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Book Scenes from Village Life


Scenes from Village Life

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Scenes from Village Life.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Amos Oz(Author) Nicholas De Lange(Translator)

    Book details

A teenage son shoots himself under his parents' bed. They sleep that night unaware he is lying dead beneath them.

A stranger turns up at a man's door to persude him that they must get rid of his ageing mother in order to sell the house.

An old man grumbles to his daughter about the unexplained digging and banging he hears under the house at night.

As each story unfolds, Amos Oz, builds a portrait of a village in Israel. It is a surreal and unsettling place. Each villager is searching for something, and behind each episode is another, hidden story. In this powerful, hynotic work Amos Oz peers into the darkness of our lives and gives us a glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday existence.

By the winner of the 2013 Franz Kafka Prize, previous winners of which include Philip Roth, Ivan Klima, Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter and John Banville.

"This is a dark book, with a dark vision of contemporary Israel… The whole, rich, disturbing mixture makes one feel as if something dark is digging away at the foundations, something unnameable ready to emerge. It is one of the most powerful books you will read about present-day Israel." (David Herman Jewish Chronicle)"These stories have both force and mystery, and they cast a quiet spell" (Scotland on Sunday)"A powerfully bleak portrait of loneliness, confusion and cracked bonds" (The Times)"These stories, in their humanity, may do more for Israel than any of the decisions we have been led to expect of its leaders in the months to come" (New Statesman)"I enjoyed Amos Oz's Scenes From Village Life a great deal... it explores what is universal, what is entirely idiosyncratic, about daily life in Israel away from the obvious conflicts" (Kate Kellaway Observer)

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Review Text

  • By JC on 14 September 2013

    its not the book i have a problem with but the came from the united states and arrived three days after the final delivery date - send aug 25 - arrived sept 14 repacked by la poste in France because it was damaged and although book was probably in good condition originally it has a large cut on cover and through thefirst few pages. I would not recommend this seller

  • By Velomoon on 4 May 2012

    This is a book of fragments, there are seven tales and a coda in this book, and what you get are glimpses into the lives of the inhabitants of the fictional village of Tel Ilan, just a short bus hop from Tel Aviv. This is starting to become an issue as it's distance and it's beauty makes it an ideal setting for the smart set to move in with their money and chic boutiques, pricing out the locals. This is merely one of the backdrops to what is a strange and disturbing book, all the more so for being beautifully written.It is as though we pop into a moment of these characters day and then go on our way with no conclusion beyond a slight ache, as though we had just received acupuncture, with a series of question marks, there is a disquiet, a sense of unease that permeates ones conscious and remains there nagging, a slight nuisance pricking at the edges of your perception.In the first tale Arieh Zelnik, lives with his 90 year old mother and one day a stranger turns up, a lawyer with some news for him, from this simple premise the story slowly gets stranger and stranger until?In another, Dr Gili Steiner goes to meet her nephew of the bus. The bus arrives without him, the Dr becomes distressed and searches for him whilst reminiscing about their past together, her angst increases as her attempt fails.In Strangers, Kobi Ezra, a 17 year old loner, is infatuated with the librarian - a 30 year old divorcee - who is seeing a truck driver, this is a tale that is both tortuous and touching as he strives to make his feelings known.This is a slight glimpse into this small patch of Eden, where the natives seem to live lives of quiet despair, and although each tale focuses on one person, the inhabitants wander through the book as though they were wandering through the village, constantly popping up in each others tales, adding a cohesiveness to the whole collection - except for the end tale (the coda) unless the point is to ram home the sense of isolation of being alone. In this tale, a pointless government inspector is occupied in a pointless forgotten job, he writes unread reports about what appears to be a primitive community, lost in a world of decay.This is the moment where I say something particularly Stupid (more so than normal) Amos Oz is a writer, by this I mean a proper writer. I've read reports that say he should have won the Noble Prize for Literature or that he's a genius, it is too early for me to give a considered comment on those remarks, this being my first Oz book. What I can say is that this is a strange book and yet it is a really beautifully written book that for all its surreal dark qualities really endeared itself to me, that slowly and quietly charmed it's way into my heart.Amos Oz was born in 1939 in Jerusalem. At the age of 15 he went to live on a kibbutz. He studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was a visiting fellow at Oxford University, author-in- residence at the Hebrew University and writer-in-residence at Colorado College. He has been named Officer of Arts and Letters of France. An author of prose for both children and adults, as well as an essayist, he has been widely translated and is internationally acclaimed. He has been honoured with the French Prix Femina and the 1992 Frankfurt Peace Prize. He lives in the southern town Arad and teaches literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.Nicholas Robert Michael de Lange (often known simply as N. de Lange) (7 August 1944, Nottingham) is Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Cambridge and is an ordained Reform rabbi. He was taught and ordained by the British Reform rabbi Ignaz Maybaum, a disciple of Franz Rosenzweig.De Lange is a historian and author, who has written and edited several books about Judaism, as well as various papers and articles, he has translated several works of fiction by Amos Oz, S. Yizhar and A.B. Yehoshua into English. In November 2007, he received the Risa Domb/Porjes Prize for Translation from the Hebrew for his translation of "A Tale of Love and Darkness" by Amos Oz.He currently gives lectures on Modern Judaism and the Reading of Jewish texts at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. He is a fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

