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Real Time Paperback – July 24, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The author presents a startlingly realistic portrait of what living and being in Israel is like for all of these people. She communicates the emotions and tensions that come with living under such tense circumstances and brings readers into this challenging world, allowing them to see what it's like for themselves.
I highly recommend this book and challenge audiences to try to step out of their secure worlds for a few hours and into the lives of the people in this book. I think it will be an enlightening experience.
Real Time follows a number of characters hour by hour to the moment when their lives intersect at a bus bombing in Israel, and through the aftermath of the event. We hear the voices of kibbutzniks, an earnest German youth, and even the Palestinian boy who has been persuaded to
carry the bomb. Some characters are followed through the entire book, while others make only brief appearances. The format takes some time to adjust to, but once you become immersed in the story, it is extremely readable.
The book is sophisticated in its construction, in its characterization, and in its realism. Intricate timing allows us to see simultaneous events and to understand how they are likely to become connected. Every character is realistically portrayed as a mixture of good and bad, guilt and hope, victim and oppressor, each dealing with their own unbearable situation. Each person speaks for him or herself, without interpretation by a narrator, effectively and economically revealing the relevant thoughts and emotions. While the events of the story are the stuff of today's headlines, the book's format shows how political situations are really composed of many, many overlapping personal situations. The whole concept of the book is summed up by the character Baruch, when he says "I am part of the story, and Dan, and Lidia, and also the Palestinian boy, the suicide bomber. Like tangled string when you pull it, it gets tighter."
These characters include Thomas, a German boy who has come to Israel looking for answers about his family. Baruch, a Holocaust survivor who now works on a kibbutz. Vera, another kibbutz worker who is finding her Jewish roots and escaping her tragic past in Odessa. Sameh, a Palestinian working illegally at a diner. Saheh's friend Omar, a reporter, and many, many others. All of these people are different, looking for different things, but there is a moment when all of their lives come together, and it is a tragedy.
So much sadness, so much despair, is evident. Can there be healing and hope for those who survive this tragedy? Only time will tell.
This novel is a breathtaking story, but it's more than that. For one thing, it's a behind-the-scenes look at what is usually seen only on television. And yet it's more than behind-the-scenes; it's the secrets, thoughts, hopes, and dreams of every person involved. The way this story is told, in (as the title suggests) real time, switching back and forth between several narrators, is a part of what makes it amazing. If just one character told the story, so many aspects of it would not be seen. Pnina Kass Moed is a brilliant writer, and the story she tells in REAL TIME is equally brilliant.
Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
Most Recent Customer Reviews
my 7th grade grand daughter asked if i would read this book that she read in school, after i read it she and i spent time on a cold sunday afternoon talking about it, with a date... Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Laura G Berick
Set in contemporary Israel, with narations from multiple characters, this novel shows how people struggle with terrorist attacks. Thomas Wanninger is a 16 year old from Berlin. Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by Ean Emerys
Real Time is a pretty straightforward, surprisingly gritty tale of a bomb, and how it explodes into the lives of several different people all searching for understanding. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by Jennifer S. Spear
When I first picked up Real Time, I thought this book was going to be exclusively about Jewish communities and the Nazi's that invaded them (which was definitely not the gist of... Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by Rose Cole
Sahem, a sixteen year old Palestinian boy, drops his backpack full of explosives on a bus in Israel and unwittingly interweaves the lives of all of those on board. Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by S. Silva
In her novel Real Time, Pnina Moed Kass examines the effects of one fateful moment on the lives of many different people. Read morePublished on February 7, 2010 by Timothy Payne
I first read Real Time because it was required as part of my Young Adult Literature class in college. Read morePublished on February 17, 2009 by Brian Zielinski