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See Under: LOVE: A Novel Paperback – January 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (January 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312420692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312420697
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This lengthy, highly ambitious, phantasmagoric treatment of the ineffable Holocaust is far less accessible than Grossman's critically acclaimed The Yellow Wind , nonfiction reportage that elucidated the West Bank imbroglio. What begins as a wrenching portrait of Momik, an emotionally scarred nine-year-old Israeli child of Holocaust survivors, and his warped fantasy world, soon metamorphoses into fiction penned by the adult Momik. Now a self-conscious, tortured writer, Momik the man believes he is the vessel for new prose by both Bruno Schulz, the legendary Polish-Jewish author murdered by the Nazis, and Momik's great-uncle, Anshel Wasserman, whose popular children's adventures are updated and distorted as Momik imagines him spinning tales for a Nazi commandant of a concentration camp. Although stylistically daring, the bulk of Grossman's novel never re-creates the pathos that introduced Momik the child. As Wasserman's story unfolds, "without any appreciable logic or trace of plot, without concern for the sacred unity of time and place," its appeal will elude many readers.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The author of the nonfiction The Yellow Wind ( LJ 4/15/88), a work about the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma that received much acclaim last year, now turns his hand to fiction. The year is 1959, and nine-year-old protagonist and narrator Momik--the only child of survivors of the Holocaust--dutifully copies all the exhortations of his parents and neighbors into a notebook. Grappling with such ominous terms as "over there," "the nasty beast," and "children of the heart," Momik learns to hide all his feelings and shield himself from all attachments. But eventually he is touched by humanity, learning that loving kindness exists alongside the horrors of history. An incredibly original and imaginative novel by one of Israel's truly gifted young writers. The Yellow Wind was one of LJ 's "Best Books of 1988." See the article in the January issue, p.40.
- Ed. -- Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, Md.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
It is brilliant, imaginative, engaging and humane.
Joanne Kahan
See Under: Love invites us to into that relationship, helps us visualize it, and transforms our sense of what this world really is.
Larry Dilg
One thing: this book is entirely different if you read it in Hebrew.
shlomi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Ryan O'Hallorean on October 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ever since I have read Avraham B. Yehoshua's "The Lover" I have been a keen reader of Israeli literature, among great Hebrew writers such as Yehoshua, Oz and Shabtai, who wisely construct a fascinating description of a fragmented country, quilted of religions, faiths, ideology and culture and scarred by war and trauma, Grossman still stands out as an amazing craftsmen of words, plot and memories. This book does not deal merely with the Holocaust, but with the inability to deal with this unbelievable atrocity by those who survived it, their children, and the world. Never have I read a such a sophisticated book, such a genius and original use of genres and plotlines, and yet readable and sweeping. It would have been described as a page turner, but it is impossible to read it without pausing to breathe deeply and ponder. However you feel about this book, one thing is for sure - You wont be the same person. In my opinion, reading this book has made me a better person.
Shocking, thrilling, amazing. A must.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Larry Dilg on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
It was hard to read this novel. Grossman presents us with mysteries and references that require both faith and patience -- they are amply rewarded. Part of what delays the intrepid reader is the time required just to absorb, to make connections, to take deep breaths, to sob. The horror and disgust that one expects in a holocaust novel are there, but what pulls us up short are the compassion and, yes, love that emerge in the most unlikely places. It would be no help to read a synopsis of this book or to have a guide to its mysteries, because you read it in your heart and in the aqueous subconscious. Reading is always an act of love, a tryst of imagination with the writer. When it really goes well, when the miracle occurs, a child, a book is produced between them. It hovers luminously in the aether - real, profound, fleeting. See Under: Love invites us to into that relationship, helps us visualize it, and transforms our sense of what this world really is. There is plenty to study, learn, and analyze in Mr. Grossman's incredible work, but my first reading was a sacred experience. This book sat on my shelf for about eleven years. I gave a first edition of it to a young man obsessed with the holocaust who died a year later of a mysterious disease. I thought picking it up would mean acknowledging his absence - instead it reassured me of his presence. Prepare to be surprised.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am not much on book reviews, but I feel moved to tell everyone willing to listen how marvelous and seductively compelling this novel is. Every moment in the narrative is captured perfectly by Grossman's mixture of the esthetic and literary with the painful reality of the Holocaust. Please read it! I have no idea why this novel is not more widely known and more lavishly praised.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By shlomi on November 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
As an Israeli who have read it in Hebrew, I would like to add a few words. One thing: this book is entirely different if you read it in Hebrew. It losses a lot in the translation, and not because the translation is bad, rather that the combination of different layers of very special Hebrew combined with Yiddish, along with the cultural context, makes it a book that is an impossible mission for the translator. Of course, you can't ask someone to learn Hebrew just for this book (and this still won't be enough, because he has to be born again as an Israeli and grow up here to understand everything...), but the book has numerous universal aspects that can be translated, and it's still, even after the translation, a must-read.
And now, for the book itself (if there is such a thing the book itself...).
This is by-far the greatest Israeli book that I have ever read. I had one feeling that went along with me throughout the journey: I don't know how the hell he did. I just don't know. Like a magician that makes a trick you just can't figure. The scope. The depth. I cannot describe this book. It defies space and time. It is a masterpiece.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
For any who reads and allows this book to really get into their consciousness, I believe it will alter the way one thinks and feels about the past (and current) century's greatest heartbreaks. Without sentimentality or easy new-age evasions, Grossman asks how ordinary people are drawn to collaborate with "evil" and what are the possibilites for redemption and forgiveness. Shortly after writing this book, Grossman was moved by his own conclusions to begin visiting Palestinian refugee camps in Israel which led to his next book, "The Yellow Wind."...
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gimpel the Fool on March 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Words fail. I beg anyone who has been considering buying into Jonathan Safran Foer's hype to instead find themselves a copy of this, the book from which he appears to have stolen most of his ideas, instead.

All hyperbole aside, this wonderful book has few equals. It demands attention, and reflection, and time, and it rewards those willing to invest those things in it beyond compare. Nothing short of a meditation on the way our lives are impacted by the moral calculi of others, and the way our own actions reverberate throughout the generations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a book for the casual reader and I had no idea of the roller coaster ride it was was going to be. It is dense, disturbing, convoluted and delves into the territory that is thought of as "magic realism". Primarily, it deals with the holocaust, not a pleasant topic at any time. But I have never read anything that ever comes close to this writer's deep, complex and highly imaginative world view.

The book is divided into four sections. The first is set in Israel in 1959 with a 9-year-old boy named Momik. His parents and everyone around him are holocaust survivors. They are emotionally scarred and never discuss the topic with him. But he hears whispers, and phases like "the Nazi beast" make him think there is an animal of that name. This section is written in a stream of consciousness inner dialog and really felt like it was coming from a young boy. His sentences are long, some of the taking up a whole page, but they are imaginatively conceived and paint a picture of the inner workings of his mind.

The next section is harder to understand. By now, Momik is grown and has a wife and a baby. During this time, he is researching the death of Bruno Schulz, a Polish-Jewish writer who was killed by the Nazis. There is a lot of magic realism here and the author goes a little wild with Momik's searching under the sea and observing an underwater unreal world.

The third section was, to me the most interesting as well as the most horrifying. This is a flashback about Momik's great uncle, Wassernan, a writer of children's tales, who we first meet as a confused elderly old man in the first section. Here, he has just been transported to a concentration camp and is confronted with a Nazi commander who was acquainted with his captive's early writing.
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