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My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

My Name Is Asher Lev (1972)

by Chaim Potok

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Asher Lev (book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,905501,985 (4.2)101
  1. 00
    Peace Shall Destroy Many by Rudy Wiebe (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Young men in conflict with their culture
  2. 01
    What's Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies (panbiot)
    panbiot: Entrambi romanzi sulla formazione artistica e spirituale d'un pittore.

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» See also 101 mentions

English (47)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Wasn't nearly so good as Chosen, Promise or Davida's Harp. The art scene didn't interest me. ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Slow first half (could have been condensed considerably in my view), engaging second half but disappointing ending which was not the climax I was anticipating. ( )
  rlangston | May 25, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this book - a gifted young man swimming through the inner turmoil of family, religion, and creativity. A world where young Asher must face his own destiny. Well written, excellent and exceptional. The crossroad of finding his own path while losing his family. Heart-breaking and real. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  kiwikid | Mar 15, 2014 |

The author has drawn a detailed and convincing portrait of a gifted child, driven to draw, paint, and express himself through art, to the bewilderment and anger of his parents. This is not a simple story, but deep, reflective, and full of inner turmoils of a young man who cannot hold back his flood of creativity, even though it may shatter the world of his family, his heritage, and his faith. ( )
  fuzzi | Mar 12, 2014 |
Asher Lev and I have one thing in common: we both see the necessity of studying different artists in order to hone our own skills. Reading this book was a sort of homework for me, as it was completely different than anything I'd ready before.

To be honest, I was not fond of Asher Lev's character. He put himself and his needs above all others. I understood the passion and compulsion of his art, but beyond that (like refusing to go to Vienna and refusing to stay with his uncle later), he was inconsiderate and insensitive to those around him.

The community he lived in bent over backward to accommodate him, even turning a blind eye when he steals art supplies. And even after all that, he knowingly creates art that will hurt those he loves. I felt a kinship to his father in many respects. Perhaps that was what the author was going for. I don't know.

I feel that My Name Is Asher Lev is like an abstract painting. I understand that others see through the brushstrokes to magnificence, but I can't see it. Jakob tells Asher that painting doesn't tell a story, so maybe that's why I don't really get it. To me, everything is a story to be told, an emotion to be captured and shared, and that without that connection, the art's beauty doesn't jump from the artist to the viewer.

I won't say that I connected with this book, but I'm glad that I read it, especially so that I can see a different method of storytelling from my own. ( )
  CyndiTefft | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chaim Potokprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mendelsund, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nijgh, LennaertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth." -Picasso
First words
My name is Asher Lev, the Asher Lev, about whom you have read in newspapers and magazines, about whom you talk so much at your dinner affairs and cocktail parties, the notorious and legendary Lev of the Brooklyn Crucifixion.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449911683, Paperback)

"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art."
Here is the original, deeply moving story of Asher Lev, the religious boy with an overwhelming need to draw, to paint, to render the world he knows and the pain he feels, on canvas for everyone to see. A loner, Asher has an extroardinary God-given gift that possesses a spirit all its own. It is this force that must learn to master without shaming his people or relinquishing any part of his deeply felt Judaism. It will not be easy for him, but he knows, too, that even if it is impossible, it must be done....
"A novel of finely articulated tragic power...Little short of a work of genius."

From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Asher Lev, born into a devout Jewish family and community, struggles to reconcile his burning need to create art with the restrictions and expectations placed on him by his faith and his people.

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (4.2)
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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140036423, 0141190566

Ediciones Encuentro

An edition of this book was published by Ediciones Encuentro.

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