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The People of Forever are not Afraid

The People of Forever are not Afraid [Kindle Edition]

Shani Boianjiu
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A searing novel" (Catherine Taylor Guardian)

"Extraordinary. The People of Forever is a modern anthem for doomed youth, a brilliant anatomisation of the yearning for normality in a situation that renders it impossible... Read this book" (Rebecca Abrams Financial Times)

"A memorably bold novel... Somewhere between the sardonic humour of Etgar Keret and the epic storytelling of David Grossman, Boianjiu has created a brave, beautiful, political literature that is entirely her own" (Catherine Taylor Sunday Telegraph)

"This unflinching debut novel depicts with depth and acuity the disorientating effects of fear on young minds... The girls are often lost for words, but the author successfully finds a voice to express the dehumanising horror of warfare in this fragmented plot held together with a passionate, poetic eloquence" (Anita Sethi Observer)

"[Boianjiu's] voice is distinct. It's confident, raw, amusing - a lot like her women" (New York Times)

Book Description

Searing first novel about three young women coming of age experiencing the 'absurdities of life and love on the precipice of violence' (Vogue)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1163 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (7 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099578689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099578680
  • ASIN: B009M63ZZ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,213 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catch 36-24-36 25 Mar 2013
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a kaleidoscopic portrait of a country's youth in a constant state of preparedness for war. The author, herself a veteran of Israel's compulsory military service, presents us with a fractured - and occasionally confusing - view of the folly and futility of conflict.

By showing what it is like for female school-leavers at age 18 to be conscripted as an accepted part of the `curriculum', Shani Boianjiu provides us with a uniquely feminine vantage point. This serves to make the reader all the more acutely aware of the sheer physicality of warfare and the lasting trauma to young minds after conscription: "...the problem was the future of the past. It existed outside our heads, too large."

Some press reviews have concentrated on the three main voices of the teenage girls, Yael, Lea and Avishag, and how they while away their time on guard-duty by discussing boys. This may convey the impression that this novel is war-zone chick-lit but that would be doing debut author, Shani Boianjiu, a grave disservice. The writing is very good, often disturbing, occasionally brilliant - with distant echoes of Catch-22.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Undecided 13 April 2013
By Pamela
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not sure what to make of this book. I bought it because years ago I spent quite a lot of time in Israel. Not being Jewish there was no question of my having to do any military training but I did have friends who had to. Then, I was impressed by their commitment to doing what they thought was right, their sensitivity and sense of morality. This book has left me wondering if what I thought happened years ago was not true, whether it was and the people are now very different, whether this book is a valid account or not. I was horrified at the callous brutality and cold acceptance of many of the situations. It's not a case of physical rape but mental rape. If these immature and young girls wielding guns are in 'charge' of the every day lives of those around them, what hope is there for them to be 'normal'? (Not that the situation in Israel is 'normal' in any way that I can understand).

I found the writing interesting, but not always easy to follow. However, it's bullet-like style did suit the subject. In places the story was disjointed and too erratic.

Please can someone who knows what it is like in the IDF now, please respond!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to become your own enemy 9 Mar 2013
By Bert
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Imagine: you are a teenage girl and have just finished middleschool or highschool. In most western countries you go to college or university, or you start looking for a job. Not so in Israel. You are drafted to serve two years in the army. Unheard of in other countries as far as girls are concerned. Books about girls in the army seem non-existant. This book is unique. The story about the 3 girls who are conscripted is grim, but gripping. I was curious, picked up the book and started reading. At times I had to put it down to absorbe and reflect, then picked it up again since it is a compelling account. Non fiction seems to interact with fiction but the stories become real and are being honestly told. The scene keeps changing, from the dull and senseless duties to the tense situations and disturbing events, and back to memories from the past. You come to understand to what extend the IDF is part of everyday life in Israel and how everybody is affected. I find it hard to believe that politicians and senior officers are willing to expose 17- and 18-year girls (and boys) to situations like this and put them under this kind of pressure. Those in power and control let young people deal with the mess they are unable to solve themselves. It is obvious that the girls in the story are being affected for life if not traumatised. This book is a brave act of a young woman to give us this disturbingly vivid account of her life - and that of those serving with her - before, in and after her two years in the army. Bert
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Author really needs therapy! 31 July 2013

This was a book that I really wanted to read after listening to an interview with the author, in the Swedish book program "Babel". And yet, if this is what modern literature is all about, I must say that I am not too keen on it. As a matter of fact, I don't understand why international newspapers give a book like this raving reviews, because it does not deserve it. If this is what modern society finds a good book, then the end of times must be near, because THIS is awful! The author needs therapy! Writing the book was clearly a scream for help and I doubt it healed her to get the things off her chest!!!

What she describes is a very disturbed generation of Israelis. Foul mouthed girls that enter the obligatory military service, where they do nothing but being promiscuous and waiting for their time to be over. But when it is over, they go home and don't get out of bed because they have been so traumatized. Some stay in bed for a year, some has to get treatment and some do what one of the character's brother did, go and blow their brains out. My country has not been to war since 1814, so who knows what that is like? I must admit, that perhaps this is reality in Israel? A country under constant attack from their neighbours, must raise a generation without hope, a generation that doesn't know what to do with itself. But at the same time, really?!

The book starts out, in a tiny village in Northern Israel, close to the Lebanon border. The graduating class is bored stiff. For years the education has been really poor. They have studied the same religion course for three years and no-one noticing this?
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