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To the End of the Land
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
16 posts | 5 read | 2 reading | 17 to read
From one of Israels most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family lifethe greatest human dramaand the cost of war. Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofers release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the notifiers who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young, but their lives were forever changed one weekend when the two jokingly had Ora draw lots to see which of them would get the few days leave being offered by their commandera chance act that sent Avram into Egpyt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Now, as Ora and Avram sleep out in the hills, ford rivers, and cross valleys, avoiding all news from the front, she gives him the gift of Ofer, word by word; she supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive for Ora and for the reader, and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world. Their walk has a war and peace rhythm, as their conversation places the most hideous trials of war next to the joys and anguish of raising children. Never have we seen so clearly the reality and surreality of daily life in Israel, the currents of ambivalence about war within one household, and the burdens that fall on each generation anew. Grossmans rich imagining of a family in love and crisis makes for one of the great antiwar novels of our time. From the Hardcover edition.
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quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

When evening fell, they both stopped for a moment in front of a giant pine tree that lay in the middle of the path with a giant crack. It was flooded with rays of dying sunlight, and a peculiar purple radiance glowed from between its thin leaves.

They stood looking at it. A glowing ember.

(Israel metaphor?)

18 likes1 stack add
review
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
Pickpick

What to say as the bitterness unspoken at the end just hit me and i‘m still dealing with it. I blame the the bookstore clerk on Allenby who insisted I read this and forget a couple others. Grossman does character and of the moment atmosphere and Israel, and a very deep dark reach into being the parent of an IDF soldier. There‘s so much here, on every page. 👇

Graywacke This took me forever to read, and it‘s only my 7th normal non-audio book this year. I could only read about ten pages a sitting and never hit flow. But it leaves such a strong impression. 1y
Graywacke The authors note at the end changes the whole book. I think it would have been more appropriate, but also more intense and uncomfortable, too intense maybe, to have waited until the end to read what he was going through. I read it with about 50 pages left and it‘s...beyond words, I think. 1y
BarbaraBB Great review. It is devastating indeed even though I knew on forehand what had happened in his personal life. When you want to know more about that, I can recommend (edited) 1y
BarbaraBB Although I guess you‘ve had enough Grossman for a while 😉 1y
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i need to recuperate, but then come back. !! Noting Falling Out of Time. Thanks! 1y
15 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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Breakfast at Brasil (in Houston). Hoping to finish this one and start on One Hundred Years of Solitude

EadieB That breakfast looks really good! It may take you a whole book until you are finished eating it! 1y
Soubhiville God I miss breakfast tacos! I lived in Austin for several years, and fell in love with the food there! Now I‘m back in TN, and I‘m disappointed by the food at every restaurant I go to 😩 1y
Graywacke @Soubhiville That‘s funny. TX does food well. 1y
19 likes3 comments
quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

“...but there is only one permanent war play in his mind, staged continually in an utterly empty auditorium that he never enters. Avram has five of these auditoriums, all empty and dark, and in each one a different play is performed nonstop...”

Swe_Eva Gut wrenching. 1y
Graywacke @LT_eva yes (more so in context), but also almost playful. Avram is a quite a character. 1y
Swe_Eva @Graywacke I've not yet read this one, but from reading other Grossmans, I can guess I'll enjoy the character. 1y
See All 13 Comments
Graywacke @LT_eva which ones have you read? This is my second, but the other was nonfiction. 1y
Swe_Eva @Graywacke I've read See Under: Love, Someone to Run With, and The Zigzag Kid. Couldn't possibly pick a favorite, though, as they all have something magical. 1y
Graywacke @LT_eva noting all three... 1y
SqueakyChu I couldn‘t make it through See: Under Love. It got too weird! I loved The ZigZag Kid and enjoyed Someone to Run With. Try those two. (edited) 1y
Graywacke @SqueakyChu good to know, M! I need to let this one sit a bit and then I think about where to go next with Grossman. ( @LT_eva ) 1y
Graywacke Experimenting with the book tag I just discovered... 1y
Swe_Eva @Graywacke Good idea - binge-reading Grossman can get a little bit too heavy. @SqueakyChu I think I'm due for a reread of See Under: Love. I'm missing an LT review for it... 1y
SqueakyChu @LT_eva Better you than me. I‘m not sure I could give that book a second try. 1y
Graywacke @LT_eva if they are all like this, yes @SqueakyChu Ha! 1y
Swe_Eva @SqueakyChu 😂😂😂 1y
12 likes2 stack adds13 comments
blurb
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

On the day I was born, my life changed unrecognizably.

