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My Michael Paperback – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Slow, thoughtful, self-assured and highly sophisticated, full of the most skillful modulations of tone and texture. A modern Israeli Madame Bovary . . . distinguished by its warmth, its lyricism and remarkable technical control."--The New York Times
"A dazzling, very beautiful, splendidly conceived and composed book."--The New York Review of Books
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Top Customer Reviews
Writing in short, factual sentences, which come alive through his choice of details, author Amos Oz, often mentioned as a Nobel Prize candidate, creates the story of a marriage which may or may not survive. Hannah and Michael married in 1949, shortly after Israel gained its independence, and the author often uses Hannah's battles for independence and control to parallel the growing pains of a new land determined to defend itself. As their family backgrounds unfold, the behavior of Hannah and Michael within the marriage are seen in a wider context. Hannah yearns for excitement, often drawing on her store of vibrant childhood memories to escape into a dream world. Michael, hard-working and pragmatic, remains a geologist, firmly connected to the earth.
Mired in depression after the birth of their son, Hannah gradually becomes more and more unstable until she makes herself physically ill, a condition which she sees, ironically, as offering her freedom. As the marriage and Hannah's sanity deteriorate, the author's use of symbols gives depth and universality to the story. Hannah often imagines a glass dome over herself and her family.Read more ›
The novel, set in Jerusalem in the 1950's (the descriptions of the city and political situation of Israel are a great bonus and make the story rooted in reality, although it is universal and could happen anywhere else), is narrated by Hannah Greenbaum-Gonen and is a story of her relationship with Michael Gonen. Hannah meets Michael when she slips on the stairs at the university, where she is a freshman studying Hebrew literature, and he is a third-year student of geology. They fall in love (although Hannah has lots of criticism about Michael from the first day) , get married, have a son, Yair, and we follow them during ten less of marriage, looking at their family life through Hannah's eyes.
Hannah is a tragic, grotesque person, who failed to evoke my sympathy. I strongly disliked her, although I appreciated the author's mastery in creating brilliantly rendered female character. She does not appreciate her husband, who is a hard-working scientist, provides for the family and has considerable achievements in his field. In contrast, Hannah gave up her studies when she had a baby and does not have any intention to continue her education. She spends her time fantasizing about the Arab twin brothers, who were her childhood friends, and about herself as a princess. Unfulfilled artist in her drives her crazy and causes her to be oblivious to the world around her and to the closest family, ending up sick, tired, disillusioned and disappointed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Amos Oz. I am not sure why I couldn't get into this book. I did read the whole thing. I kept wanting the parents in the story to get it together but I think that is an... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Judith Sayad
had trouble getting into this book. Wonderful writing but rather tiring.Published 15 months ago by suzie Q
Excellently and imaginatively written. Not knowing better, one would have thought the autor to be a women. It deserves a second reading.Published 24 months ago by Leif Donde
Beautiful language, sensitive grasp of the heart of a female. Intelligent appraisal of a marriage.
I recommend this book highly.
Amos Oz is one of my favorite contemporary writers but I found this novel a hard read. It is very well written, only the main character provoked in me very strong feelings of... Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Ana Maria Veronica G
Bought this book because of my interest in this part of the world - culture, religion and humanity and ethnic mix. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by Michael Fansler