To the End of the Land by David Grossman


I really wanted to like To the End of the Land by David Grossman, translated from Hebrew to English by Jessica Cohen in 2010, mainly because I read this article in HAARETZ.com before reading the book.

The first paragraph from the article:

Staff Sgt. Uri Grossman, 20, the son of renowned novelist and peace activist David Grossman was killed Saturday in Lebanon, just days after his father made a public call for the government to halt its military operation and enter negotiations.

At the beginning of this almost 600-page book, the reader meets three young people--Ora, Avram, and Ilan--in quarantine in 1967 during the Six-Day War, who go on to form a complicated relationship. Ora goes on to become Ilan's wife and the mother to both Ilan's son, Adam, and Avram's son, Ofer.

The main part of the book involves a long trek Ora and Avram, himself a survivor of a stay as a POW in Egypt during the Yom Kippur War, take while their son voluntarily serves an extension of his military duty in a tank. Ora sees the walk, one she originally anticipated taking with Ofer, as a way to avoid notification if her son is killed. If she can't be found to learn the news, he can't be dead. [Note that Grossman's actual son died in a tank while he was writing this book.]

I just didn't have the patience to like the effort required for reading this book, which just didn't seem to move, though I did appreciate some of the scenes that provided a little insight into living in a place where people exist in a constant state of alert.

My overall personal rating of To the End of the Land is a C.

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