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Israel just before the Six Day War On a kibbutz the country’s founders and their children struggle to come to terms with their land and with each other The messianic father exults in accomplishments that had once been only dreams; the son longs to establish an identity apart from his father; the fragile young wife is out of touch with reality; and the gifted and charismatic “outsider” seethes with emotion Through the interplay of these brilliantly realized characters Oz evokes a drama that is chillingly strikingly universal


10 thoughts on “מנוחה נכונה

  1. says:

    Oz clearly drew on his own experience of kibbutz life for this novel I loved the writing and enjoyed the story


  2. says:

    Having read and enjoyed 6 other books from the author I'm already uite familiar with his style themes character archetypes and fixations so the book was nothing new but in this case it was a good thing When it comes to Amos Oz I've come to expect something of a social commentary on the multidimensional Israeli character along with all the social divisions and conflicts ranging from the political to the generational woven intricately into a a plot that isn't exactly a story but of a view into a specific relatively short period in time that is delivered in different ways depending on the book some books like this one have some sections told in the first person by some characters through diary entries etc Something that I personally notice in all his books varying in degree depending on the book is the universal existentialist theme which when combined with the hyper realistic and therefore “empathisable” if you will characters consistently manages to evoke an emotional response from me which is why I keep going back for I guess The surface plot is about a generational divide within a kibbutz – between the old émigré European kibbutz founders and the young Israelis born to them on the kibbutz The division is marked by culturalideological deviations and a mentality shift where the practical goals may be the same but the reasons and motivations for the goals have changed as well as a “brains versus brawn” dynamicI personally don't think the characters can be seen as proxies used by the author to symbolise the different ideological sides – they're far too multidimensional for that with the same characters often exhibiting hypocriticalcontradictory behaviours much as one would expect from a person in real life That being said father and son Yolek and Yonatan perhaps represent the divisions most clearly with Yolek being the wordy intellectual homo politicus with a strong sense of purpose to implement his grand ideology and Yoni being the largely ideology free purposeless self centred individualistic man child going through an existential crisis But even these two seemingly opposite sides of the division are not as black and white as they may seem – Yolek as we discover throughout the book is not as ideologically sound when it comes to his personal life and as for Yoni the human homing instinct renders any ideological differences largely irrelevant to the fulfillment of practical common goals If the perceived freedom of life outside the kibbutz is presented as an over rated illusion then so is the idealistic sense of purpose and community that one might expect in a utopian fantasy of a kibbutz I don't know if this deromanticisation of kibbutz life is either comforting or depressing for me I suppose a bit of both Existentialist dilemmas evidently know no boundaries I think the choice facing the new generation is not necessarily between the two polar opposites of either faithfully continuing or completely breaking off from their parents traditions but instead adapting themselves individually as well as the kibbutz as a whole to suit themselves and the times – this is evident in the changes in several of the characters in the progression of the book and finally culminates in the changes and adjustments made to the management of the kibbutz the result of a new director who also discovers a new side to himself in the process Despite the universality of the existentialist thread throughout the book I have to wonder how someone unfamiliar with the history of the country would interpretunderstand and appreciate certain parts in it and if there is a certain reuired bias in order to fully enjoy it On a side note this line in the book caught my eye “The shorter the line the straighter the fewer the words the greater” I was sure I had seen this uote somewhere else but according to google I must be wrong I guess it's bit reminiscent of the Mark Twain line “I didn't have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one instead” so maybe I was thinking of that? In any case it's ironic that the philosophical nudnik with constant verbal diarrhea who declared this pearl of wisdom in one of his harangues so blatantly did not live by it and it's scary that I seem to share this trait with one of the most awkward and creepy characters I've ever encountered in a book


  3. says:

    A helpful illustration of the generation following the socialists zionists who settled in Israel around the twenties and their children sabras who were capably devoted to wresting livelihood from the land However not so compelling a read


  4. says:

    Even after disappointing initial expectations Amos Oz tells a great story with only a few hindrances before concluding impressively if not uite as strongly as the story could have been At first I thought that this would be the story of a child of a kibbutz usually socialist collective farm in Israel leaving the place of his birth and attempting to set down roots andor wander in other places namely America or possibly through Europe But instead spoiler the said kibbutz son doesn't leave until uite a while into the story and even when he does again spoiler it's only to eventually return with a significantly changed outlook but very few altered actions on his partOz writes deftly creating for the most part a cast of three dimensional characters that act as symbolic proxies for whatever movement or ideology he wishes to represent in this case the left and right young and old wings of the socialist kibbutz movement in Israel from the old generation of Europeans who sired it to their children who are left with the burden of either carrying on the tradition including it's failures and broken promises or breaking with it completely as they are uite truthfully now products of a different land and a different mentalityNeither side of the ideological divide is spared The old are represented as patriotic and Romantic but also as arrogant and shortsighted bullies The young are depicted as capable and strong but selfish and whiny Oz seems to specialize in the multidimensional aspects of the Israeli Jewish character in this case specifically Ashkenazi and how it pertains to and often clashes violently with history culture and the prospect of changeThe book isn't perfect though Oz's literary acrobatics can unfortunately commit a misstep now and again when he clearly tries for the poetic and the profound when the banal and the provincial would have been just as good or vice versa His writing can come off small and ineffective just when he needs to pull out the stops and write with power and grandeur None of the characters save possibly Yolek who sadly bears a resemblance to people still living and annoying today come off as caricatures and that's most definitely a good thing giving a level of depth and respect to the story the characters and the readers who Oz treats as than smart enough to appreciate nuance in the history of a complicated nation Oz deromanticizes but does so with an understanding eye and a true heartA very good read and certainly worth the time


  5. says:

    The impact of this novel lies in the writer's creation of characters who are outwardly ordinary but inwardly bizarre and at times fantastic The narrative shifts from one perspective to another all eyes trained on the central drama of Yonatan's disaffection and subseuent flight Oz is a master at making ordinary details unfamiliar The novel concerns the gap between the Zionist socialist dream and the sober realities of Israeli life but it is also for the author a mystical tale about ''the secret merger between six or seven very different human beings who become a family in the deepest sense of the term'


  6. says:

    Perfect Peace is Oz's best novel I read so far Prior to that I only read one novel and a novella written by him I can't help but compare the thoughts I had after reading those pieces of work Even though I think that this book was a rewarding experience I still feel that that experience was lacking Sometimes Oz's intentions beyond his political views were not clear enough so were some of his characters I think it would be right to say that Oz is a political writer His leftwing ideals are evident here I didn't always agree with him but the novel was good so I let it pass I would give it 3 stars and a half if it was possible to rate with half stars on Goodreads


  7. says:

    A classic Israeli novel about the first generation to be born and raised in Israel the so called Sabras after 1948 statehood I read this book and then decided to write and present a paper for a Jewish Studies conference during my sopho year at Dickinson The theme of lostconfused identity is ubiuitous and haunting


  8. says:

    A novel by one of Israel's foremost writers I disliked it immensely About life on a kibbutz in the 1960s prior to the Six Day WarThe characters are not sympathetic the plot moves too slowly I thought this would be a good beach read and I was really wrong


  9. says:

    This was my least favorite of all of Oz's books that I've read so far I didn't feel interested in any of the characters and the story dragged The story picked up for me at the end but not soon enough


  10. says:

    Tsk tsk what a poor rating from such a great author I don't find Oz to be as gifted as his countryman Yehoshua But Oz has a very special touch for treating personal and political events with a lyrical and accurate touch