The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

The Magic Barrel is a collection of thirteen short stories written by Bernard Malamud and published in 1958. It won the 1959 National Book Award for fiction. The stories included are The First Seven Years, The Mourners, The Girl of My Dreams, Angel Levine, Behold the Key, Take Pity, The Prison, The Lady of the Lake, A Summer's Reading, The Bill, The Last Mohican, The Loan, and The Magic Barrel. The magic barrel figures in the last of these stories as a marriage counselor tells Leo Finkle (who is studying to become a rabbi) that there are too many female applications and he had to fill a barrel with the outcasts that didn't fit in his drawer. The barrel becomes magical, because Finkle is told by his marriage counselor that the photograph he fell in love with wasn't good enough for a rabbinical student and instead was from his discard barrel.

The 1547th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - National Book Award - Fiction (National Book Foundation)
  2. - Donald Barthelme’s Reading List (Believer Mag)
  3. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Magic Barrel Hardcover 5458958 $192.24 $0.09
The Magic Barrel. Hardcover 1346503 $109.24 $0.76
The Magic Barrel Mass Market Paperback 2222307 $7.23 $0.01
The Magic Barrel Hardcover 3972811 $156.06 $1.65
The Magic Barrel Paperback 9197647 $211.33 $0.01 1976
The Magic Barrel Paperback 10595152 $7.00 $4.91 2002
The Magic Barrel Hardcover 6226094 $1.60
The Magic Barrel Paperback 9675132 $0.01
The Magic Barrel Paperback 10593334 $4.00
the magic barrel Paperback 3008967 $24.95 $1.81
The Magic Barrel and Other Stories Paperback 4618171 $197.64 $7.23
The Magic Barrel Paperback 5635222 $8.00
The Magic Barrel Mass Market Paperback 6312436 $17.59 $0.01
The Magic Barrel Paperback 1450409 $8.52 $1.59 2003
Magic Barrel Paperback 8004818 $3.99 $0.01
The Magic Barrel: Stories (FSG Classics) Kindle Edition 586151 $9.99 2003
The Magic Barrel Mass Market Paperback 7723746 $0.01
The Magic Barrel Mass Market Paperback 10299829 $4.00
The Magic Barrel: Stories Paperback 257518 $15.55 $1.47 2003