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The Book of Abraham [Hardcover]

Marek Halter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1986
A family saga with a difference, The Book of Abraham opens on the backdrop of a burning Jerusalem in 70 CE as Abraham the Temple scribe flees the destruction of his home. Two thousand years and a hundred generations later, another Abraham perishes, immolated in the fires of the Warsaw Ghetto. But the chain that links these two Abrahams - a chain that stretches from Jerusalem to Warsaw through Rome, Alexandria, France and Greece - is one of family ties, and the unforgettable, powerful and poignant story that is told is that of one family; the author's own. This is a new edition of a phenomenal bestseller that has already sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; First American Edition edition (Jan 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030718872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030718878
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,306,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

Review

An extraordinary achievement. --Iris Murdoch

A great novel. --Le Monde

A story of suffering and hope, longing and wandering, struggle and achievement…An exceptional book. --Shimon Peres --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

MAREK HALTER was born in Warsaw in 1936. When he was five, he and his family escaped from the Nazis by crawling through the sewers under the Warsaw Ghetto. He has lived in France since 1950. In addition to being a writer, Marek Halter is also an artist and a human rights activist and has served as president of the European Foundation for Science, Art and Culture. His book Le Fou et Les Rois, which recounts his experiences working for Middle East peace, won the Prix Aujourd'hui. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fiction story ever on Jewish history 13 Jan 2003
Format:Hardcover
I read this book 3 times over the last 10 years and everytime it impressed me more.
It's beautifully written and very detaillistic. It tells the story of a Jewish family from the time of the tribe father Abraham until present times.
Never before have I read a book on Jewish history with this much detailed information.
Although it is a fiction novel, it provides a good insight in Jewish history and customs.
I recommend this book (and the follow up Abrahams Son's) to everyone who is interested in the history of the Jewish people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Interesting Epic 4 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
In this epic work of Jewish history, Marek Halter uses an ancient document passed down from generation to generation through the centuries, and fleshed it out to create an exciting and informative epic novel.
Beginning in 70 CE (AD) Halter begins with the flight of a Jews called Abraham fron the burning city of Jerusalem, together with his family, during it's destruction by the Romans.
Taking us through the history of a Jewish family from Jerusalem to North Africa to Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland, This is a history of Halter's family and of the Nation of Israel.
The words of the book are permeated with words of wisdom such as "A dream of cake is a dream, not a cake, but a dream of a journey is itself a kind of journey" as well as the prayers of the Jews through the millenia: " May the Allmighty protect us from those who persecute us, and against those who speak evil of us. Blessed be the Allmighty". These words are as pertinent today as ever. The book deals with question such as why the Chumash started with the creation. And sayings such as Sof Tov Hakol Tov- All's Well That End Well"-Now we know how Shakespeare got the name for the play of that title.
We read of the cruel decrees of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, outlawing circumcision, observance of the Sabbath and study of the Jewish Law, in the Land of Israel, creating a situation where being a Jews in the Land of the Jews was punishable by death.
Hadrian went so far as changing the name of Judea to Palestine, after the enemies of the Jews who had once occupied the environs of Gaza, the Phillistines.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From The Sacking of Jerusalem To The Rebirth Of Israel 22 Aug 2005
By Dai-keag-ity - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Marek Halter's novel traces the history not only of one family, but by proxy, of Judaism itself for the last nineteen centuries. Beginning with the sack of Jerusalem by Romans in AD 70, the descendants of a scribe called simply "Abraham" record the births and deaths in a scroll that Abraham carried with him out from the burning city. We track his children and their children and their children on into Alexandria, Tours, Moorish Spain, and finally Poland at the time of the Nazi conquest of eastern Europe. As we pass from generation to generation, we encounter literally hundreds of men and women who can trace their heritage to the first Abraham of the Scroll. We follow them through times of peace and prosperity, and more frequently through occasions of tragedy. Through it all, pogroms and persecutions, plagues and wars, migrations and exiles the members of this one extraordinary family maintain their identity and faith and persevere into the twentieth century.

Excellent for historians and lovers of literature, Jews and non-Jews alike.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read 11 Feb 2005
By Danny C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Unlike the objective conveyance of history, this work of fiction captures the overwhelming sorrows of the Jewish people throughout the diaspora. By cleverly using a geneological scroll, relating the experiences of the family throughout the generations, Halter compassionately reveals the essence of the Jewish people as continuous survivors in a world which dispossesses them. His manner of writing is reflective and easy to read, yet he does not shy away from difficult concepts. I have no criticisms of this book. Since I seldom get to read for pleasure, I was very fortunate to have been recommended it. I do have some advice for anybody who plans to read it. Read it slowly. Stop between chapters and digest the many rich concepts offered. I was sorry when I finished it for that reason. How many times can that be said of anything?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Interesting Epic 31 Mar 2007
By Gary Selikow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this epic work of Jewish history, Marek Halter uses an ancient document passed down from generation to generation through the centuries, and fleshed it out to create an exciting and informative epic novel.
Beginning in 70 CE (AD) Halter begins with the flight of a Jews called Abraham fron the burning city of Jerusalem, together with his family, during it's destruction by the Romans.
Taking us through the history of a Jewish family from Jerusalem to North Africa to Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and Poland, This is a history of Halter's family and of the Nation of Israel.
The words of the book are permeated with words of wisdom such as "A dream of cake is a dream, not a cake, but a dream of a journey is itself a kind of journey" as well as the prayers of the Jews through the millenia: " May the Allmighty protect us from those who persecute us, and against those who speak evil of us. Blessed be the Allmighty". These words are as pertinent today as ever. The book deals with question such as why the Chumash started with the creation. And sayings such as Sof Tov Hakol Tov- All's Well That End Well"-Now we know how Shakespeare got the name for the play of that title.
We read of the cruel decrees of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, outlawing circumcision, observance of the Sabbath and study of the Jewish Law, in the Land of Israel, creating a situation where being a Jews in the Land of the Jews was punishable by death.
Hadrian went so far as changing the name of Judea to Palestine, after the enemies of the Jews who had once occupied the environs of Gaza, the Phillistines.
We learn of the massacres perpetrated during the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the bloody pogroms of Chmielnicki in which thousands of Jewish men, women and children were cruelly slaughtered. Of the struggles of the Nation of Israel: " Do not fear the venom of the wicked...aim your arrows and strike down the evildoer..."
The book speaks of the yearning through the exile, of the Jews for the Land of Israel and Jerusalem, and we are introduced to historical figures as diverse as the false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, the beautiful Marrano Dona Gracia (Nasi), and the apostate Uriel Acosta.
We read of the loves and the struggles of the lives of the real life figures in this epic.
finally the book ends with the account of the Abraham who perished in the flames of the Warsaw ghetto, where the Jews fought a valiant battle against the Nazi monstrosity, always longing for freedom in their own land, the Land of Israel.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book not only interesting but quite enjoyable. 25 Jun 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of a family, from the first Abraham who witnesses the burning of Jerusalem in 70 AD to an Abraham who dies in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.
A new look into the Jewish history and their perspective on world events, quite different than the Christian perspective.
I found this book not only enlightening but quite enjoyable and very hard to put down.
A must read for any history buff.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book not only interesting but quite enjoyable. 25 Jun 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of a family, from the first Abraham who witnesses the burning of Jerusalem in 70 AD to an Abraham who dies in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.
A new look into the Jewish history and their prospective on world events, quite different than the Christian prospective.
I found this book not only enlightening but quite enjoyable and very hard to put down.
A must read for any history buff.
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