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Friendly Fire: A Duet
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Friendly Fire: A Duet

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  299 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
A couple, long married, are spending an unaccustomed week apart. Amotz, an engineer, is busy juggling the day-to-day needs of his elderly father, his children, and his grandchildren. His wife, Daniella, flies from Tel Aviv to East Africa to mourn the death of her older sister. There she confronts her anguished seventy-year-old brother-in-law, Yirmiyahu, whose soldier son ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 10th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
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Mar 05, 2009 Billy rated it really liked it
"Do everything possible to leave this world without complaints or bitterness." So says Amotz Ya'ari in this kind and gentle book.It is Hannukkah, and Amotz's wife, Daniela, a high school English teacher in Tel Aviv, is off to Tanzania to visit her brother-in-law. Daniela's sister has died recently and the brother-in-law, a retired Israeli diplomat, has decided not to return to Israel, but stay behind in East Africa. Amotz does not accompany Daniela, remaining in Tel Aviv to deal with family and ...more
May 23, 2016 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-tour
I also found this book when looking for another by the author; the synopsis is not engaging enough to make it first choice. It is a slow paced story and most of it is about everyday concerns of family, work, ageing and coping with grief. The author has done an excellent job of making those everyday concerns into a compelling narrative.
There are two story lines following an elderly couple: the wife on a trip to visit her widowed brother-in-law in Tanzania and the husband at home in Tel Aviv with
Aug 02, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it
I went looking for a different Yehoshua book in the library, which they don't own, and checked out this title instead. I claim that it's my healthy alternative to impulse buying in a shopping mall. Even though I have twenty-some titles on my To Read list, all thoroughly vetted by Friends' recommendations, I'm still driven to taking risks and choosing a book by it's cover! Call me Crazy!

The story is a tale of an Israeli couple, Amotz and Daniela, who are separated for eight days while the wife vi
Un libro capace di raccontare l'ordinario in maniera straordinaria, mettendo in risalto la successione di eventi che si vivono nel quotidiano.

Daniela decide di andare in Africa a trovare suo cognato a cui sono morti moglie e figlio. Qui a Morogoro Daniela ripercorrerà i momenti più belli vissuti con sua sorella. Nello stesso momento si descrive la settimana vissuta dal marito di Daniela, Amotz, ingegnere responsabile di ascensori, al quale gliene capitano di tutti i colori: prima il figlio lo ri
May 24, 2009 Jbradley rated it really liked it
Sex, death, love, infidelity, parents, children, Jews, Arabs, family, loss, howling winds and an elephant with a mysterious blue eye. Loved it.
Jul 22, 2013 Gauss74 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avevo già notato in altre opere di Yehoshua come il perenne conflitto che come una maledizione insanguina la storia di Israele sia penetrato in profondità nel pensiero comune e nella vita di tutti i giorni del popolo ebraico.
Anche nei momenti di gioia familiare di una madre col suo figlio essa rimane, come un fastidioso mormorio lontano cui ci si abitua ma che non si può dimenticare, e di cui non si può non tener conto nel fare le proprie scelte.

