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

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (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: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
See Under: Love

How can one tell of the Holocaust. There have been many volumes written, containing facts, statistics, pictures, and personal accounts. But the sheer horror of it often paralyses one's reactions to: stop I can't stand it read any more and in the end it is too grotesque to be real. David Grossman, using fantasy and symbolism and humor made it more real for me than anything I have ever read or heard about on the subject.

In the first chapter he used his consummate skill to evoke it, by being able to `get into the head' of a 9 year old Israeli boy whose immigrant parents would not tell him what the Holocaust was. Momik is a clever nine year old, trying to figure out what happened `Over There', and his Holocaust survivor friends and relatives are funny and, at the same time, infinitely sad. He and his escapades capture your heart.

The chapter on Bruno is an allegory of resistance to the slaughter of the Jews, in particular Bruno Schulz, a gifted Polish-Jewish writer. In this tale, he escapes the Nazis by becoming and swimming with the salmon, Grossman's symbol for the `wandering Jews'.

The third chapter is about Wasserman, a Jew in a concentration camp, who had written children's stories before the war which happened to be the favorites of the camp's commandant when he was a child. Wasserman had the statistical distinction, out of the millions who were slaughtered, of being the one improbable person who could not be killed, either by gas chamber or pistol. It is filled with dark humor as Wasserman becomes the Scheherazade of the commandant, continuing his stories each night, with the request that he be killed after each recital. But of course he couldn't be killed.
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