  • By Lakis Fourouklas on 5 October 2011

    The international press hailed this book as a parable about what really goes on in Israeli society today. Scenes from Village Life cannot be described as a novel nor as a short-story collection. It features a number of interconnected tales, which I would simply describe as short glimpses of everyday life. The stories take place in the fictitious village of Tel Ilan, where lately a lot of strange things happen to some quite common people. Firstly, in Heirs, we have the story of a retired lawyer who lives in a house with his bedridden ninety year old mother and spends all his time doing absolutely nothing. Their every day is a copy of the one before and nothing much seems to happen, until a strange man arrives claiming that he's a relative and turns things upside down. In Relations we read about a woman that feels really disappointed when her beloved nephew does not arrive with the bus and does something way out of character. Digging is the story of a retired army officer that every night hears someone digging underneath his house. He suspects that behind all that is Abel, an Arab student and aspiring author who lives in a shed in the garden, but his daughter Rachel just thinks he's crazy. However soon enough she'll have to change her mind, since Abel will start hearing the strange sounds as well. The old man, despite his past, seems to understand the reasons why the Arabs do not like the Israelis, while he thinks that after everything that has come to pass the only thing that one is left to feel is melancholy. In Lost we follow in the footsteps of a real estate agent who's about to close the deal of his life, a fact that was supposed to, but fails to make him happy. So he starts wandering the streets in the night, thinking about his life, which leads him to the discovery of a suspicious package and the warmth of a woman's embrace. Yet another unexpected occurrence, the disappearance of his wife, leads the mayor of the village to wander the streets at night as well, with a dog following his every step and keeping him company, in Waiting. Strangers talks about a love affair that was never meant to be. A seventeen year old boy is in love with the village's postmistress, but when he finally manages to get close to her things take an unexpected turn. Singing, the last story, describes the meeting of some colorful characters in a house, where they spend their time singing and talking about politics. Their host, and narrator of the story, doesn't seem to stand them anymore, so she escapes the living room and rushes to the master bedroom, where she hides under the bed, wanting to feel that she was "in a faraway place at another time." The image she projects is bleak, just like the past. If I'd have to describe these texts in simple words I'd just say that what we have right here is the stories of some more or less common people; weak people and somewhat strong people; sanguine people and sad people; people full of insecurities and doubts about the future and questions about the world that's destined to die. The author paints the picture of a micro-society where anything could happen at any given moment and it does. Just like in real life. This is the first book by Amos Oz that I've read and so I can't really say whether it's his best or not. What I definitely can say though is that it's extremely well-written and it becomes lyrical at times, and thus can offer a lot of joy to the reader. Recommended.

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