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The Book of Intimate G...
 
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David Grossman
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The Book of Intimate Grammar: A Novel

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman gives us the story of the greatest and most universal tragedy, the loss of the world of childhood. At twelve, Aron Kleinfeld is the ringleader among the boys in his Jerusalem neighborhood, their inspiration in dreaming up games and adventures. But as his friends begin to mature, Aron remains imprisoned for three long years in the bod...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1991)
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Mariel
Oct 17, 2012 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you'll die by the tools you choose to build with
Recommended to Mariel by: i'm not about to toss it when its been through all these dream wars with me
Shelves: my-love-life
watching the timorous spurt, and in his bowels, an amazing void, an emptiness like nothing he can remember, the emptiness of somebody else. And oh, the unbearable sting of bliss at that moment, long as eternity, when he flowed and flowed; giving birth to himself, a small, beloved, stinking self; rid at last of the horrible anguish, the harsh dark secret, not his own, he had been forced to keep inside.

This was my second read of David Grossman's The Book of Intimate Grammar. The first was probably...more
Stephen Gallup
This novel is opposite, in every way, from the Clancy book I read on the fly while in progress with this one. There could not be a clearer demonstration of the difference between two-dimensional stick figures and actual characters with depth and complexity.

On the other hand, the fact that Grossman has created living, breathing characters doesn't necessarily mean that getting on board the string of thoughts passing through their minds is a pleasant experience. I recognized the quality of the writ...more
Shahar
I can not say that the book is not good. It Is written in a fascinating way and touching little nuances of life that i sometimes thought only I know.
But it was hard for me to read it - mainly because all the characters are on the verge of madness or insanity and could not connect to - or did not want to connect to - any character.
The Book is a reminder for me that although i have aged - i do not want to go back - especially not to the age of 14
Elisa
Het was aanvankelijk wennen aan de stijl van dit boek: de soms ellenlange, gekapte zinnen zwiepen heen en weer tussen de gebeurtenissen en de gedachten van de verteller en maken het ritme haastig en gejaagd. Dat er bovendien heel wat wordt gesuggereerd maar niet uitgesproken zadelt de lezer op met een boel vragen en een zeker gevoel van onbehagen. Gaandeweg ontdek je dan waarover het boek eigenlijk gaat en hoe de stijl naadloos aansluit bij het onderwerp: het wanhopige en uitzichtloze gevecht va...more
Celeste
I gave it four stars because it is really well written, but I can't really say that I liked it. It is written in a stream of consciousness style from the perspective of a disturbed Israeli adolescent, and as a reader you really get caught up in his anxieties. I recognize and appreciate the literary talent it takes to do that, but every time I stopped reading I could feel the anxiety linger and that is just not a pleasant feeling.
Velvetink
There is a lot of Yiddish in the book - such as.....Im hayu samim et hamo'ach shelcha b'tarnegol, hu haya ratz yashar l'shochet tafsik lezyen = "If they had to put your brain in a chicken, it would run straight to the butcher". Quite a lot I am still trying to translate.

I was shocked at the ending, it takes you places mentally that you might not want to go.
Monteithdb
Beautifully written, but I had a hard time sticking with it. I think it was mostly a matter of timing. At a different time I probably would have enjoyed it more. I'm still planning to read more books by this author.
Avital
While reading it, I admired the writer's command of the language, and the literary use he made of it. I wonder how it works in other language than Hebrew.
Tancredi
"Ultimamente le parole dentro di lui erano diventate, nella sua solitudine, così interiori, come dire, doppiate in una grammatica così propria e tortuosa, come sarebbe stato possibile farle uscire fuori, alla luce."



Il secondo glorioso romanzo di Grossman.



