My weekend reading; can't wait! I've loved every Gabriel Allon book since the series started. Just came across an on-target review by Hugh Hewitt, par...moreMy weekend reading; can't wait! I've loved every Gabriel Allon book since the series started. Just came across an on-target review by Hugh Hewitt, parts of which I thought I'd share with anyone unfamiliar with the series:
"Silva's books are wonderful entertainment and Silva is widely regarded as at the very top of the thriller writers working today, but the far deeper value of the books is in the education they provide on the precarious situation of Israel in the world today. The nature of that situation first became very obvious to millions of Americans in my generation when terrorists attacked the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in 1972, ecventually killing 11 Israeli athletes and coaches on September 6, 1972. Most American 50 and older can tell you exactly where they were when this atrocity unfolded, and as the 40th anniversary looms, we can only hope the organizers of the London Games are not only committed to remembering that awful massacre but also to remembering its details correctly and without concern for the political winds blowing once again against Israel all across Europe.
The Fallen Angel takes the reader not only to Vienna and Rome in another superb combination off pacing and plot, but also to Jerusalem and into the heart of the "Temple Denial" phenomenon, the all-to-real effort by the fanatical opponents of Israel's history to claim that the First and second Temples of Ancient Israel never existed. This appalling assault on truth obliges its proponents to condemn themselves as unthinking fanatics, but the world doesn't have to accomodate their extremism any more than it does the nuttiness of Holocaust deniers. Silva's thriller does a great deal to call attention to the phenomenon, and to the physical threats to Israel as well, especially those coming from Hezbollah.
...This kind of dual purpose in a novel is rare, and not to be missed, by ordinary beach-going vacationers or presidential candidates. "(less)
Shakespeare, Jewish suburban New Jersey, and the Ghetto of Venice: three main themes in my life! I was predisposed to like the book, and so was easily...moreShakespeare, Jewish suburban New Jersey, and the Ghetto of Venice: three main themes in my life! I was predisposed to like the book, and so was easily won over. Marantz's satire is of the Thurber variety: fond, not biting, gently illuminating the foibles and foolishness of her characters while never losing sight of their basic goodness. The grandmother and the young high school English teacher are wonderful characters, and the plot- while far-fetched- is smart and fun. Was the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets really the beautiful daughter of the Rabbi of Venice? Is Jesse Kaplan really a reincarnation? The deeper "message"- if anything so light can have a message- is that the need to be useful, and to be loved, never fades, no matter how old (whether "old" as in grandmother or "old" as in a thirty-something single) you are.
"Much Ado," is loosely based on the plot of Shakespeare's play by that name in much the same way that Marantz's "Jane Austen in Scarsdale" and "Jane Austen in Boca" are based upon Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and "Emma," respectively. It's an easy, fun read for an afternoon, but one with wit and substance as well. (less)