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Laish

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3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  32 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A caravan of Jews wanders through Eastern Europe at the end of the nineteenth century on a heartbreaking quest. Spiritual seekers and the elderly, widows and orphans, the sick and the dying, con artists and adventurers, victims of pogroms who have no place else to go–they are all on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but the journey is filled with unexpected detours and unanti ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Schocken (first published 1994)
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Garryvivianne
Aug 09, 2009 Garryvivianne rated it really liked it
A fifteen year old orphaned Jewish boy is part of a caravan to the Holy Land from Eastern Europe. This is a story of their journey and all the difficulties they encounter on the way. As they go on this trek, many die along the way or completely abandon the journey. The older men try to keep them focused on the pilgrimage. When the holy man who was heading this journey dies, they are at the mercy of the drivers, the "dealers" & the thieves. This is Laish's telling of the different Jewish peop ...more
Victoria
Jan 12, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, translation
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lorri
Aug 11, 2010 Lorri rated it it was amazing
Laish, by aharon Appelfeld , is a novel that slowly weaves its way through the pages, depicting a six-wagon caravan of Ukranian individuals wandering through Eastern Europe, trying to make their way to Jerusalem. It is a tapestry that, in many ways, can be compared to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

What one has to do in order to survive and reach their goal is a testament to their courage, and to their physical and spiritual endurance. There is a constant ritual that occurs each day within th
...more
Bandit
Dec 13, 2014 Bandit rated it it was ok
Second read by Appelfeld. Definitely seeing a pattern. He writes of the plight of Jews around the turn of last century. This story is a tale of a traveling caravn of piligrims on their ways to the Promised Land. It's exceptionally bleak, but not just bleak, it's also utterly joyless, completely free of even glimpses of colors other than grey. Just terrible things happening over and over to a bunch of fairly helpless but basically decent human beings. Appelfeld is a good writer, his narrative rol ...more
Peter
Apr 07, 2013 Peter rated it liked it
Well-intentioned but strangely sluggish story of a ragtag band of Jews (zealots, peddlers and thugs) on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The story plods, meanders and ultimately goes nowhere, and there are too many characters for such a short novel - we only get to know a few of them closely, with the rest little more than names.
Lauren
Feb 02, 2017 Lauren rated it liked it
I admire the way his novels work as folktale, allegory, and story. A beautiful, quiet tale about struggle, hardship and perseverance.

I do think he tells the same story over and over but that doesn't bother me.
Torey
Jan 26, 2013 Torey rated it did not like it
For the first time in a really long time, I couldn't force myself to finish this book. It wasn't uncomfortable or challenging or... Anything, really. It just wasn't.
Amanda
Mar 05, 2010 Amanda rated it did not like it
I enjoyed the lyricism of this book, but it was confusing and I didn't find it to have a very forward moving plot.
Knittingdragonflies
Aug 25, 2009 Knittingdragonflies rated it it was amazing
Beautifully told.
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Goodreads Librari...: Cancelled Title, what to do 2 28 Feb 05, 2017 08:18PM  
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AHARON APPELFELD is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Until the Dawn's Light and The Iron Tracks (both winners of the National Jewish Book Award) and The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger). Other honors he has received include the Giovanni Bocaccio Literary Prize, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Israel Prize, the Bialik Prize, the Independent Fo ...more
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