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Black Box

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,268 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Examines the lives of a contemporary Israeli couple whose marriage has ended in disaster.
352 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,186)
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Michael Scott
Like much of Amos Oz's work, Black Box is not about the story. Indeed, the book is built around the premise that unresolved childhood trauma brings disaster to all the people around when the child grows up, but in truth the book is all about people: dysfunctional people who hit, scream, beg, and blackmail, get divorced or separated, and still try to reunite with each other. As sides, the epistolary style of the book engages the reader in mind games (will I turn the pages and see who wrote this? ...more
Кремена Михайлова
Този роман не ме стопли чак толкова като другите книги на Оз. Сигурно заради разправиите и претенциите между героите. Но все пак накрая Оз успява да накара читателя да притихне и резултатът е същият – отново среща с хора от сякаш реални семейства. Ако романът не беше в епистоларна форма, можеше и да ми дотегнат словесните престрелки между различните герои. Но писмата осветяват по специфичен начин сърцевината на проблемите.

Началото изглежда като ситуация, в която може да се изпитват симпатии към
...more
Lavinia
Before starting to read this book, I read some (very few) comments on it. Most of them talked about a love story and about humor... Maybe it's me, but I didn't find anything funny in this book. And I would hardly call it a "love story". I would rather say it's a book about death and violence. A sad book about death and violence. It only gets 3 stars from me because I found the beginning tiresome and naive, full of clichés and superficial. I found the end quite exquisite, though boring sometimes. ...more
S©aP
Romanzo austero e intenso; a tratti duro. Che non si licenzia in una parola. Due i sapori principali. A) Un pragmatismo forte, "di razza". A volte sano e illuminante, diciamo pure salvifico in certe ore buie della vita; altre volte cinico ed esasperato, faticoso a digerirsi. L'esistenza difficile in una terra minata dalle contraddizioni (Israele) è bene dipinta da un essudato continuo di ansietà latente, che vena ogni riflessione. B) Quando la vita è dura, i sentimenti restano angoli di intimità ...more
Arthur Hessel
This is a novel in letters, a firm which, when well written, allows for multiple points of view to be presented. And multiple points of,view are helpful when you are dealing with a woman, married to her second husband, who begins a correspondence with her first, from whom she has been estranged since their messy divorce. The story line, and the characters, though, are a little overwritten, and some of the letters would have required 40 or 50 handwritten pages, but it is all saved by Oz' masterfu ...more
Realini
Black Box by Amos Oz

I keep hearing about Amos Oz and the Nobel that he is expected to get, for some years now. It seems a sure bet to say that he will. He has the necessary good work and the political favor that this prize involves.
I see on goodreads that a few of my friends have rated Black Box with a maximum of five stars. I will not do the same, although I still have to make up my mind, by the end of these lines how much shall I put.
I could appreciate it as a good book, although not great fr
...more
Marc L
The fun thing about a novel of letters is that it automatically introduces a very dynamic element in the story: through the different perspectives (of the writers of the letters) the information is released very gradually, consequentely the reader can only get the full picture after a while, if ever.
That is also the case in this book, with as a bonus the fact that it is about a marriage gone wrong; so through the letters you can reconstruct what went wrong, as in the black box after a plane acci
...more
Misty
A heartcrushing family drama unfolds through letters. This book makes me want to buy a set of waterman stationery, and start a correspondence with friends, enemies and ex-lovers.
Patty
E' stata una gran bella lettura questo romanzo epistolare di Amos Oz.
L'epistolario fra Alec e Ilana dopo 7 anni di assoluto silenzio in seguito a un divorzio conflittuale, rileva una forte ambivalenza di sentimenti, un intreccio di amore e odio, di passioni non del tutto assopite.
E'un gioco di specchi, un caleidoscopio di vissuto, di realtà e individuali. Non c'è mai del resto una verità sola e assoluta, ma diversi punti di vista della stessa.
La scatola nera è anche uno sguardo acuto sul confli
...more
vanya klecherova
някъде по пътя леко занижава летвата

„черната кутия”, амос оз

романът е добър като изпълнение, направа, език.
спокойно би завладял масовия вкус -
от първата си страница, та до самия край.

