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La Tenuta Rajani (2009)

by Alon Hilu(Favorite Author)
2.95 of 5 Votes: 2
8806197401 (ISBN13: 9788806197407)
review 1: This book was...hmmmm, I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it. It was really interesting but I couldn't connect with any of the characters.It's told through the diary pages of a young, disturbed, Palestinian child (Salah) and a grown, egotistical, Jewish man (Isaac). It's a reflection of the Zionism in the 19th century. Haphazardly thrown into the book were stories that the young boy made up in his head.The stories were the hardest part to follow because they weren't needed. They weren't frequent enough for me to remember what it had to do with the main story line and I don't see why Hilu felt the story should have them. Even the characters were a little flat and dry but at the same time, I wonder if any of the problems had to do with the fact that this was a trans... morelated book from Israeli to English. The only part I liked about this book, it's saving grace, was towards the end, you couldn't tell who was telling the truth. Throughout the novel, I assumed Isaac was writing the most true version of accounts, with Salah being off in la-la land. However, toward the end, I began to wonder if there was more truth to Salah's accounts and if Isaac was rewriting history to sound more favorable to him. Did Isaac actually murder Salah's father? Was it Salah's mother that murdered him? Or did he actually die naturally? When Isaac and Salah had their confrontation, who had a closer account to what really happened?
review 2: Another historical novel, against the backdrop of the jewish settlers in palestine, 1895. It tells the story of the friendship (and later antagonism) between the israeli settler Isaac Luminsky and the gifted but mentally troubled palestinian boy Salah, whose mother Isaac starts an ill-fated affair with. There's quite a couple of things that I don't like there - the characters all seem obnoxious to me, for a start, and each of them is eaten up by prejudices and the inability or unwillingness to understand each other. Also, the style I found tedious at some passages, mainly when Salah's diary was involved. And the feeling that all this will lead to no good in the end, doesn't make it a light book, either. Still. I was drawn into it and really needed to read on most of the time, intrigued by the story. So if you are interested in an (quite ugly) account of that part of Israeli/Palestinian history, I would still recommend. less
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just heard interview w author on BBC radio;made me eager to read the book
reviewed in TLS 19 February 2010 - not wholly positively
Een prachtig stukje poëtische literatuur.
מאכזב, מתייפיף,
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