Ma ci si potrà mai abituare alla guerra? Quando
Jun 17, 2013 Cloudbuster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, medio-oriente
La mentalità del popolo israeliano è molto complessa per chi la osserva dall’esterno. Le vicende storiche, la difficile situazione politica ed i precetti religiosi si sono stratificati e combinati in una matassa che per noi è di ben difficile comprensione. Abraham Yehoshua è forse una delle più lucide voci che può guidarci in questo groviglio inestricabile e mostrarci dall’interno l’animo degli israeliani. Dall’alto della sua autorità può permettersi di porre domande profonde sul significato ...more
Anche se mi ha lasciato un senso di sospensione e un non comprendere fino in fondo dove volesse arrivvare il libro (tranne per le ultime pagine) affascina e ipnotizza il lettore. Due narrazioni scorrono parallele nel tempo, in Israele ed in Africa e le emozioni volano da un continente all'altro e si intrecciano. Amotz e Daniela una coppia attorno ai 60 trascorre separata le feste di Hannukkà. La settimana trascorre scandita dall'accensione delle candele rituali ed accompagnamo le emozioni ed i ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Joy is currently reading it
A really slow read. Many contemporary Israeli authors delve into the stoic at times obstinate psyche of what it means to be an Israeli and that narrative carries on for chapters. It's emotionally exhausting. I'll continue to slog through, waiting for a breakthrough.
Mar 17, 2009 Leslie rated it really liked it
Yehoshua writes about ordinary, likable people leading ordinary lives sometimes disrupted by events. Sort of an Israeli Anne Tyler, and Israel itself is important to the book. I enjoyed this book very much.
Jan 26, 2015 Hermien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish, middle-east
I loved the writing and the endearing family members. It had a similar feel to The Liberated Bride.
Shmuli Cohen
Jan 12, 2013 Shmuli Cohen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early modern Hebrew writers like Bialik, Agnon and Amichai, tended to focus on the collective experience. The emergence of writers like A.B. Yehoshua changed this emphasis to the individual – an individual at odds with society and with themself.
Friendly Fire is ostensibly about people. It uses an alternative discourse, the modern Israeli, far from the battlefield or the Kibbutz as the protagonist. By doing so, it relieves us from the harsh political realities of the modern state. The result is a
Nov 02, 2014 Asya rated it it was ok
I was almost won over by this novel, then it lost me for good. It was the plodding narrative that didn't distinguish between vital minutiae and the pile of unnecessary details, the lack of events of any sort or revelations, or change, it was the characters' flatness, and finally, it was that elevator metaphor that finally made me lose my patience. Elevator as responsibility of Israeli Jews toward their Arab neighbors? as interconnectedness? as the social fabric? I don't know, it didn't work, it ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it
I have never read anything about this author before, and I have to say that I was delighted with his work. I enjoyed this novel a lot, and it gave me a good glimpse of what life can be for a well-off older couple in modern Israel. How they cope with everyday life, family issues, death, mourning, separation, etc. It was a slow read, but not boring at all. It all happens during an eight-day holiday; Hanukkah. And with the lighting of each candle we get to see how the past and present of this ...more
Sep 26, 2015 icaro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dopo questa lettura rimane la sensazione che "il libro non sia finito". E questo è forse tratto migliore del romanzo. Mi piace l'idea di una storia che viva e continui, da qualche parte, senza che io possa leggerla o conoscerla altrimenti.
E' come se si trattasse proprio di una storia vera: la storia di alcune delle molte persone con le quali la nostra vita s'intreccia, casualmente, per qualche ragione, per qualche breve momento, per poi allontanarsene.
Nello stesso tempo mi sento come una pettego
Aug 06, 2015 Meghan rated it liked it
The storyline is nicely constructed, alternating between the husband staying at home in Israel and the wife traveling to Africa to grieve her deceased sister. Such a basis has promise for a compelling read; however, the reader's overall experience feels rather benign. There was no direct epiphany for any of the characters, and climatic moments were reduced to a few sentences. There were opportunities for greater dramatic tension, so it is unclear if the author bypassed such stark statements to ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
Friendly Fire / A. B. Yehoshua. This contemporary Israeli is a sometime favorite writer of mine. And this novel is at the top of the list. Tale of a Tel Aviv couple, sixtyish, who are apart for a week when the wife visits her widower brother-in-law in Tanzania. The author alternates brief sections between the two, touching upon issues of family, death, and professional life. The husband is an engineer whose firm designs elevators, which makes for an interesting subplot. There is a variety of ...more
Yair Ben-Zvi
Jan 25, 2011 Yair Ben-Zvi rated it did not like it
Way too indulgent literature of decadence. Very weak. Yehshoua has apparently taken his status as grand old man of hebrew letters and ran with it as the entire novel feels phoned in. The narrative is lackluster and boring, the characters one dimensional and unsympathetic (and all slight variations of the same voice) and Yehoshua paints with such broad strokes (regarding Israel and ALL of Africa) that at times the story becomes nearly impossible to take seriously. The author's views apart from ...more
Chrinda Jones
Aug 11, 2013 Chrinda Jones rated it really liked it
Yehosha did a wonderful job with this novel. His style of writing invokes a great deal of sympathy for the characters and situations he has written and the story he tells. He has taken two stories, ran them along side each other and drawn parallels between the Jewish suffering throughout the world and the Sudanese suffering in Africa.Sometimes the book is a bit disjointed and the parallels are difficult to see, but all in all it's a very nice piece of writing, and well worth reading if only for ...more
Jul 01, 2010 Leslie rated it liked it
the story is compelling, the writing was not as I had hoped. Perhaps its the translation? Agai, it's difficult to read author's whose point of reference is not the US as I am basically ignorant of Israeli geography and current culture.

