Greta's Reviews > The Blue Mountain

The Blue Mountain by Meir Shalev
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
45248887
's review

it was amazing
Recommended to Greta by: Ram
Read 2 times. Last read January 8, 2017 to January 20, 2017.

 photo DFBA70EE-067C-4D3F-9064-CCBEEA88FB62.jpg
I and the village - Marc Chagall


A brilliant novel about the legacy of Israel's pioneering tradition and foundation (originally published under the Hebrew title 'A Russian Novel' in 1988).
A small group of jewish Ukrainian pioneer immigrants settle in the Jezreel Valley in Ottoman Palestine in the beginning of the twentieth century, many years before Israel officially became a State.

It portraits three generations of people, who live in a farm community (a co-op or moshav), founded by these pioneers. All the stories are told by the grandson of one of these early pioneers, in no particular order. He jumps back and forth in time, between the many different characters, so it's not an easy, but a rewarding read. His characters live in deep connection with nature and are part of an extended family and a close-knit rural village community.

All the characters in the book are portrayed with immense richness and emotion, but also with a great deal of irony. These people are heroic and absurd at the same time. Nature, animals, farming and also elements of fantasy and myth are stylishly woven into the intriguing stories about the eccentric inhabitants of the village.

It's not surprising that Meir Shalev himself is a grandson of pioneering Ukrainian immigrants from Nahalal, the oldest moshav of Israel.


9/10
71 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Blue Mountain.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 21, 2016 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)
January 8, 2017 – Started Reading (Hardcover Edition)
January 8, 2017 – Started Reading
January 8, 2017 – Shelved
January 8, 2017 –
page 56
11.74% (Hardcover Edition)
January 11, 2017 –
page 140
29.35% (Hardcover Edition)
January 11, 2017 –
29.0%
January 13, 2017 –
page 252
52.83% (Hardcover Edition)
January 13, 2017 –
53.0%
January 15, 2017 –
page 336
70.44% (Hardcover Edition)
January 15, 2017 –
70.0%
January 17, 2017 –
page 402
84.28% (Hardcover Edition)
January 17, 2017 –
84.0%
January 20, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 20, 2017 – Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Fonseca Nice review Greta, I read this also and liked it very much.


Greta Thanks Jim. He's a wonderful writer, isn't he. I especially liked his irony. I plan to read his book A Pigeon and a Boy next. Apparently, it's even beter.


message 3: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Fonseca Greta wrote: "Thanks Jim. He's a wonderful writer, isn't he. I especially liked his irony. I plan to read his book A Pigeon and a Boy next. Apparently, it's even beter."
I did not know about that one, Greta, I'll have to check it out


message 4: by Dean (new) - added it

Dean Thanks so much Greta...
Great review also.
For sure this book is a must-read for me.
Thanks again for bringing it in.
Dean:)


Greta Dean wrote: "Thanks so much Greta...
Great review also.
For sure this book is a must-read for me.
Thanks again for bringing it in.
Dean:)"


It's my pleasure. Thanks for reading my review, I really appreciate it.


Greta david wrote: "G-het heet niet een coop het heet een kibboets"
It was the name used in the book, a co-op or cooperation. I think there's a slight difference with a kibbutz : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshav

Maybe Ram knows more ?


message 7: by Ram (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ram Greta, I am not sure I understand the question as some of it is in a foreign language (Dutch?) . Are you asking about the difference between a kibbutz and a moshav ? or are you referring to the mentioning of a co-operative farming village in the book?


message 8: by Greta (last edited Aug 21, 2017 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greta David said that the correct name isn't a co-up (or Moshav) but a Kibbutz. I think the explanation of the difference in the Wikipedia article is pretty precise, but because I'm not an expert, I thought you maybe could explain. After all, I've read a dutch translation.


message 9: by Ram (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ram In the book, it is a Moshav. The Wikepedia article you referred to explains about them.

One thing I noticed in this article that it has a list of all the moshavs but mine, Lachish is not there.

However, there is a Wikipedia entry for Lachish..... here
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakhish...
There is not much information there, and the photograph is from 10 years ago. However, if you click on the picture and enlarge it, you can actually see the house I live in, it was in construction at the time.

If you look at the picture, there is a vineyard covered in red at the lower left side of the picture. Above, in the area in the moshav that was being built at the time, there is a house with a red roof. Two houses to the right side of it, is a grey house under construction. That is my house.


Greta Ram, thanks. I'm looking at the picture and in the area you indicated, there are a few houses with a red roof, so I'm not sure which one, but I can only see one grey house so I think that must be your house. Cool. I guess it's not in Google Street View ?
How come the vineyard is covered in red?


message 11: by Fran (new)

Fran Lovely review, Greta.


Greta Thank you Fran :)


message 13: by Marie-Paule (new) - added it

Marie-Paule Great review Greta. I'm a big fan og Meir Shalev, too


message 14: by Czarny (new)

Czarny Pies This is a fabulous review. It seems that Meir Shalev is a writer that I should know more about.


Greta Jean-Paul wrote: "Beautiful review, Greta!"

Thank you Jean-Paul. I'm glad you liked it, especially because you read the book too.


Greta Thank you Marie-Paule. I remember you read and reviewed a few of his books. I'm certainly going to read more of his work too.


Greta Czarny wrote: "This is a fabulous review. It seems that Meir Shalev is a writer that I should know more about."

If you're interested in this author, I can refer you to my good friend Ram, who's an enthusiastic admirer and probably read all of Shalev's work. In fact, he advised me to read this book first.
Thank you once again for your supporting comment :)


back to top