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Mr Mani Paperback – 14 Feb 2002


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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: 12.6 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 783,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great book. 10 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
6 stars 19 Nov. 2004
By Adam Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Mighty Reach 9 Feb. 2009
By Eric Maroney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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
One of the Greatest Novels of All Time 18 Nov. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of my favorite books by this author 4 Mar. 2008
By Tim Lieder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 8 years ago and I still remember it as a favorite. Really the literary device of telling the story backwards in a series of five one sided conversations about the Mani family works wonders in offsetting and bringing you into their lives. You want to know more about them, but you also think that you have heard enough. And the narrators themselves are fascinating. There's the pregnant girl that thinks she is saving the Mani family and there's the Nazi who is making deals with his commanding officer as well as the British soldier whose sending them back to Europe.

Throughout the book the ironic twists and turns make for compelling reading and even though you are reading it backwards and even though the backwards motif is almost played out by now (Irreversible, Ju Rei, Yellow Raft in Blue Water), it works here.

I never read the original Hebrew version, but I rather liked the English version. A.B. Yehoshua is pretty hit or miss for me, but in the case of this book definitely a hit.
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