(Avram‘s shortest story. I‘m slowly reaching the end here)

quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

...he can also sense what she is not disclosing: she always has the feeling that something in the conversation is beyond her grasp, that a subliminal lightning bolt has flashed between them but she hears only the thunder that follows.

RaimeyGallant Nice! 1y
13 likes1 comment
quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

Her three cats slunk around between the ladders. One had kidney disease, one was retarded, and one was a reincarnation of her mother, who in this form continued to make Netta‘s life a misery.

blurb
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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“For some reason she remembered something Avram once said, if you look at someone for a long time, at anyone, you can see the most terrible place they might reach in their lifetime. She didn‘t sleep that night. “

With that line, even the cat‘s ponderously depressed

BarbaraBB Haha, he really is! 1y
SqueakyChu Hahahaha! I have this book. I guess I should read it. 😊 1y
20 likes2 comments
blurb
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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(A bit late, but my first one of these. )

1. New releases
2. Inconceivable!
3. When the Moon Forgot by Jimmy Liao
4. (Sorry, it‘s not Friday anymore)

#fridayfavorites
@Lova

(Cheers to @jfalkens , who tagged me)

quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman

She walks almost without looking. Falls through the expanse of an infinite space. She is one human crumb.

(Slowly making my way through this. Just halfway through)

quote
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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“I was alone with him in the room, and I talked into his ear. I didn‘t want a single word to escape into the air. I gave him an infusion of his history. He lay in total silence and listened. He had huge eyes. He listened to me with his eyes open and I spoke into his ear. “

RaimeyGallant Nice quote. :) 1y
Graywacke @RaimeyGallant hi. The whole book is kind of like that. 1y
BarbaraBB I really loved this book 1y
See All 6 Comments
Graywacke @BarbaraBB You must be the only one I know who‘s read it! (??) It‘s quite a book. I kind of need a break every few pages, though. 1y
BarbaraBB @Graywacke oh really? It is quite popular here, I think. I loved the perspective it gave me on living in Israël these days. 1y
Graywacke @BarbaraBB It was a book seller‘s recommendation (from Tel Aviv) that led me to it. I was interested in Grossman and he suggested this (and suggested against a few other books too) But, before then I hadn‘t heard of it. 1y
11 likes6 comments
blurb
Graywacke
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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Working through Ora and Avram‘s outdoor trek in Israel...and feeling the anxiety of being a parent of an Israeli soldier during an uprising.

blurb
MicheleinPhilly
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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When you open a cabinet at work and discover a trove of forgotten goodies. 💃🏻

DivineDiana It‘s a good day! 👏🏻📚 2y
Tamra It's like winning a prize! 😆 Same sensation as when you unexpectedly find money in your pocket. 2y
Jas16 I will be opening all cabinets at work today. 2y
BarbaraBB To the End of the Land is sooooo good!! 2y
LeahBergen Heat is so good! 👍🏻 2y
61 likes5 comments
review
easypeasy
Pickpick

Ich habe es abgestoßen verschlungen. Spannend, berührend, sinnstiftend! Perfekt also

review
chavalah
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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Pickpick

Basically stream of consciousness book abut two characters walking around, hashing out life and occasionally interacting with the waking world--this has "me" written all over it. Ora drags her PTSD-ridden former lover onto the Israel Trail to recount the life of her son, Ofer, while he's on a dangerous mission. Lots of complex character development and interactions with the Arab/Israeli conflict. Totally engrossed, like I was with them. #JewLit

blurb
Booksbabiesandcoffee
To the End of the Land | David Grossman
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Starting this tonight...

MrBook Oooooh, looks good. Eager to know your thoughts when done. 3y
2 likes1 comment