HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

My Name Is Asher Lev (1972)

by Chaim Potok

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Asher Lev (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,023752,467 (4.2)253
"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art." THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 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." THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW… (more)
  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 (cf66)
    cf66: Entrambi romanzi sulla formazione artistica e spirituale d'un pittore.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 253 mentions

English (70)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Not a fan of this one.

The first-person narration causes a child's story to be told in an adult voice. It didn't work in To Kill A Mockingbird and it doesn't work here. Makes it seem like the author couldn't decide between a memoir (less detailed, abstract) and contemporaneous (told-as-it-happens) narrative.

The first half is yet another "growing up Jewish in post-War Brooklyn" story: some originality for using an Orthodox setting, but there's a feeling that I've read this a hundred times already. Everyone speaks "softly" and looks at the child "strangely". The child is indulged by parents, teachers, religious leaders, and so forth. Spoiled rotten, as they say (or used to).

About two-thirds of the way in, the child is taken under the wing of an artistic mentor, and things get interesting. Here we have some good development-of-the-artist stuff, though it is still packed full of strange looks and soft expressions of awe at the child's artistic genius.

The novel wraps up with the return of the child, now an adult, to Brooklyn in order to resolve the conflict between his upbringing and his art. The outcome has been telegraphed for the entire book, so this mostly amounts to a lot of hand-wringing (along with the requisite soft speech and strange looks) before an entirely predictable outcome.

Personally, I would have ended the novel before the purportedly-climactic art show. At least leave some room for an interesting outcome, if you're not going to provide one yourself. ( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
A very thoughtful, sad book about a misunderstood artist. ( )
1 vote econads | Nov 7, 2021 |
Asher Lev, artist and painter of the controversial "Brooklyn Crucifixion" looks back on his life growing up as a Hasidic Jew. His father, an important man in their community who travels for the Rebbe, simply cannot understand why his son needed to draw, but even as a young child Asher had a gift. He discusses the experiences leading up to becoming the artist he is, and why an observant Jew would paint a crucifixion.

This is a quiet sort of story, almost a character study, in which I was surprised to find out how much I was invested in the family drama as Asher learns to carve his own path in life and art. I'm sure some references specific to Judaism teaching and thought went over my head, but at its heart it's a universal coming of age story in which a son has to decide whether to be true to himself or fall into line with what his father wants for him. I kept flipping back to the first few paragraphs, which essentially lay out the gist of the story, before Asher explains his family history, his experiences growing up, and ultimately what led to the notorious painting. ( )
1 vote bell7 | Oct 1, 2020 |
I don't really have words for this book yet. It's probably the most important thing I have ever read, being a Jew and an Artist, and a little lost. I don't know if it will affect anyone else like it affected me, this second reading. ( )
1 vote JaysenElsky | Sep 17, 2020 |
I read My Name is Asher Lev when I was just beginning community college. What a wonderful book. The book describes the tension between the Jewish and Christian communities and how a young artist deals with it. ( )
  EddieB7 | Jul 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chaim Potokprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carroux, MargaretÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendelsund, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nijgh, LennaertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Belongs to Publisher Series

rororo (14012)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
"Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth." -Picasso
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

"Memorable...A book profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art." THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 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." THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.2)
0.5
1 6
1.5 1
2 21
2.5 5
3 110
3.5 28
4 274
4.5 46
5 335

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140036423, 0141190566

Ediciones Encuentro

An edition of this book was published by Ediciones Encuentro.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 173,982,036 books! | Top bar: Always visible