A short, but elegant play which engages the reader with verbal fencing and subterfuge between the main characters. The psychological duel between Dr....more A short, but elegant play which engages the reader with verbal fencing and subterfuge between the main characters. The psychological duel between Dr. Greenberg and psychiatric patient Michael Aleen will keep you fascinated, and ultimately will pull you down the road to the wrong conclusion. The cryptic contributions by nurse Miss Peterson won't help you sort out what's really happening either. At 56 pages, I sat down and read the entire play all at once. If you like writing that keeps you thinking and engrossed in the story, this is for you.
I became aware of this play after reading a news release on the internet that it was about to become a movie, with filming starting in November 2013 in Montreal. The announced cast members are Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener, Carrie-Ann Moss, and Xavier Dolan. I'm not sure how the play will be expanded, but I look forward to seeing it on the big screen. (less)
**Spoilers** **I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway**
This was an excellent book that really made me think. Michelle Cohen Corasanti has crafte...more**Spoilers** **I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway**
This was an excellent book that really made me think. Michelle Cohen Corasanti has crafted a captivating story about what happened to the people already living on the lands that became Israel after World War II. There are no lofty references to ancient history or Biblical Israel to make an argument for or against the formation of modern-day Israel; instead, this is a very down-to-earth, practical tale that shows the effects of unfair government policies and horrendous military behavior on a Palestinian family.
This story focuses on Ichmad Hamid, the son of a wealthy family that owns an orange grove in Palestine in the 1950s. Ichmad is a mathematical genius who is the pride of his artist and musician father, a very enlightened and moderate person. As the story progresses, the youngest daughter is blown up by an Israeli Army planted landmine. They are not allowed to bury her immediately in accordance with their religion, but instead must wait days to receive a burial permit. The family is moved off of their lands. The orange groves are given to Jewish settlers; Ichmad's family is saddened and confused but not enraged. On Ichmad's 12th birthday, his father is arrested and taken to a horribly run prison for a crime he didn't commit. The family's house is demolished. More awful things happen to the family and their village. Work is impossible to find as Jewish people generally do not hire Palestinians. Travel permits to see his father in prison take the stamina of a marathoner to get. Throughout all of this, Ichmad remembers his father's teachings and does not give in to utter hatred. In the end, it is that ability to simply endure and not hate that rewards Ichmad with a hard-won education and success. Ichmad's ability to accept and embrace the Jewish people around him further rewards him with a life-long friendship with his Jewish physics professor and research partner. This is contrasted with his brother, who does give in to his hatred of the Jews. The analogy of Abbas shows how we all lose when we hate instead of reasoning and talking to others, even those who oppress either inadvertently or intentionally.
This might be taken as an anti-Israel or anti-Jewish book at first glance. But that is the impression only of those who do not take the time to actually read the book. The author's stance is far from being anti-anything, except anti-hate and anti-violence. Far from simple condemnation of the Israeli government, the author seems to point toward a condemnation of sweeping policies enacted and enforced without thought, and absolute power without check in the hands of young military personnel. There are good and bad Jewish people, as well as good and bad Palestinians. Some of the characters have noticeable gradations of both. Ichmad's inner struggles were interesting and realistic, but sometimes I wanted just a little more character development of everyone. I think some more gray areas in the characters of all would have been a little more realistic.
Overall, this was a very well written novel. The prose was articulate and graceful, the descriptions were detailed enough to paint a thorough picture in my mind of the surroundings and clothing without engulfing the characters or dialog. And the dialog was interesting and realistic. Finally, the author's background and previous experience residing in Israel do give her credence. I have already recommended this book to others.
I received this book in a Goodreads First-Reads promotion. Also, I happen to be friends with the author, which apparently didn't help with my selecti...more I received this book in a Goodreads First-Reads promotion. Also, I happen to be friends with the author, which apparently didn't help with my selection to receive a copy of her book. I think she was as excited as I was when she saw her publsher's list of awardees about the same time that I found out.
That being said, I have no hesitation in writing this review and recommending her book. I also have no hesitation in giving it 5/5 stars; it is a well-written story with engaging characters and interesting dialogue. Other reviews will focus on events in the story; instead, all you need to know are the basics and that the author has done a meticulous (although not laborious) job of re-creating the world before the Great Flood.
In this tale, a young woman who has a large red birthmark on her face is married to Noah for her own protection. No one else has wanted her; she faces great danger in staying with her father as her birthmark indicates that she is a demon to the superstitious tribesmen. She has spent the last 19 years hiding in her father's tent serving him and has never been named. Noah is approximately 600 years old and has been searching for a wife who is pure of heart and also worships the God of Adam. If it were not for the danger she faced at home, she might have crumbled at what awaited her throughout her marriage to Noah.
Although tested in every way possible by Noah, her sons, her neighbors, and every imaginably uncomfortable aspect of life in ancient times, she perseveres and becomes a remarkable woman. Throughout this narrative, the author reveals the genuine and resilient spirit of a character who otherwise has barely been granted a mention in history.
The author utilizes a great deal of creativity, combined with warmth and humor, to make a largely unknown person a three-dimensional being about whom you cannot help but care. "Wife" is neither idealized nor glamorized yet becomes the strong pillar upon which Noah's family and his obedience to God rests.
There were parts of this story to which I can only surmise are based upon legends of which I was not familiar. I think that the author has done a worthy job of researching the settings and lifestyles of the peoples of that era, as well as employing a large reservoir of understanding into how interpersonal relationships actually work.
I can honestly recommend this book. When I finished it, I was staying with my husband in the city where he works; based upon my comments, he insisted that I leave the book with him when I went home!(less)
I was certain this was a novel, and I had wanted to read it after I saw the movie of the same name several years ago. Imagine my surprise when my hus...more I was certain this was a novel, and I had wanted to read it after I saw the movie of the same name several years ago. Imagine my surprise when my husband and I were in Savannah this Fall and discovered that it was a mostly non-fiction account of a real murder in that city. People asked, "Have you read...?" And said, "Oh, but the movie doesn't do credit to the book. You have to read the book."
So many of the characters in this book are larger than life...this is a snapshot of assorted alternative and unusual lifestyles in the early 1980's. The strange beauty of this story is that it is all whirling together in an isolated inlet of American history. Berendt lived for a time in Savannah, an outsider New Yorker who fell for the charm and grace of the area; he met or observed so many of the notables connected to this case, as well as others who gave the place its flavor. This is what makes the story really interesting; we have Berendt's non-judgmental, yet slightly amused view of each person. He is never horrified, so he is a great commentator on the stunning strangeness and contradictions of the people he meets. This is better than a detached third-party report about the historical significance of Savannah, and of social icon Jim Williams, antiques dealer and alleged murderer.
Berendt's prose provides a vivid picture of Savannah's place as an essential part of American history while still being an isolated protectorate of Southern society. Mind you, the behavior of the socially accepted as reported here is slightly to fully bizarre. But oh, what a story. Berendt, a former editor for New York magazine and columnist for Esquire weaves together the people and events in a style that makes you want to keep reading into the night. I highly recommend this book. And we are renting the movie again.