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on April 6, 2005
A Tale of Love and Darkness is a hilarious though serious book about the life of the author in the historical setting of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Being the great storyteller he is, Amos Oz made the true events so easy to relate to, and as such this book is remarkable.
Recommended reads are: Disciples of Fortune, Survival in Auschwitz, The Union Moujik, The Usurper and Other Stories
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on July 24, 2016
I hate to pan a book that I didn't read, but I started and had lost interest by about page 20. I ploughed through about 20 more pages before giving up on it altogether. I just couldn't share the author's interests or enthusiasms. Nothing there for me.
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In his Tale of Love and Darkness Amos Oz paints an atmospheric picture of growing up with his parents during the British occupation of Palestine and the early years of the state of Israel.

He describes meticulously the background and European social mores of his parents and grandparents and their struggles to get by in the nascent state of Israel. He recounts the hardships and near starvation his family and their neighbours experienced because of the siege of Jerusalem by the Arab armies during Israel’s War of Independence.

This is a story of attachment and loss, love and death within a time and culture where family emotions were pushed underground and daily relationships were stifled by conventional custom. In the background is the European Holocaust, the destruction of whole families and communities, villages and towns, that casts a psychic shadow over the personalities in the story. This undercurrent of darkness combines with other currents leading inexorably to the tragical suicide of the writer’s mother.
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on September 11, 2011
At the beginning the author meanders and meanders, filling the book with repetitions. Then after the first hundred pages, and all of a sudden, it gets very interesting and it's smooth sailing from there on. The tale of his ancestors in Ukraine and elsewhere in eastern Europe starts happily, but later becomes part of his "tale of darkness". His mother's suicide affected his life and character very deeply and I felt very sorry for him. His style is wonderful and no wonder he is the most well-known Israeli writer alive.

I prefer reading about wars and political upheavals from the point of view of normal, everyday people, not politicians and military leaders. That's why I so much enjoyed Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and that's why I also enjoyed "A tale of love and darkness".
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on December 2, 2014
Amoz Oz is an excellent writer and historian. It's hard to stop reading his novels, wanting the story to continue. I am part way through Love and Darkness. The story is both disturbing, interesting, poetic and thought provoking, Sondra
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on March 28, 2013
I read this book in Hebrew, and thought that it could be a nice present for my family in US. As I expected, they loved the book!!
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on January 15, 2010
This book is an enigma to me. I just dont get it. What is the author saying? I'll never know because I'll never be able to finish it.It's just a pile of references to family members. At least that's how I see it.Books that are translated from another language are very often harder to read, I hear. But this takes the cake. I tried to skip around to see if it got better later on but no luck there.What is the point?
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