Lion's Honey (Canongate Myth Series)
A consideration of one of the Bible’s most powerful stories from a leading Israeli writer In this fascinating reexamination of the story of Samson, David Grossman goes beyond the surface of the familiar tale to look into what the life of this extraordinary man must have been like. What it felt like to have been “chosen” to release his people from the yoke of the Philistine...more
I am no stranger to the story of Samson; I studied in a private, religious school for 13 years, during which I was - for lack of a better, or nicer, word - force-fed the Bible and its stories*. Samson's feats of strength (the only one I was ever able to remember was the one at the end, really - collapsing the two pillars and killing three thousand Philistines in one blow) and ...more
What Grossman has not done however, is provide a retelling of the myth of Samson. He has instead produced a work of literary criticism. Only it's not a terribly good work of criticism, if looked at from a critical persp ...more
The story of Samson forms four chapters (13-16) of the Book of Judges. There are a number of aspects to the story, but the best known is that of the strong man who loses his strength when his hair is cut, thanks to Delilah. Samson is imprisoned by the Philistines but, in his final act, is able to bring down a building on himself and three thousand Philistines.
In this brief (145 page) book, written for The Myths seri ...more
Grossman looks at the story of Samson and gives the story a very close reading. I doubt anyone who reads this book will look at the story of Samson the same way. Additionally, Grossman makes connections to current events, though not in a heavy handed way.
Grossman's look at Samson presents a rather interesting idea of a man who is chosen by who may lack free will. He also takes about dated readings of the story. (For in ...more
Then I read David Grossman's little book. David carries us deep into the mind--nay, the very heart--of this ancient hero, to uncover what makes him tick. Sampson has been transformed from a turbulent, macho man into a needy, troubled misfit. A muscle-bound one, no less, which make ...more
Grossman sticks to the text. He doesn't want to veer off into fantasy. At the same time, he questions everything from every angle, never letting an issue rest until he h ...more
Like many reviewers of this book, I originally read Lion's Honey because I was completely blown away by Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad. Also like o ...more
Instead, it's more of an extended commentary on the chapters of Judges that involve Samson. Grossman tells the reader what the text says, and then says when he discerns from that ...more
I was surprised that this book is listed as fiction, as it reads like an academic exploration of Samson, rather than a telling of his story.
So 'Lion's Honey' is a little different to the other Canongate Myth books I've read in that while they were modern "retellings" this was a more academic analysis of the myth. At times it was a little dense (despite its short length) a ...more
Instead of offering biblical exegesis, Lion’s Honey is a literary and psychoanalytical reading of the Samson story, as told in The Book of Judges. An Israeli novelist, Grossman starts with the original text and proceeds in 150 pages to interpret Samson as an uncommonly lonely figure. Samson is chosen – as an angel informs his mother – to help liberate Israel from the Philistines, but he seems to spend his life as often acting on impulse as serving God. Desire for fe ...more
Grossman tulkitsee Simsonia melko suppean kertomuksen pohjalta. (Alkuperäinen kertomus löytyy kirjan alusta.) Hän yrittää löytää syitä tapahtu ...more
And then the book proper begins and it's .. an essay, which is not what I was expecting. And it's a very detailed one at that - almost a line by line analysis, pulling in material from other sources, psychoanalysis - and initially it seems quite a stretch, rather too much from too little.
But by the end, and this wa ...more
If you thought Samson was simply an all-too-gullible strongman for God, let Grossman open up ...more
However, rather than a contemporary retelling of the story, this little book is something between a commentary an ...more
Grossman analyzes the chapters line by line (and sometimes word by word) and manages to tease out enough meaning and speculate about missing scenes and emotions involved that it feels fully fleshed out instead of just the rough outline presented in the original text.
I especially enjoyed the speculation on Samson's free will, since that's always a thorny issue with biblical stories.
Last line from Lion’s Honey. Another from the Canongate Myths series. As with The Penelopiad, Lion’s Honey offered a different perspective to a myth, in this case a Biblical story. Grossman applies the psychologist’s viewpoint to Samson’s tale, adding another dimension (or two, maybe even three) to his character. It proved to be an interesting read but may just leave you questioning everything.
Samson, a tragic man predefined before his birth in the role of a hero by god, is portrayed as a violent but also poetic hero, who hides his basic need for being loved, accepted and understood as the fragile person he is behind a heroic facade and eventually succumbs lashing out against those who abused the sincerity of his need.
Much better than the MGM films of yesteryore ( Ridley Scott ought to option this tale), in Grossman's narrative you really understand the Big Lug's Lust.
It ain't easy being divine...read this Novel: NOW.
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