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Mr Mani [Paperback]

A.B. Yehoshua

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Book Description

14 Feb 2002

Six generations of the Sephardi Mani family are chronicled in this

profound and passionate Mediterranean epic, which moves backwards

from the 1980s to the mid-nineteenth century.

The story comprises of five conversations, each centering on the fate of a

different member of the Mani family, and in each the responses of one

person are absent.

Mr. Mani is surprisingly humorous, full of extraordinary historical

perspectives, and deeply wise and compassionate. It is an imaginative


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Mr Mani + The Brothers Ashkenazi + The People of Forever are not Afraid
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Halban Publishers; New edition edition (14 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870015770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870015776
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Mr Mani New Statesman and Society) -- New Statesman and Society

A.B. Yehoshua has created a historical and psychological universe - nearly biblical in the range and penetration of its enchanting "begats" - with an amazingly real Jerusalem at its centre. -- Cynthia Ozick

For this is more than just a tale of one eccentric family; it has the relentlessness of the Old Testament, the contentiousness of Job. The Manis not only pass down their sense of guilt, the source of their quixotic and often tragic fate, they ask in each generation what it means to be a Jew: are we not all from the same seed, are we not all "Jews forgetful of being Jews"? -- Wendy Brandmark, The Independent

It is extraordinarily skilful to have captured the Jewish mixture of suffering and revival, despair and messianic hope, without in any way spelling out such heavy themes. -- David Pryce-Jones, The Financial Times

Yehoshua is a marvellous story teller but also a profoundly political writer, always arguing for uncertain humanism rather than zealous nationalism in a country where everyone lives on the front line. -- Nicci Gerrard, The Observer

Yehoshua's minutely researched novel ramifies out from the city to record the rich and wretched elements that have gone into the founding and continuation of the nation whose centre it has once again become. -- Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

Book Description

A. B. Yehoshua was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2005

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 stars 19 Nov 2004
By Adam Gordon - Published on
I stopped to write a review only because I saw that all five stars were not fully checked. One can like or not like the content of the book, but as a exposition of writing craft it is - bar none - the best book in the world. (Allright, I'll be circumspect, maybe one of the best). It will blow you away and change the way you think about the novel as a literary form. A genius at his best, no less.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. 10 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Told from the perspective of the people who encounter the Mani family throughout the generations this book is amazing. WHile it takes a few pages to get used to the fact that the Mani men will not be speaking for themselves, once that is accepted this book moves along making you think and feel for these people that you only encounter through the perspective of strangers. What's even better is that you see a character in one generation from one perspective and then in the next chapter the character is considerably younger and there is some one else's perspective. So the father about to commit suicide and who is the mission of the first narrator becomes a child Jew that is an inconvenience to the Nazi character with a conscience of the second chapter. Where most experimental literature is only experimental, this book shows that storytelling and style don't need to be mutually exclusive.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did a Mere Human Write this Masterpiece? 27 Dec 2000
By Joy Hope Schneider - Published on
I concur with other readers that "Mr. Mani" stands in a class of its own. The book, which spans centuries, manages to do so while remaining riveting and vivid. That I remember it years after re-reading it, that I am now trying to write my own novel allows me to now see how truly masterful this book is. If you don't write you may not realize how much had to go into the leaping stories, the profundity of character and the great subject this author took on and completed. Maybe a few on this earth are as blessed with the gift of creation, but they are very few indeed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Reach 9 Feb 2009
By Eric Maroney - Published on
Unlike most, if not all "experimental" novels, which rely on a technique for delivery their story, Mr. Mani never allows the technique to control the novel's story, even as it shapes and molds its contours. Perhaps this is one of the most powerful endorsements of Mr. Mani as a masterpiece of a novel. Rather than becoming a confining element, the experiment (which is confining in its scope and shape) gives the novel a massive reach and scale. For in this novel, A.B. Yehoshua has done nothing less than chart the course of modern Jewish history, both in Palestine, the State of Israel, and the Diaspora. But at the same time, while attaining this mighty reach, the novel is extremely intimate. The Mani family and their connection to Jerusalem is unforced and natural. Yehoshua is telling us something about the naturalization of Jews in the Holy Land. Simple categories of identity fail to capture all the nuance of this unique connection. In fact, all binary oppositions are melting into one shade of marvelous gray in this very masterfully written work.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Novels of All Time 18 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This is a book that is unforgettable. I read it five years ago and I still have dreams about it. I still find myself in the scenes and epochs that Mr. Mani traverses. I am a professor of literature and so I must read more than most. This book has the hand of God on it. It stands out. Buy it and love it.
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