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A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev
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A Pigeon and a Boy (2006)

by Meir Shalev

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 44 mentions

English (21)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This book was really a puzzle to me and I'm struggling to interpet it. Two love stories, carrier pigeons, a not-very suprising paternity reveal, and a baffling ending.

Someone read this and enlighten me. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
loved loved loved this beautiful double love story. i can't believe it took me so long to pull this one off the TBR piles but so glad it survived all the purges of the past few years. set in israel and covering two timelines, it's the story of two pigeon handlers, and of a young man, his parents and another family linked to his through an act of love and compassion. the twist was somewhat predictable but that didn't make it any less of a revelation. ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Jul 31, 2015 |
Een joodse gids die buitenlandse vogelaars begeleidt vertelt het ongelooflijke verhaal van hoe een boodschap van een postduif, die gelost wordt tijdens een Arabisch-Israëlisch militair conflict, verantwoordelijk was voor zijn geboorte. Een mooi episch-lyrisch verhaal met magisch-realistische elementen. ( )
  joucy | Dec 15, 2014 |
29. A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev (2006, 311 pages, Read May 9-17, Paperback)
translated from Hebrew by Evan Fallenberg, 2007

A beautifully written book that explores many themes, using homing pigeons, the Israeli War of Independence, homes and the building of a home in the present day to explore the idea of home, longing, creation, Zionism and more, and not all easily decipherable. Shalev calls it a love story.

The book opens when Yair Mendolson, giving a tour to a an official government group from the United States, is stunned by one of the group who starts talking in Hebrew about a pigeon in the Israeli War of Independence. The American turns out to be a Palmach veteran. The Palmach was the Israeli army during the war of Independence. There are two interwoven stories in the novel whose connection is hinted about throughout, but not actually revealed until the end. Yet both are brought together in this opening.

The pigeon leads to a story about the Baby, who is not a baby, but an orphan on a pre-Independence kibbutz in Israel. He becomes a homing pigeon handler and falls in love with another pigeon handler in Tel Aviv. They converse through the few words carried by homing pigeons inside an ostrich quill.

Poor Yair, on the other hand, is a mess. He is wasting his life as tour guide and looking for some kind of center. He has thoroughly irritated his American wife, who he works for, and his younger successful brother. He also has an Israeli mistress. Yair uses his inheritance from his mother to build a home for himself, develop his relationship with his mistress and in an effort at a statement of something complicated and unclear – maybe independence, maybe redemption, or something entirely different.

Biblical themes and references are scattered throughout, and one is also tempted to interpret everything in terms of the history and current state of Israel. There are so many interwoven themes, I found it difficult to figure out what might be intended or to know what was meant by a couple odd plot points. There is quite a lot to think about. ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Jun 7, 2014 |
"The Baby dared to speak up in order to point out that the participants were projecting a human perception of maps and directions and compass roses onto pigeons. But perhaps, he said, she is unfamiliar with all of these, understanding one direction only, and its name is 'homeward,' unaware that humans give this direction other names - sometimes 'southward' and sometimes 'eastward' and sometimes 'north-by-northwestward.'" ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Meir Shalevprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fallenberg, EvanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhasselt, RubenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Zohar and Michael
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"And suddenly," said the elderly American man in the white shirt, "suddenly, a pigeon flew overhead, above that hell."
Quotations
A pigeon has to love her home otherwise she won't want to return to it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805212140, Paperback)

From the internationally acclaimed Israeli writer Meir Shalev comes a mesmerizing novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion.

During the 1948 War of Independence--a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages--a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible. 

Unforgettable in both its particulars and its sweep, A Pigeon and A Boy is a tale of lovers then and now--of how deeply we love, of what home is, and why we, like pigeons trained to fly in one direction only, must eventually return to it.  In a voice that is at once playful, wise, and altogether beguiling, Meir Shalev tells a story as universal as war and as intimate as a winged declaration of love.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

During the 1948 War of Independence--a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages--a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon, carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend.… (more)

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