Kindle by Leon Uris
Genre :Literature & Fiction
Exodus Bargain Kindle Books
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212 of 223 people found the following review helpful.
By Jason A. Miller
While at work this morning, I was shown an original birth certificate issued in Israel in 1950. I actually felt something of a thrill of pride (even though I’ve never been there, and I’ve long since forgotten Hebrew letters). That’s mostly due to my having finished “Exodus” last night.
“Exodus” isn’t the kind of book you read for literary merit. The third word in the book is “plip-plopped”, which isn’t a word at all. If you’re deconstructing page 1, you’ll get annoyed the random shifts in the narrative voice. The book begins with a couple of plodding middle-American characters with silly names like “Kitty”, and “Mark Parker”.
However, Uris knows what he’s doing. He’s constructing an argument in favor of the state of Israel, laid out against 70 years’ worth rampant European anti-Semitism. It’s no coincidence that the first segment recounts the Holocaust (first, in the eyes of a girl who escaped to relative peace in Jew-friendly Denmark, and then in the eyes of an Auschwitz survivor), and then the second shows the seeds of modern Israel through a pair of mythic-quality Russian shtetl refugees who enter Palestine in the 1880s and begin transforming the soil. The balance of the book shows Palestine’s struggles under the suffocating British mandate, and nascent Israel’s miraculous victory over the various Arab states seeking to “push Israel into the sea”. Played out over the epic history is a storyline involving the Ben Canaan family, Kitty the American nurse, her surrogate Israeli daughter Karen, and Karen’s sullen, rebellious, Sal Mineo-type boyfriend Dov. The body count rises and the deaths become more personal, more tragic, as the story builds its way slowly to several shattering conclusions.
A lot has changed since 1948. Israel was then associated with the political left; not anymore. The plight of the Palestine Arabs who were induced out of their land by the warfaring Arab states, however, has not been resolved. Those refugees are still right there, crammed along the Israeli borders in the same makeshift cities. Pages 551-554 of the book present a summary of this unconscionable situation, and just about every word is still true, 50 years later. The joyously pro-Israel strains of “Exodus” will probably now draw more cynicism than solidarity, in this brave new world of the New York Times headlines and Saudi peace proposals. However, I wouldn’t change a word.
82 of 90 people found the following review helpful.
Into The Promised Land
By Gary F. Taylor
Leon Uris (1924-2003) was a well-respected novelist and the author of several screenplays–but it was not until the 1958 publication of EXODUS that he became one of America’s most popular writers. Sales in the United States were phenomenal, and by the early 1960s EXODUS had been translated into some fifty languages. It would become one of the most widely published and widely read novels of the 20th Century.
The novel was extremely topical, for it dealt with the creation of modern-day Israel, a highly controversial event–and one well within the memory of most adult readers of the late 1950s and early 1960s. But Uris did more than this: he also painted a general history of European anti-Semitism with an emphasis on the Holocaust. For many readers, EXODUS would be their first encounter with such material, and Uris took nothing for granted in his descriptions and accounts.
The great strength of the novel is its narrative power. The primary action follows a group of post-war European Jews held by the British for their illegal attempt to enter British-dominated Palestine–and their determination to break British policy–but it also flashes back to the tell the histories of the characters involved. These histories, which reveal both Nazi atrocity and the long history of anti-Semitism, are often even more compelling than the primary story line itself. It is very much a page-turner from start to finish.
Even so, EXODUS doesn’t quite manage to make the leap from 1950s pop fiction to the level of masterpiece, and it remains very much of its time. Uris is an extremely literal writer, and he is less interested in creating plot and character than he is in using both to present a sort of “headline” history of anti-Semitism and the birth of Israel. Consequently, both his style and his characters–although we certainly learn a tremendous amount about their experiences–read as rather flat.
The novel is also somewhat controversial, for it is written from an extremely Zionist position, and for Uris this position is fundamental to all else. Half a century later, however, it is very evident that the matter was never as simple as Uris would have us believe. There are more than a few passages that will cause modern readers to think “But it didn’t turn out that way, did it?” And some readers may consider the novel as anti-British and anti-Arabian as the anti-Semitism the book so loudly decries.
Even with these issues, EXODUS is a powerful novel–and in a historical sense a very important work, for it would influence American thinking on the subject of Zionism and Israel for decades to come. And when all is said and done, it’s still one helluva read. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
In Memory of Bob Zeidler, Amazon Reviewer
Greatly Missed and Not Forgotten
42 of 49 people found the following review helpful.
Religious, Historical, Touching and Informative
By A Customer
Shalom. The ‘Exodus’ was my first Leon Uris’ book and definately won’t be my last! The book is an unfolding story that is full of fact, drama, romance, action, religion and skillfully inter-woven fiction. From a Jewish perspective, the book accurately documents Jewish persecution and is a wonderful book that educates people about the struggle of the Jews through history and the struggle of Eretz Israel. From an historical point of view, the book is somewhat accurate. The book illuminates the actions of the nations involved accurately. Yes, the British and the Arabs are portrayed as sly and anti-semetic, but this may be the truth in this case. Uris is only highlighting events and actions – if they make the people look evil or horrific then maybe that is the truth about their actions? Most of the events are facts – we have to face them. The book is an amazing work of literature. The story is so vivid, that one feels as though they themselves are present at the time of the events and are part of the action. The way in which the book is written make you feel as though you are very close to the characters and you begin to feel that the tragedies that they experience and have experienced have happened to you as well. The story was truly gripping. I could not put the book down and was drawn into the world of the ‘Exodus’. I was saddened when I finally finished the book and wished that it would contiue with the story. I think that every single person in the world should read this book. It really does affect you and makes you realize just what people will do and just how they will sacrifice their own lives for the cause of their people. It also historically educates you and learnt a lot from the book. I now want nothing less than to travel to Eretz Israel and to see Gan Dafna, the Acre Jail in from which Akiva and Dov were freed! I now want to see the Biblical sights that the characters talked about. It seems that people who have read this book feel the spirit of its story and characters with them forever! I have to agree, a truly unique and special book! Alana from Durban
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