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A Strange Death A Story Discovered In Palestine

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  32 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1917, the members of a spy ring who sought to assist the British in driving the Turks from Palestine were betrayed. Two were hanged; one, the iconically beautiful Sarah Aaronsohn, shot herself to escape torture and died a lingering death four days later. It was said that four of the women of the town of Zichron were seen laughing hysterically as the arrests of their nei ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by PublicAffairs
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Evelyn
Jan 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Who would have thought that the seemingly sleepy village of Zichron Yaakov had so much intrigue in its recent history? Halkin, a resident (or is it former resident, not really clear on that) delves into the town's early to mid-20th century past in order to find out such things as: which town founders and/or their childer were actually spies; which ones were effective, which not; who were some of these spies actually working for; how did certain mysterious deaths actually occur. The concept is an ...more
Katlyn
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a tough book to rate because it has equally frustrating and enjoyable parts.
It's like my experience with Les Miserables or Moby Dick: the words are beautiful, but there are just too, too many. In the case of Moby Dick, the plot is slow. 'A Strange Death' is a bit slow at times, but every little anecdote or Arab proverb is delightful. Drenched in history and Jewish/Arab culture all along the way.
I really liked seeing a window into old Israel/Palestine, especially considering the state of
...more
Michal
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Explains the viewpoints of the groups that didn't 'win' in the establishment of the state of Israel, and hence are invisible, under represented or denigrated by the writers of history that is the present, acceptable canon of the Jewish yishuv from 1880's to the creation of the state.
Recommended.
Jim Leffert
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
If Woody Allen’s maxim that “Ninety percent of life is just showing up” were true, perhaps this book would be a masterpiece instead of a self-indulgent, meandering account of Halkin’s efforts to delve into the history of Zichron Yakov, his adopted home town in Israel. After immigrating to Israel with his wife in 1970, the U.S.-born Halkin, a writer and translator, settled in this sleepy little town south of Haifa. Zichron Yakov was one of the settlements in the first wave of Zionist immigration ...more
Sharon
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up second-hand as I thought it was a biography. It is, actually, an interesting tale of a particular town during the struggle for Israel independence. The story teller is someone who has moved to this town in recent years. It's quite fascinating from an historical perspective; but on occasion you get lost with the current versus the old tales. And, the author isn't too skilled at setting up the suspense: by the end of the book, I'd lost track of whose death it was I was suppos ...more
Ellen
May 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Seeing Suzie reading this reminded me about it...I read it before I joined Goodreads. I, too, wanted to like it, since it is set here in Zichron Ya'akov and because I love history, especially history of the yishuv. But I really didn't enjoy it. I didn't care for the writing style, the jumping back and forth from the present to the past didn't do anything for me, and if I hadn't had been enjoying the fact that it was about my adopted home town, I wouldn't have liked anything about it.
Lauren Stern Kedem
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Haven't met the author yet but plan to. I loved the stories he retells which took place in Zichron Yaakov and neighboring Shfeyah in Israel where I live. Halkin's vivid descriptions of the places and the people who lived in this part of the country during the early part of the 21th century and the 70s when he came to Zichron are still recognizable today in the landscapes and in the quirky nature of the descendants of the characters in the story.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Nov 03, 2008 marked it as decided-not-to-read
Shelves: espionage, memoir
This sort of read like L.M. Montgomery, of all things - there was a nigh-overwhelming proportion of local trivia. I'd rather not read something I feel like I have to wade through, just at the moment.
Suzierussell
May 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really want to like this book, but just 30 pages in and I hate his descriptive writing. Since this is the history of my chosen home, I'm going to keep reading. He better improve.

Nope. He didn't

Doris Cook
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A bit of history that reads as if it were fiction!
Mindy K.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
enjoyed on many levels
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Hillel Halkin (born 1939) is an American-born Israeli translator, biographer, literary critic, and novelist, who has lived in Israel since 1970.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillel_...
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