Recensire questo romanzo non è facile, perché ho commesso l'errore (involontario) di partire dai suoi romanzi più recenti, e procedere poi a ritroso. Dopo aver letto i suoi ultimi capolavori è difficile mantenere una certa obiettività per questo...more
Eustachio
Di citazioni di Grossman è tappezzata tutta la blogosfera. Non mi sono mai degnato di leggerle, certo, ma da un autore così acclamato ci si aspetta un certo grado di commercialità, no? Eh no, non è così.
Perché si comincia a scrivere una storia? Perché si ha una storia da raccontare, presumo. In questo caso la storia sembra non esserci per la metà del libro: c'è Aharon che non cresce, né fisicamente né caratterialmente, mentre le persone che ha attorno cambiano. Detto così sembra il Peter Pan deg...more
Thais
Ah, Grossman, Grossman, io ti adoro, ma di un libro come questo cosa posso dire?
Sarà che non sopporto i flussi di coscienza, sarà che non c'è una vera e propria storia, ma ci ho messo un'eternità a leggerlo e non mi è proprio andato giù. Ho fatto davvero fatica ad arrivare alla fine, ero tentata di abbandonare il piccolo Aharon ai suoi deliri ma non l'ho fatto solo perché speravo che in qualche modo ci sarebbe stata una conclusione, che poi però non è arrivata. Mi sono persa nelle sue fantastich...more
Laurent
A great, well written masterpiece with amazingly detailed characters.

The main character in 'The book of Intimate Grammar' is a young boy; Aharon, who distances himself from growing up, making the transition to teen life and adulthood. As a reaction to the adult world he doesn't understand and doesn't want to be part off, he physically and psychically stops evolving eventually isolating himself from his friends and ending up being confronted unprepared with adult problems.

It's somewhat unsettling...more
Jenny Holland
An intense read--like one big long exhale. The kind of book you could read over and over because there's just too much to absorb the first time. Really liked it in many ways, though not sure I'll actually read it again. A little exhausting. Give it a go, though--a unique experience.
Michael Scott
TODO
+ universal coming-of-age story
+++ tragedy of a smart and skinny kid. today, we would be taking abusively about a nerd. back then, its the tragic lack of integration with the regular world
+ Jewish family facing modernism
+ Jewish neighborhood: the gossip, the trite, the sharing, the affair, the mensch-ism, and the gescheft
+/- the style is cursive and flowery, but also often old-fashioned. this matches the subject, but makes for a difficult read and imo does not match the kid's way of acting.
-...more
Susana P.
Très belle fable sur un enfant qui ne parvient plus à grandir dans la Jérusalem des années 1960 et se replie dans son propre monde.
Rasma
One of the most harrowing and haunting reading experiences I've had. An amazing novel.
Lesley
A tough read, as hard to watch the main character's progress through adolescence, but beautifully written.
Eric
Not "See Under Love," but not too far away. More narrowly imagined and executed, one can tire a bit of Aron, who refuses to become an adult. Then Grossman lays out a touching, perfect bit of prose/insight about every 12-yr-old (boy) who has ever lived. Took a while to get around to this, but glad it happened.
Luna
Grossman scrive con l'inchiostro dell'anima. Entra cos� in profondit� che alla fine uscirne � un sollievo, ma � problematico perch� ti insegna a leggerti dentro, ed a leggere dentro agli altri. Dopo, procuratevi un libro leggero e divertente, per riequilibrare e ritrovare un po' di leggerezza.
Carlotta68
Mi sono ostinata a voler finire questo libro nella speranza della "rivelazione". Alcuni passaggi più scorrevoli ma in generale lento e talmente introspettivo da rasentare l'assurdo. Non lo consiglierei.
Fragmentage
schwer, grotesk, melancholisch, herzzerreißend, zäh, wortreich, trist, genial, hoffnungslos - das sind die Adjektive, die mir nach der Lektüre dieses großen Romans in den Sinn kommen.
Efrat
The story of an adolescent boy's decent into some form of insanity is told in the most human and intimate way. You may feel your decent into the abyss.

Remarkably written.
Elaine
Very good book, really gets into life and mind of Aron. I like the family interactions as well.
Phil
Interesting... looking forward to the part where the hero builds a hospital for sick words.
Kate
difficult read, excellent discussion
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From ithl.org:

Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman (b. 1954, Jerusalem) studied philosophy and drama at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and later worked as an editor and broadcaster at Israel Radio. Grossman has written seven novels, a play, a number of short stories and novellas, and a number of books for children and youth. He has also published several books of non-fiction, including int...more
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