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In the Beginning by Chaim Potok

In the Beginning (1975)

by Chaim Potok

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9461713,719 (3.91)15

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English (16)  Dutch (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I really really wanted to be pulled into this book, and I tried, but try as I might, I had to fight merely to finish skimming to the end of the novel, which I certainly found interesting in a distant sort of way, but I simply could not identify with the protagonist, I suppose. ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Last read a Chaim Potok book aged 14...43 years on I read another and it's FABULOUS writing, up there with Roth's 'Radetzky March' as my best reads of the year.
This is an impression of the Jewish experience of the early 20th century...but not from a European perspective. The young narrator is living a relatively OK life in New York. But the whole book is filled with a sense of menace, as the child encounters snatches of adult conversation; a photo of his father and friends in a Polish forest with guns; mother fearing for her family back in Poland and the anguish as their efforts to persuade them to leave are rebuffed; the narrator's uncle and namesake who was killed in a pogrom...and closer to home, casual racist bullying, the Depression which impacts on the community's ability to help their compatriots. And the fearful news from Europe...

David Lurie is the sickly but academically brilliant son of Polish Jewish emigres. His father helps run an organisation dedicated to helping Polish Jews start a new life in the States. But the family history forms a big part of the child's experience: the frequent family trips to the wooded Bronx zoo overlay the images of the Jewish resistance in the Polish forest; and as his search for religious truth lead him to a secular university rather than the yeshiva, a sense of betraying his roots...

Utterly brilliant writing, 100% recommended! ( )
  starbox | Dec 15, 2018 |
5592. In the Beginning, by Chaim Potok (read 4 Nov 2018) This 1975 novel is a powerful story of Jewish life and belief in Depression and wartime New York. The story begins in 1929 when David Lurie is 6 years old. The years of his early childhood in the Bronx are told at considerable length in the first person. His parents came to the U.S. after the war , they go through the Depression and recover therefrom. Their effort to persuade David's grandparents to leave Europe are unsuccessful The book closes with overpowering poignancy as David is studying to be a rabbi and word comesafter the war in Europe ends and the fate ot the family members in Europe is learned. There is much discussion of Jewish religion and learning which is expertly portrayed and which does explain the intellectual hurdles facing David and his relatives and which I found gripping and absorbing. The book is a masterpiece and fully lives up to what I expected from Polok, this being the fourth novel by him which I have read. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Nov 4, 2018 |
uno dei migliori romanzi di Potok, considerato come romanzo di formazione lo trovo ottimo. E questa è la sua formazione ...
  SirJo | Sep 4, 2017 |
An enveloping read that tells of a Jewish boy growing up in 1920s New York through the Second World War and his physical struggles and also with his faith. Very well written. ( )
  charlie68 | May 1, 2017 |
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mijn vrouw

en voor
Robert Gottlieb
Mijn uitgever en vriend
First words
Alle begin is moeilijk.
All beginnings are hard.
I liked parks. I had the world visible to me while I read. It was important to have it visible so you could see how your reading changed it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044900113X, Paperback)

David Lurie learns that all beginnings are hard. He must fight for his place against the bullies in his Depression-shadowed Bronx neighborhood and his own frail health. As a young man, he must start anew and define his own path of personal belief that diverges sharply with his devout father and everything he has been taught....

From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

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