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Inside, Outside by Herman Wouk

Inside, Outside (original 1985; edition 2014)

by Herman Wouk (Author)

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488833,772 (3.68)12
This evocative portrait of the American Jewish experience illustrates the clash between the "Inside" of tradition and religion, and the "Outside" of the glittery American dream.
Title:Inside, Outside
Authors:Herman Wouk (Author)
Info:RosettaBooks (2014), 658 pages
Collections:Your library

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Inside, Outside by Herman Wouk (1985)


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I have enjoyed reading many of Herman Wouk's other novels over the course of my lifetime, so I don't understand, when I began reading this specific novel back in 2012, why it bored me to tears by the time I had completed the second chapter.

For reasons I cannot fathom, I found it pedantic, plodding and dull and without even bothering to finish the book I wrote up a harshly judgmental review that could have been interpreted as anti-Semitic. For that I apologize deeply.

Therefore I've decided, thanks to someone who was concerned enough by my 2012 review to reply to it, that I'm going to immediately place a hold on this novel at my local library and reread it again, because this novel deserves a much better review than the one I posted originally ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
Fictional account of Jewish immigrants in New York ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 10, 2017 |
i usually like books about israel and up to this point i've liked books by herman wouk. but this one is a disaster from beginning almost until the end. i hated reading this book, and i hated that it was as long as it was (with type as small as it was) when i was so uninterested. i haven't considered stopping a book before finishing this seriously in a long while. it was a good 450 pages or so before i was even remotely interested in the story, and only remotely at that. i really didn't like the way this was written *at all*, to the point where it ruined the story for me. i'm not sure i would have cared anyway, but this made it a major slog for me.

the story goes between the past and the present, which is 1973, where this jewish democrat finds himself working in the nixon administration. so it covers a bit about watergate and the yom kippur war in israel. but most of it (thankfully) is in the past, about 40 years before, as we read the book the narrator is writing about his life, mostly around the time he was in college and after in the mid to late 30's. this is the more interesting part, but really, it's still not anything i cared to read about.

"I am not a describer." he says this on page 445, and i (agree, the narrator wasn't good at it at all) but what in the world is he writing this book for then?? what's a book if not a description of events, of emotions, of life? but it sums up nicely why this book doesn't work at all for me. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | May 22, 2013 |
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
One of the funniest books I have ever read, a warm family-based insight into Jewish life. Some of the Israel sections I found impenetrable, so not quite a five-star for me, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless ( )
  jayne_charles | Sep 7, 2010 |
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Rejoice, young man in your youth, and let your heart pleasure you in the days of your young manhood; and walk in the ways of your heart, and the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgement. So remove trouble from your heart and put away wrongdoing from your flesh, for boyhood and youth are but a breath.

~ Ecclesiastes 11:9-10
To my sister


with love
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Al hell has been breaking loose around here, and my peaceful retreat in the Executive Office Building may be coming to a sudden rude end.
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Inside, Outside is a stunning exploration of the American Jewish experience - the heartfelt tale of every immigrant's son torn between the culture of his forefathers and the glorious temptations  of a new land's dreams.
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