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The Chosen Mass Market Paperback – April 12, 1987


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (April 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449213447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449213445
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Few stories offer more warmth, wisdom, or generosity than this tale of two boys, their fathers, their friendship, and the chaotic times in which they live. Though on the surface it explores religious faith--the intellectually committed as well as the passionately observant--the struggles addressed in The Chosen are familiar to families of all faiths and in all nations.

In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood. The intellectual and spiritual clashes between fathers, between each son and his own father, and between the two young men, provide a unique backdrop for this exploration of fathers, sons, faith, loyalty, and, ultimately, the power of love. (This is not a conventional children's book, although it will move any wise child age 12 or older, and often appears on summer reading lists for high school students.)

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6 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I will read it and get back to you on the actual book.
SBMKOP
The book also offers thorough background information (which will have to be supplemented by further reading) about Jewish history, both cultural and religious.
Dan Eaton
Overall, The Chosen is a novel that will teach one to open his/her eyes to the differences in the world and they can help positively shape our lives.
C. Modleski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 131 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on May 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is suited for just about anybody regardless of religion or race. Those who are Jewish will relate a little easier but those of other faiths can apply the various relationships that occur in this book to their own lives.
The story is primarilly about two boys, Reuven and Danny who meet one day in a softball game. Danny is a Hassidic Jew and Reuven is merely Orthodox. Danny's initial impression is one of disdain towards Reuven as he is unable to relate to people who are not on his religious level at first impression. An accident on the ball field brings them together and eventually they begin a friendship. It grows deeper when both their fathers are drawn into each others worlds. It is indeed very interesting how each father raises his son so diffrently.
The backdrops of the hospital, World War II, the surrender of the Nazis, The Zionist Movement, and the eventual statehood of Israel effect the two worlds of Danny and Reuven. There is a period of time when the Zionist movement causes Danny and Reuven to put their friendship on hold. However, in time they return to nurture each other.
This is not a quick read by any means as anyone with a soul with be enamored by the details of this fine novel. Practically each page offers descriptive information about critical steps that Danny and Reuven take in their critical years to discovering themselves. Even both fathers learn something in the end. This is a story which will have you thinking and analyzing many many aspects of the lives of Danny and Reuven and I sincerely hope more teenagers and college students read this book and develop a greater acceptance for peers who may be a little different from themselves.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hinkle on March 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a story of friendship, a friendship that is formed between two Jewish boys (of differenct sects) under the most unusual circumstances. One boy, Danny, destined to be a tzaddik, a rabbi to the Hasidic community, is raised by his rabbi father who communicates to Danny only during study of the Torah. The other boy, Reuven, from a less strict Jewish sect, becomes more than a friend, actually more like a buffer or a liason between Danny and his father. Their friendship grows, is torn apart and then mended, leading to the emotional final chapter, as their true destinies begin to take shape.
Chaim Potok has become one of my favorite authors. This is the third book of his that I have read this year, and, as a Christian, his novels give me great insight into modern day Judaism. His books are not only informative, but brilliant, heartbreaking, and compassionate. Everyone with any kind of religious bent at all, or even the non-religious, should read his work. I'll guarantee that you will be moved.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Dan Eaton on July 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am an African American attorney who read this book as part of collecting readings for a summer trip with Operation Understanding to share with Black and Jewish high school students. Operation Understanding takes 8 Black and 8 Jewish students between their Junior and Senior years of high school on a trip across the South and Northeast, stopping at places of significance to both, in an effort to restore the alliance that existed between the groups especially during the Civil Rights Movement. This was the perfect book to gain a deeper understanding of American Jewry for the trip.
The book explores the relationship between two deeply religious boys from profoundly different traditions within that religion who are accidentally -- divinely, really -- brought together. The development of both boys' spirituality starts with lessons from their fathers and deepens with lessons from each other.
The Chosen takes place in World War II America. I was already familiar with many of the classic accounts of Holocaust survivors (Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel, and others.) This book richly filled a gap in that understanding by presenting a fully formed first person account, though ficitious, of the wrenching experience of American Jews who helplessly learned of the horror from here.
The book also offers thorough background information (which will have to be supplemented by further reading) about Jewish history, both cultural and religious. The author patiently explains terms presumably unfamiliar to the general reader and then trusts the reader to turn back if, during the course of reading the novel, the terms are momentarily forgotten. Those reviewers who said that Potok left the reader unaided were simply not paying close attention.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By foundpoem on October 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books I should already have read but hadn't. There are so many of those! I am so glad I finally picked this up. It's short and straight-forward, as books used to be, yet complex and beyond meaningful, as books at their best are.
It isn't hard reading, by any means, but it reveals a strong, strong lesson played out through the friendship of two young boys, their complex relationship to one another and within their small world, their fathers' relationship to each another (and their worlds and thought processes), and how they are viewed--and view--their school and community. All of this in such a tiny book - while nowadays books are 800 pages of nada (and I'm just in my 30's).
It's not a children's book and, while simple, it's far from simplistic. The "lesson" or "moral" or journey of the two boys is life-altering for them, and really, in its way, was for me too - because of how haunting it is, how direct its story, how the plot is the thing. We're handed the message, easily, on a platter - and that is all that's needed.
The levels of complexity are within these peoples' worlds, not wordplay or fancy writing. It's the/their real world - a world full of those who don't fit in where they "should," those trying to find their own ways, being judged by others, and pressured by their own.
Some of the themes are universal; the world in which these two live isn't. Their world is specific and small, and has to be for this story; yet, for anyone interested in this particular world--the multifacets of Judaism and its sects at some of the highest, most historic or profound, levels--the book is a history lesson.
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