Merged review:

Highly recommended author from one of the ladies in my bookclub. Next bookclub meeting January 12. a difficult topic even more difficult as I am not familiar with Israeli geography or day to day life as I've not travelled there.
May 04, 2016 STAVROULA NTINTA rated it really liked it
Αυτό το βιβλίο το διάβασα στην ελληνική του έκδοση, μου άρεσε γιατί διαβάζεται εύκολα και δείχνει τη μεσοαστική κοινωνία του Ισραήλ στις μέρες μας κάνοντας ταυτόχρονα αναφορά στις αμφισβητήσεις ενός ήρωα του μυθιστορήματος ως προς το αν ο λαός του Ισραήλ είναι ο περιούσιος λαός του Θεού. Το βρήκα πολύ ενδιαφέρον.
Daughters Of Abraham
This is a family story about Israelis. It did well to demonstrate tensions in a family around military service, war, and the loss of a soldier in the family. Also sparked themes of secular and religious life. Caution: this is a book about Israel and it does contain content about Israeli-Palestinian distrust and anger.This book may be too political for some groups.

Mar 01, 2010 Naomi rated it really liked it
I can't say that I loved reading this book. I didn't want to give up on it, but I felt like I was working very hard to get through it, and I wasn't certain that I was grasping all the symbolism. Maybe that's the feeling Yehoshua was trying to create? After all, this is a book about life in Israel.
Ubik 2.0
Un Yehoshua in evidente calo di ispirazione! Non basta la sua grande capacità narrativa, l'umanità di cui sa rivestire i personaggi, la capacità introspettiva, bisogna (Santiddio!) costruirci intorno un narrazione che abbia un minimo di evoluzione e significato che dia spessore alla vicenda (L'amante, Ritorno dall'India, Cinque serate, ecc... erano tutta un'altra cosa).
Debra Askanase
May 05, 2011 Debra Askanase rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Loved this story of one family in two places: Africa and Israel. I was moved and entranced by the story when it took place in Africa and less interested in the Israeli side of the story. An interesting book about how we deal with grief and secrets in relationships.
Aug 30, 2010 Jackie rated it liked it
This book explores the power of grief and bitterness in a drama encompasing political, historical and religious significgance. It is a dual-sided character driven novel. I found the goinging back and forth between the rwo main characters a little tiring.
Donna Bossin
Apr 27, 2012 Donna Bossin rated it really liked it

Well written book. Captures conflicts of contemporary Israeli society and of what it means to be human. Good translation as well
Feb 11, 2011 Avy rated it it was ok
Very disappointing. I have loved Yehoshua's previous work. I couldn't engage with his characters and the story seemed contrived.
Wonderful richly described characters....set in Israel and Africa...the story of a family's attempt to cope with the tragic death of Eyali by "friendly fire" - one of his own men.
Rachel Pruchno
Jan 01, 2015 Rachel Pruchno rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written story of a marriage haunted by the death of a child. Told from both his and her perspectives. Loved it.
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A. B. Yehoshua is one of Israel's preeminent writers. His novels include A Journey to the End of the Millenium, The Liberated Bride, and A Woman in Jerusalem, which was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2007. He lives in Haifa.
More about Abraham B. Yehoshua...

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