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To the End of the Land by David Grossman
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To the End of the Land

by David Grossman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0715411,279 (4.13)129
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English (40)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
I keep taking deep breaths trying to figure out how to say and what to say about this book. It is heavy throughout, without any comic relief or lifts; it is wrenching, soul-searching, life-affirming. It hurts so much sometimes that I needed to set it aside and take breathers and remind myself that this was not happening to me, although when this happens in the world it happens to us all. It is unimaginable and yet 100% possible and real. I walked every mile of this journey in Ora's shoes.

My lovely friend, Elyse, recommended this book through a review, and along with recommending reading it, she recommended NOT reading anything about it before hand. I agree with her whole-heartedly. I came at it without reading even the blurbs on the book jacket and I was very glad I did. I will not spoil it for anyone else by even hinting at the subject matter, but I will say that it is a microcosm of the human experience, all the difficult things we face, all the lovely moments we cherish as we build our all too fragile lives, all the interconnections that make us more than individuals and part of something so much grander and all the inner-workings that make us uniquely ourselves and therefore perpetually lonely and alone in life.

My mind will not let go of this story, and might not do so for quite some time. I do not think I will ever forget it. To David Grossman I would say, as difficult as this book must have been to write, you have done a service to mankind in writing it. God bless you.

( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Beautifully written but overly long and boring in spots. I may have expected too much of it. My knowledge of the book's backstory (the death of Grossman's son) affected my reading too much, I think. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
17. To the End of the Land by David Grossman
published: 2008 (translated 2010)
translation: from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen in 2010
format: 576 page paperback
acquired: Tel Aviv in February
read: 1st 100 pages in and flying from Israel in February, then Mar 14 – Apr 8
rating: 4½

This comes from a terrific book recommendation I got at a bookstore in Tel Aviv back in February. The bookstore clerk turned me away from the latest Amos Oz and even the award winning latest Grossman and pointed me to this (and a couple others).

I loved this book even as I struggled to read more than about ten pages a sitting (at almost 600 pages, that's a lot of sittings). The language is somehow very intense, always. He delves into the psychology of always-at-war Israel, specifically from the perspective of a parent of an IDF soldier during an uprising. He creates terrific characters who come alive when they are talking or being talked about. And he is something of a master of atmosphere through words, creating many different ones - sometimes surreal, sometimes from war experiences, from memory or anxiety.

I felt the weight of the book before I was aware of what went into it - which I don't want to specify (although you can look it up easily), but there a whole extra resounding meaning here because of that. Recommended, even if it took me forever to get through. ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Apr 14, 2018 |
bello. ma decisamente troppo lungo e noioso in troppe parti, anche qui l'autore ha voluto (narcisisticamente) fare un esercizio affabulatorio oltre i limiti del consentito, ma almeno ha il pregio di raccontare una storia e delle emozioni coinvolgenti ed originali ( )
  SirJo | Sep 4, 2017 |
This is another, like Next, that is impossible to rate. It's part genius, part indulgence, and it rambles on, amassing detail after detail, some fascinating, some not so, until the last 50 pages in which the writing grows sharper, deeper, more thoughtful, and the plot, such as it is, becomes even more gripping.

Ora is celebrating her son's release from army service when he decides to rejoin. In a fit of magical thinking, she takes off for an extended walk through the Gallilee reasoning that if she is not home, the army can not notify her of her son's death. She is accompanied by an old friend and lover who was a POW during the Yom Kippur War. As they hike, she tells him stories about her family, especially her sons.

The juxtaposition of the rich details of family life against the effect the occupation has on both Israelis and Palestinians is brilliant and Grossman's writing has never been richer or more succinct. Still, there are long passages that had me wondering what was on TV and a few characters that remain woefully undeveloped.
1 vote laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
It is a testament to Grossman’s novelistic talent, indeed perhaps his genius, that “To the End of the Land” manages to create and dramatize a world that gives both the reality and the echo their full due. He weaves the essences of private life into the tapestry of history with deliberate and delicate skill; he has created a panorama of breathtaking emotional force, a masterpiece of pacing, of dedicated storytelling, with characters whose lives are etched with extraordinary, vivid detail. While his novel has the vast sweep of pure tragedy, it is also at times playful, and utterly engrossing; it is filled with original and unexpected detail about domestic life, about the shapes and shadows that surround love and memory, and about the sharp and desperate edges of loss and fear.
 
It has become part of the legend of this novel that, while he was writing it, Grossman's son Uri was killed on the last day of the 2006 Israeli offensive in Lebanon. It will never be read now without that knowledge, without that unspeakable pain, which is in danger of conferring on the book a mythical status. To the End of the Land is without question one of the most powerful and moving novels I have read. But we do the novel, and Grossman, no favours if we turn it into a sacred object, beyond critical scrutiny and outside the reach of the history to which it so complexly and sometimes disturbingly relates.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Grossmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birkenhauer, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, JessicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Hey, girl, quiet!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family life—the greatest human drama—and the cost of war.Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer’s release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the “notifiers” who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young, but their lives were forever changed one weekend when the two jokingly had Ora draw lots to see which of them would get the few days’ leave being offered by their commander—a chance act that sent Avram into Egpyt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Now, as Ora and Avram sleep out in the hills, ford rivers, and cross valleys, avoiding all news from the front, she gives him the gift of Ofer, word by word; she supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive for Ora and for the reader, and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world. Their walk has a “war and peace” rhythm, as their conversation places the most hideous trials of war next to the joys and anguish of raising children. Never have we seen so clearly the reality and surreality of daily life in Israel, the currents of ambivalence about war within one household, and the burdens that fall on each generation anew.Grossman’s rich imagining of a family in love and crisis makes for one of the great antiwar novels of our time. (Knopf website)
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Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer's release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the "notifiers" who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along their former best friend and her former lover Avram. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young. Avram was sent into Egypt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Ora supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world.… (more)

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