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My Michael Paperback – 20 Feb 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (20 Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099747308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099747307
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"There is no novelist writing today who catches the feeling of the moment more surely than Amos Oz" (Scotsman)

"Amos Oz is one of the finest novelists of this entire period.MY MICHAEL is a beautiful work of great depth and in some indescribable way lingers in the mind as a lyric song to his country's people as much as a moving love story." (Arthur Miller)

"Amos Oz is a commanding artist who ranks with the most important writers of our time.MY MICHAEL, an early work, reveals him to have been from the first everything we know him to be today: a visionary fabricator of breathtaking power and wit, as well as a crafty interpreter of difficult souls." (Cynthia Ozick)

"What stands out...is Oz's strident lyricism" (Rosanna Boscawen Observer)

"Slow, thoughtful, self-assured and highly sophisticated, full of the most skillful modulations of tone and texture. A modern Israeli Madame Bovary...distinguished by its warmth, its lyricism and remarkable technical control" (New York Times)

From the Publisher

'A moving love story' Arthur Miller
'A remarkable, percipient picture of the nature of women' A S Byatt

My Michael, first published in 1968, established Israeli writer Amos Oz as a major international novelist. A love story set in Jerusalem before the Suez crisis, it tells of Hannah Gonen’s marriage to Michael, and her gradual withdrawal from him into a private world of fantasy and suppressed desires.

‘My Michael is a beautiful work of great depth and lingers in the mind as a lyric song to his country’s people as much as a moving love story’ Arthur Miller

‘He has that mixture of lyrical intensity, utter seriousness and capacity for describing life in a few words which characterises some of the best Russian classical authors’ Melvyn Bragg


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Hannah Gonen, thirty years old and living in Jerusalem in the late 1950s, has been wife for ten years to a man she pursued and married when she was in her first year at the university and he was a graduate student. Michael, who describes himself as "good...a bit lethargic, but hard-working, responsible, clean, and very honest," eventually earns his PhD. in geology and begins work at the university, but Hannah, who has given up her literature studies upon her marriage, soon finds married life--and Michael himself--to be tedious.

Writing in short, factual sentences, which come alive through his choice of details, author Amos Oz, often mentioned as a Nobel Prize candidate, creates the story of a marriage which may or may not survive. Hannah and Michael married in 1949, shortly after Israel gained its independence, and the author often uses Hannah's battles for independence and control to reflect the growing pains of a new land determined to defend itself. As their family backgrounds unfold, the behavior of Hannah and Michael within the marriage are seen in a wider context. Hannah yearns for excitement, often drawing on her store of vibrant childhood memories to escape into a dream world. Michael, hard-working and pragmatic, remains a geologist, firmly connected to the earth.

Mnired in depression after the birth of their son, Hannah gradually becomes more and more unstable, depressed, and hysterical, until she becomes ill, a condition which she sees, ironically, as offering her freedom. As the marriage and Hannah's sanity deteriorate, the author's use of symbols gives depth and universality to the story. Hannah often imagines a glass dome over herself and her family.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I heard Amos Oz on the radio and was impressed by his calm and measured views on the Arab Israeli situation.The book was very interesting to me because he writes as a woman and that must be very difficult for a man to do effectively; but he does it well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It is beautifully written, sensitive and memorable, full of poignant touches. The opening paragraph is one of the most moving I have read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maria1971 on 12 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read the rave reviews of the books and Amos Oz's work overall, I was disappointed by this book.

Maybe it's because I'm used to a different style of writing but my issue here was that nothing ever happens....

This book is a sometimes tender - sometimes cruel, but mainly sad recounting of a couples' life together, against a backdrop of Israeli history.

According to one of the characters of the book she [the narrator] is a "poetess, except she doesn't write poems", and he's "Her" Michael, but to me they just seem like a couple who have agreed to spend their life together, without ever really knowing each other. Does she love him? Unless my cultural references are very off, I don't think so. She is distant from both her husband and her son has an imaginary / dream world she likes to disappear into every now and again - perhaps in our day she'd simply be referred to a psychologist to help her work through her depression, while in this story she is left to cope on her own, but I'm sorry to say that her story left me cold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Not quite a love story 12 Jun. 2006
By maria1971 - Published on Amazon.com
Having read the rave reviews of the books and Amos Oz's work overall, I was disappointed by this book.

Maybe it's because I'm used to a different style of writing but my issue here was that nothing ever happens....

This book is a sometimes tender - sometimes cruel, but mainly sad recounting of a couples' life together, against a backdrop of Israeli history.

According to one of the characters of the book she [the narrator] is a "poetess, except she doesn't write poems", and he's "Her" Michael, but to me they just seem like a couple who have agreed to spend their life together, without ever really knowing each other. Does she love him? Unless my cultural references are very off, I don't think so. She is distant from both her husband and her son has an imaginary / dream world she likes to disappear into every now and again - perhaps in our day she'd simply be referred to a psychologist to help her work through her depression, while in this story she is left to cope on her own, but I'm sorry to say that her story left me cold.
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