Return of Hyman Kaplan Author:Leo Reosten H*Y*M*A*N, for all his mistakes, is a winner of a character, not a loser. This book is true testimony to the talents of immigrants as well as their tribulations. — Having just begun teaching English As A Second Language to a group of Asian adults, a relative thought I might enjoy "The Education of Hyman Kaplan". The novel takes place entirely at ... more »the American Night Preparatory School for Adults. There under the tutelage of Mr. Parkhill, Hyman Kaplan, Miss Mitnick, Miss Caravello, Mrs. Moskowitz and an assortment of Jewish and Italian immigrants struggle with the complexities of the English language, anxious to master the language and learn about the history and culture of their newly adopted home. The irrepressible Mr. Kaplan takes center stage in the classroom with his singular logic in using the English language. Abraham Lincoln becomes Abram Lincohen, King George III of England is an autocrap, and Valley Forge becomes Velly Fudges. Kaplan conjugates the tense to die as "die, dead, funeral", and when talking of the contents of a newpaper he can't understand why he must say "it said", instead of "he said", since the paper is decidedly of the masculine gender. It's the Harold Tribune after all. This is a hilarious yet touching book. We are never laughing at Hyman Kaplan's linguistic foibles but with him, as we appreciate the struggles of all immigrants, those seventy years ago, or those today to come to terms with becoming Americans and learning the language that binds us together.
The book is never preachy. It is likely this is because Rosten wrote this book as a mature writer, with many other works under his belt. His tendency to constant revision has left this book a polished gem. Read, laugh, and enjoy.« less