фатална жена, интрига, политика (и финансова такава),
два светогледа - фанатично-религиозен
и атеистично-скептично-притихнал,
няколко начина на живот - в кибуц,
хипаро-комунален, в самоналожено изгнание,
много страст, спомени и едни особено докосващи
брътвежи на лудия дядо/баща/свекър,
хладни и много точни бележки от н
...more
Daniel Chaikin
Having been in some kind of weird state of mind lately, I haven't been reading much. This is the first normal book I've read in a while, and it took awhile, with gaps of time in between. An epistolary novel, it first took me some time get into it, and then, once I did get involved, it just seemed to get so intense - mind you this was partly my state of mind. But this is a complex work. The variety of issues within Israel it brings in - the fanatical and irreverent views on religious and their po ...more
Jen
Black Box by Amos Oz
������������.5
I picked up this book with little enthusiasm. Based on the summary, I was convinced that I would not care for it. The GoodReads summary was as follows, ���examines the lives of a contemporary Israeli couple whose marriage has ended in disaster.��� My initial reaction was ���that sounds boring and depressing.��� Boy, was I wrong (about the boring part, it is not exactly uplifting). I loved this book. The Black Box is an epistolary novel told through a series of l
...more
Jennifer
I read this a long time ago, but I remember being really engaged with the story as it unfolds in letters from various people. The characters are extremely different, one from another, which makes them memorable and their interactions interesting. Characters' qualities and relationships work on another level, of course: the divisions within a family and the refusal of individuals to compromise are parallels for Israeli life ... or vice versa.
Adrian
One of the best works that I've read this year, Mr. Oz presents three life-stories involved in a love triangle. A woman, her former husband and the current one-a situation that is not exactly pleasant, but leaves room for no other scenario.
I loved thee way the letters and telegrams were written, each of them being the produce of a distinct psychological universe. I love the fact that Boaz, the son of Alexander and Ilana, had a somwhat hippie life philosphy that always seemed immature and immora
...more
Angela
A dramatic love story, written in an excellent manner, in which the characters torture themselves in the name of love. At a certain point, you can't be sure if love and hate are different notions. Although they are divorced, Alex and Ilana can't go on with their new lives..the past keeps them captives and the strength of their feelings bursts in every letter they send one another..
Bookmaniac70
Мисля, че след "История за мрак и любов" този роман на Амос Оз ми допада най-много. Чрез една семейна история, разкрита в поредица от писма,той успява да предаде много по-широк поглед върху еврейското общество в Израел през 70-те години. По нещо ми напомни на "Моят Михаел", но е някак по-мащабна. Женските образи определено са силна страна на таланта на писателя.
Gláucia Renata
A narrativa é epistolar, ou seja, vai se desenvolvendo através de cartas trocadas entre os personagens e nessas epístolas vai sendo destilada toda mágoa acumulada ao longo do tempo. Há muita crueldade nos protagonistas, faz lembrar Cathy e Heatcliff do Morro dos Ventos Uivantes.
Tancredi
"La verità è che abbiamo perso entrambi. Boaz appartiene solo a se stesso, e forse anche per se stesso è un estraneo. Proprio come te. Mi si stringe il cuore quando penso alla tragica rassomiglianza tra te e tuo figlio."



Non so perché ma sto sviluppando una straordinaria alchimia con gli scrittori israeliani. Sarà che la millenaria sofferenza del loro popolo li ha portati a sviluppare una sensibilità mastodontica.

E' il primo romanzo di Amos Oz, e già mi ha colpito per la sua grande arte narrativa
...more
Maria
De levens van Ilana, haar zoon Boaz, haar ex-man Alex Gideon en haar huidige man Michel Sommo kun je reconstrueren en analyseren uit brieven en telegrammen die zij vooral elkaar maar ook aan anderen schrijven. Ook zijn er nog notities en andere documenten. Je sympathie voor de diverse personages gaat heen en weer met het verhaal maar gaandeweg worden motieven, posities, achtergronden en overtuigingen duidelijker.
De twee mannen zijn tegenpolen: Michel, een orthodoxe, behoorlijk fanatieke jood, A
...more
Polina Kolatsi
The theme of this book, as far as I can decipher it, seems to be “the art of living”: meaning the difficulty and perhaps the impossibility of mastering it. I cannot say that the writing technique has fascinated me or the story for that matter. After reading the book I proceeded to read upon the author. It was with no surprise that I learned that he has studied philosophy, since most of his characters are more than in any other way defined by their ideas, ideals and impressions of themselves rath ...more
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Amos Oz (1939) is al jaren één van mijn favoriete Israëlische schrijvers (naast bijvoorbeeld Meir Shalev, Chaim Potok en Bashevis Singer). Op één of andere wijze was Black Box (1989) nog niet gelezen, maar nu dan wel.[return]Aan de hand van briefwisselingen, notities en telegrammen tussen Ilana Sommo, de ex-vrouw van Alexander Gid'on, oudmilitair, door zijn oorlogsverleden verzoeningsgezind en nu een beroemd wetenschapper, Michel Sommo, Ilana's tweede man en vurig pleitbezorger van de herovering ...more
Rosa
Este libro es uno de los mejores que he le��do ��ltimamente, a pesar de algunos pasajes al estilo raro de Paul Auster. La narraci��n, en forma de cartas y telegramas de los personajes entre ellos, es tremendamente original y efectiva en el contexto. La historia es la de dos personas, Alec e Ilana, que se divorciaron hace 7 a��os y no se hablan desde entonces. Alec se fue a Estados Unidos donde se construy�� una carrera acad��mica prestigiosa escribiendo sobre el fanatismo e Ilana se queda en Isr ...more
Monica



Possibly the most sensationalized and publicized divorce in recent history brought to light the horribleness of friends and family and the general public choosing sides. Who was right? Who was wrong? Who failed in the marriage?

