Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gripping magic of cold grey dawns
Written in 1967 , when Oz was only 28 years old, "My Michael" is still considered by many to be Oz's best novel ever.The plot takes place in the 1950's,Israel is still young, and Jerusalem is an old decaying city of stone and rusty fences. Hannah and Michael are a young couple and The story, as told by Hannah , takes us along several years of their married...
Published on June 20, 2000 by Yuval Ben- Amnon,MD.

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Madness, Marriage, and a little bit of history
This is definitely a book which was difficult to put down, because of the sense of anticipation the reader develops. It was an excellent look at the devastating effects of mental illness on a victim and her family, told more subtly than in other literary works. Though I am unfamiliar with Amos Oz's autobiographical work, it does become evident that the author's...
Published on February 10, 2007 by KatyPix


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gripping magic of cold grey dawns, June 20, 2000
This review is from: My Michael (Hardcover)
Written in 1967 , when Oz was only 28 years old, "My Michael" is still considered by many to be Oz's best novel ever.The plot takes place in the 1950's,Israel is still young, and Jerusalem is an old decaying city of stone and rusty fences. Hannah and Michael are a young couple and The story, as told by Hannah , takes us along several years of their married life. As the plot progresses we witness the two characters become distant and disharmonic. Hannah, who has a very turbulent soul feels suffocated with the everyday life ,with the jerusalem streets and with Michael who is a very unexciting person.She becomes more and more drawn to her fantasies and daydreams about a dramatic and heroic world where she is a princess being captive in the boring everyday world.With a cold ,misty and rainy Jerusalem as background and with the outstanding power of expression and depth "My Michael" is a book that hypnotizes and enchants the reader.If you have to read one Oz novel- That should be the one!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Deception always gives itself away. It is like a blanket which is too short.", June 3, 2007
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
Hannah Gonen, thirty years old and living in Jerusalem in the late 1950s, has been wife for ten years to Michael, a man she pursued and married when she was in her first year at the university and he was a graduate student. Michael, who describes himself as "good...a bit lethargic, but hard-working, responsible, clean, and very honest," eventually earns his PhD. in geology and begins work at the university. Hannah, who has given up her literature studies upon her marriage, soon finds married life--and Michael himself--to be tedious.

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. She remembers, as a child, dominating Arab twins in her neighborhood, and she now fears they will wreak vengeance on her. Her platonic relationship with an innocent Orthodox teenager turns into a power struggle, and she creates a new personality--that of Yvonne Azulai, a young woman who leads an exciting life. Even the changing seasons often parallel Hannah's state of mind.

Rich with imagery, dense with symbols, and psychologically true, the novel is as pertinent today as it was when it was written in 1968, achieving rare universality, even though the reader may not empathize completely with the self-indulgent Hannah, or with Michael, who, though reliable and honest, has little imagination. Beautifully realized, My Michael, which shows Hannah's need for control in its choice of title, depicts an immature woman who does not know herself when she joins her life to that of someone else. (4.5 stars) n Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Madness, Marriage, and a little bit of history, February 10, 2007
By 
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
This is definitely a book which was difficult to put down, because of the sense of anticipation the reader develops. It was an excellent look at the devastating effects of mental illness on a victim and her family, told more subtly than in other literary works. Though I am unfamiliar with Amos Oz's autobiographical work, it does become evident that the author's development of Hannah's character and the first person voice can only be derived from personal experience. Michael's character is also developed brilliantly. Descriptions of Hannah's mad dreams and illusions are quite laborious and it is difficult to associate the details in them with Hannah's real world. The early days of the State of Israel serves as a historical backdrop for the novel. I believe there is symbolism in the novel which would be more apparent to Israelis and those reading the novel in its original language, Hebrew.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a tale of love and darkness, December 2, 2008
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
"My Michael" is the debut novel of Amos Oz, one of my favorite writers. A very good debut, although when I finished reading, I was feeling tired and sad, with many thoughts crowding in my head. I think that it is best to read this book in small doses, although it attracts like a magnet - it is better not to devour it all at once.

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.

Sometimes people living under one roof do not know each other, moreover, do not make any effort to know each other better after making the initial assumptions... In fact, the marriage of Hannah and Michael is probably like many others and many people can see a part of their own life in this deep psychological study. Their characters are based on Oz's parents, and the novel can be seen as a kind of catharsis, a healing retrospective. It becomes apparent after reading the author's autobiography, "A Tale of Love and Darkness", where he talks about his mother's suicide and his own pain. The autobiography is a key to `My Michael" and they are best read in parallel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, a strange tale in a strange time!, December 20, 2001
By 
Pedro (V.N.Gaia Portugal) - See all my reviews
This review is from: MY MICHAEL (Paperback)
This book was the first book I read that I couldn't stop and that I didn't stop feeling strange for it also. The all story seems to be a dream, our dream. Is an amazing view of what is our mind, how we see our love ones as strange peoples. Most of the time I related with Anna, but Michael is also me.
The book is also unique for the description of Jerusalem after the WWII where a young couple tries to build is own world. And where the Israel State is begginning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, September 29, 2009
By 
Coco Pazzo (Long Beach, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
This classic novel by Amos Oz is a good introduction to this brilliant Israeli author. Unlike most translations of foreign books into English, Oz, who speaks fluent English, closely supervises the translation of his work and therefore the English translations of his work beautifully capture the rhythm of his writing in the original Hebrew. Oz is rumored to be a front-runner for the 2009 Nobel Prize in literature, and this book serves as an excellent introduction to his lyrically beautiful work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many Parallels to His Own Parents Lives, May 7, 2006
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
As others have said in their reviews, there are similarities between the couple in My Michael and the authors own parents. The way the father speaks to his son in both books is very similar (If his highness will do us the favor, etc...), as is the mother's mental/emotional instability. This is not a criticism of Oz; it is not surprising that he based the characters in My Michael largely on his own parents.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how we met:, March 12, 2008
By 
Eric Maroney (Trumansburg, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
Amos' My Michael is an intriguing reflection on the nature of romantic love, the volubility, subtle shades of temper and mood of a relationship tracked over time. Hannah is perhaps Amos Oz's most fully realized character. Unlike some of the more impressionistic and sometimes grotesque characters of his later fiction, Hannah, in My Michael occupies a middle ground between deep emotional expression, vulnerability to her outer world, and servitude to her inner. Oz etches her struggles across the page, and the result is mesmerizing and profound.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Michael, December 20, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Michael (Paperback)
Amos Oz is one of the great narrative story tellers of any century and this early novel is no exception. this book does require the reader to pay attention and be alert.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Michael (Kindle Edition)
Excellently and imaginatively written. Not knowing better, one would have thought the autor to be a women. It deserves a second reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

My Michael
My Michael by Amos Oz (Paperback - November 1, 2005)
$14.00 $5.60
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.