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Passage to Ararat (A Ruminator Find) Paperback – May 1, 1996


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Ruminator Find
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Ruminator Books (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886913056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886913059
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,973,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arlen's memoir of his search for cultural identity in the Armenian heritage which his parents had disowned won the National Book Award in 1976.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"More than an excursion into a place...the whole work glows like a jewel with the warmth of humanity and the appreciation, hard won, of both strength and weakness." --Eugenia Thornton, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Beautifully written and stunning in its insight and honesty... One comes to see that the object of Arlen's search is not only, or even primarily, Armenia or Armenians, but himself and his father." --David Milofsky, Milwaukee Journal

"[A] moving, passionate book....written with a mixture of passion, puzzlement, sorrow, and outrage." --Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

"Beautifully moving.... The reader becomes captivated with exotic tales from the past and joins Arlen's journey with zest in this quite marvelous record." --William Hogan, San Francisco Chronicle
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
Ultimately he is affected by the great suffering of his people.
Charents
I felt somewhat the same about the style in PASSAGE TO ARARAT, though as far as honesty goes, I would put all my money on Arlen, rather than Castaneda.
Robert S. Newman
My favorite part of this book was how masterful Arlen is at weaving in history with personal experience.
Lisa Gansky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Gansky on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Arlen follows--and surpasses--his father's (Michael Arlen, author of the famous "Green Hat" of the 1920s) footsteps with this piece. Never having really discovered what exactly it meant to be Armenian, Arlen actually travels there, in search of his roots. My favorite part of this book was how masterful Arlen is at weaving in history with personal experience. Nobody wants to sit and read a textbook; Passage to Ararat is a pleasant read, particularly how it reads so much like a novel. Anyone wanting to try to understand more about the Genocide should get this book, or for those searching for their "inner Armenian." Arlen takes you on his version of the journey. Get a copy before it goes out-of-print!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1997
Format: Paperback
'Passage To Ararat' is about the author's reflections on Armenians and his attempt to find out what Armenians are all about. His writing is excellent in this book, as he describes all his observations in a very interesting, yet simple manner.

The book covers a great deal of accurate Armenian history, where both Turkish and Armenian views are considered. This is a great book to learn about Armenian history, culture, mentality and the Armenian Genocide.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charents on October 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Michael Arlen takes a very novel approach to discovering his roots. He freely admits early on that he doesn't even like Armenians, although he himself is of Armenian descent. Arlen's father shielded him from the burdens that virtually all Armenians bare: that of the genocide/massacres of 1915. It is not until his father's death that Arlen begins to interact with the Armenian community and ultimately takes a trip to Soviet Armenia. He describes the country and the people in a detached manner and with a dry sense of humor. His research of Armenian history is rather academic at first. Ultimately he is affected by the great suffering of his people.

Arlen asks many questions that he cannot and does not answer. His references to certain Armenian qualities as "childlike" was offensive, and his attempt to examine the Armenian race using traditional psychological analysis, determining finally that Armenians are burdened with self-hate, had its limitations. But I do not view Passage to Ararat as a scholarly treatise. It is instead one man's journey to the land of his ancestors in order to come to grips with who he is and whether he should be proud of that.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
It is evident that the review entitled "A Peice of Hate Literature" was written by a Turkish person. The Armenians' and Turks' dislike for one another goes back a long way, and this is just another example of how it still exists in today's society. No matter what anyone tries to say, deep in the hearts of all Armenians, and in sensible people, the knowledge of historical facts about the ruthless genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire still exists and will never be forgotten. In fact, the only peice of "Hate Literature" is the review written by Halim Sibay Tugsavul.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Noted on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Considered a classic among Armenian-Americans. There are some touching moments in this story of connecting with one's father,ethnic heritage, and ultimately oneself. It is a universal story and definitely worthwhile. Admittedly it sometimes moves slowly and is somewhat disjointed. I didn't have a good sense of how long the author and his wife were actually visiting Armenia. Still highly recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this a very moving portrait of the author's search to understand his heritage. I also found this book helpful in providing an overview (obviously not detailed given the length of this book) of some of Armenian history.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Simon Simonian on October 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Well, I believe it would take much more than this review to unconvince the reviewer from Amsterdam (see below) about his opinion. I also believe if the reviewer from Amsterdam had a half of his nation murdered with his ancestors slain like animals, he could have had a different opinion. Maybe...
Don't get me wrong... These days the most fashionable phrase is "it's all in the past, why can't you just forgive it and live in the future?" Note that they say "Forget", but nobody ever says "Forgive".
..."If armenians and turks could sit down and re-write their history?..." the truth is that by re-writing your history you always will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. And the reality of the 20th century (the bloodiest century with so many massacres and holocausts) speaks for itself.
Dear reviewer from Amsterdam, please do not close your eyes on the past and do not make the humanity repeat their mistakes in the next century. Maybe then we could live in a better world without any Hitlers or Mussolinis or Taleat pashas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur S. Leaffer on March 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read Passage to Ararat thirty years ago, and it continues to ring loud in my memory. Over the years I've given it to many friends as a present. The book is a memoir of Michael Arlen uncovering and discovering his Armenian heritage. It's intimate and personal, a window into the peculiar way history, individual memory and collective tragedy mix. I couldn't help but think of the Jewish and Palestinian experiences as I read it.
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