Divorce is an interesting thing. Two people once so committed to each other deciding that it no longer is worth it. Worth the work. Worth the communication. Far too often, the games begin- he said, she said - power and control ..... It becomes even more complicated when th
...more
Biblibio
Rating this one is hard, because as much I want to recommend Black Box, I know that I didn't especially like the book beyond three stars. But it's worth a lot more. It's worth the read.

Black Box is the first epistolary or multi-narration novel I've read in a very long time that differentiates between each of its characters. Amos Oz creates individual characters with individual speaking and writing styles absolutely brilliantly, and though none of the characters themselves are particularly sympat
...more
Tania Manoussaki
Behind the stars in the sky there are hidden words like plan aim organization....so we had all been created to make it happen and we are obligated to act in a certain route already planned for each one of us...
how magic is to describe one life filled with endless love sorrow catastrophe and four people that decided to go against this certain route....breath taking cruelty!!!!
Maria Laura
No le doy las cuatro estrellas por el final.

La verdad me gusto mucho la forma en la que esta narrada la historia, por medio de cartas. Me permitio conocer muy bien la forma de ser de los personajes. Tambien me gustó como se va revelando poco a poco el porque el matrimonio de Ilana y Alec no funcionó.

Sin embargo, y como dije antes, no le doy la cuarta estrella al libro debido a su final. Sinceramente cuando terminé de leer tuve la horrible sensación de que faltaban paginas. No se sintió como un f
...more
Yair Bezalel
At first I thought this was a weaker novel than Oz's "My Michael". The form of the story told mainly through written letters the characters sent to one another felt clunky and inappropriate for the type of story Amos Oz it seemed was trying to tell.



To an extent these initial failings still persist in the rating for the book. But, oddly enough, "Black Box" succeeds in areas where "My Michael" did not. The characters here feel more human, in that they not only fall but are simultaneously cognizan
...more
Marycarmen (abby)
Es interesante, la manera en que esta narrada, por medio de cartas, Honestamente, un libro recomendable.

La historia de Alec y Ilana, (sonará raro) pero me gusto, me gusto como ellos se fueron relacionando luego del mal matrimonio.

Es entendible (para mi) como ella sintió el deber de cuidarlo. El final es un poco.. "Sin sentido" es como si le faltaran paguinas, creo que debió terminar de otra manera, ¿que pasa con Alec? ¿Ilana vuele? ¿Que hará Boaz? ¿Sommo cuidará solo de Yifat?
Son preguntas que s
...more
Cristine
O livro foi escrito em formato epistolar. A trama é estruturada a partir da correspondência entre os personagens – Alex Guideon, o professor e escritor que mora nos EUA; a ex-esposa de Guideon, Ilana Sommo, que mora em Israel; o filho do casal, Boaz Brandstetter; o atual marido de Ilana, Michael Sommo; os advogados de Guideon – esses telegramas são sem dúvida o alívio cômico da narrativa; e alguns parentes e amigos. E acredito que essa estrutura justifique o título. É como se fosse dada ao leito ...more
Mali
Oz is a strong writer, he makes you feel the anger, the sensuality, the hatred and most masterfuly the tenderness of the characters lives told through their letters to each other. I really enjoyed reading this.
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Amos Oz (עמוס עוז) is an Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist. He is also a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. Since 1967, he has been a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2008 he received an Honorary Degree from the University of Antwerp. He also received the Dan David prize in 2008 for "Creative Rendering of the Pa ...more
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“Faith, coming from the lack of faith: as much as the faith in oneself is demolished, as much the intoxicating faith in the salvation becomes strong and the desperate need to be save grows. The savior is that much great, as you’re small, insignificant and unworthy. Anri Begrson writes: “It’s not true that faith can move mountains. On the contrary, the main thing in faith is the ability not to notice anything, even the moving of the mountain in front of you. It’s like a hermetic screen, fully impregnable to the facts.” 4 likes
“Η εγκληματικότητα και η αυτοθυσία είναι οι δύο πλευρές του ίδιου νομισματος. Η καταδυνάστευση όπως ο αλτρουισμός, η βιαιότητα όπως η αυτοθυσία, η καταπίεση του πλησίον όπως η καταπίεση του εαυτού μας, η σωτηρία της ψυχής αυτών που διαφέρουν από σένα όπως και η εξολόθρευση αυτών που διαφέρουν απο σένα: δεν πρόκειται για ζευγη αντιθέτων αλλά για διαφορετικές εκφράσεις της ανθρώπινης κενότητας και αναξιότητας.” 2 likes
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