if secrets are revealed early on in someone's life, how different it would be: for better or worse, the truth needs to be told. This was especially true for the protagonist: her life would have been totally different had she the book:

Jul 09, 2015

The quirky characters caught me immediately, and I worried that I had opened a John Irving novel. No, no. These characters are well-written and drive the narrative, but stay within the realm of realism.
I had never read any Erdrich before, and I really enjoyed the rich story that she wove. The book moves steadily and kept me interested with an intricate storyline that spans many years.
Character-driven fiction, if you like that kind of thing. I did.

Apr 25, 2015

This is a strange book and definitely not for everyone. It starts out being about Fidelis Waldvogel, a master butcher from Germany, and then goes on to be about Delphine Watzka, the daughter of the local drunk in Argus, North Dakota. That is all fine but I think too many themes were stuffed in here - WWI, immigration, North Dakota (during the winter mostly), murder, family loyalty, attitudes to gays, First Nations issues, poverty, alcoholism, an angelic wife, an evil sister, a celibate 'marriage', boyhood hijinks, and a passion for cleanliness. I persevered, partly because I wanted to see how all this resolved, if it ever did, and to enjoy the writing itself. Erdrich has a way with language but in the end I did not think it was enough for me to really appreciate whatever she was trying to do.

Aug 30, 2014

Simply a great book.

rlbecker Sep 08, 2011

What a well-written novel !!! The writing is beautiful. The story is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. It is the story of 2 people, an immigrant butcher from Germany named Fidelis and a half-Indian woman named Delphine. They meet in a small town in North Dakota in the 1920s and deal with each other for many years until they eventually marry. He has to deal with losing his best friend in World War I, losing his wife when his children are young and dealing with a domineering sister. She has her own problems with an alcoholic dad, a gay performer that she pretends to marry, a friend with her own problems and a murder found in her father's basement. They are held together by her helping to run his butcher shop and nursing his dying wife and raising the kids. A lot is left unsaid. The singing club in the title helps Fidelis deal with a homesickness for Germany. World War II and its aftermath help tie the stories together . This would be a great book club title.

Sep 07, 2010

It follows the life of Fidelis Waldvogel and his family, as well as Delphine Watzka and her partner Cyprian, as they adjust in their separate lives in the small town of Argus, North Dakota.

Mar 02, 2008

A 5-Star rating! One of the best novels I've read in a long while. Erdrich shares with readers the heritage of her father, bringing her German roots into the story with the same eloquent imagery and poetic wordplay so common in her other novels. This absolutely magnificent story is a definite must read.


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