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Writing in the Dark Paperback – 16 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (16 Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747597421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747597421
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 829,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

PRAISE FOR DAVID GROSSMAN's OTHER NON-FICTION 'The bravest and most clear-headed interpreter of the Israeli-Palestinian divide' Tim Adams, Observer 'The most honest, soul-searching book yet written by an Israeli - or, for that matter, by a Palestinian - on an agony that neither of them alone can bring to an end' Los Angeles Times 'Written with tremendous conviction and power ... Grossman means for us to see that the occupier and the occupied are brutalized alike by their unresolved quarrel' Newsweek

About the Author

David Grossman is the author of seven novels, two works of journalism, and a volume of collected commentary. He lives in Jerusalem.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By lexo1941 on 26 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
Israeli culture is a closed book to most people in the UK who like to read. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is that most liberal-minded university-educated readers of serious fiction feel that this is a cause on which one is obliged to take sides, and if so, then anybody who respects justice and hates oppression (and who doesn't, right?) must sympathise with the Palestinians rather than with the Israelis. And it's true that the Palestinians have suffered a terrible wrong - to wit, the founding of the state of Israel, and the consequent expulsion and flight of much of the native Arab population. The triumph of the Jewish people in Palestine was precisely what the Palestinians call Al-Naqba - "the catastrophe". Although the Israeli government has recently decreed, with breathtaking stupidity, that that particular word is no longer to be used in school history books.

Another reason is generalised low-level antisemitism, which is unfortunately given fuel by the actions of the state of Israel. The equation goes: Israel does bad stuff, Israeli writers come from a bad place, therefore they can have nothing to say to me. Israel is demonised by many, many people who really should know better. Unfortunately for the many people who use Israel as an excuse to exercise their existing prejudices, it's too late to wish that the country had never been created in the first place. It's been home to too many people for too long.

The fact is, as any serious observer of the place knows, Israel has had a rich, thriving and tough-minded culture of dissent for decades. The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz contains harder criticism of the Israeli government than you will find in any mainstream paper outside Israel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
David Grossman is a remarkable man. In this collection of six essays you get virtually no indication of the anger that surely must be there, at observing the stupidity of the endless violence that has spanned his entire life. Instead, there is a calm, rationale voice, a "light unto nations" if you will, that consistently and logically says that we (and the book was originally published in Hebrew, so his main audience is the nation of Israel) need to recognize that endless conflict is not in our best interest, is damaging to our soul and values, and that there are alternatives available. In one of the best essays that have been highlighted by other reviewers, his speech in Paris in 2004, which is entitled "Contemplations of Peace" he clearly identifies one of the central problems: "The government of Israel have showered hundreds of millions of dollars on settlements and settlers in the past decades. What is known as the `settlement enterprise' is the largest and most wasteful national project Israel has undertaken since its inception. A massive mechanism of propaganda, enticement and persuasion--ideological, religious, and national--was launched by all the governments of Israel, left and right, to impel Israelis to move to the Occupied Territories en masse. Scandalously excessive financial incentives were offered. But still, after almost forty years, fewer than 250,000 Israelis live in the settlements, and the vast majority of them are children who were born there."

The book is a short one, only 130 pages, and there have already been a couple of excellent reviews posted. But such is the richness, and density of his essays, that I think there is still much that can be said without being repetitive. Differences provide for the viability of horse races and stock markets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. A. Harvey on 28 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
D G is the voice of reason in a region of constant conflict. Hopefully those who still possess an open mind will read his many writings on the subject and persuade the powers that be, on both sides of the equasion, to not just talk but actually listen to each other. If you care about this part of the world and want an insight into it's difficulties read this book. I know that it is not new but it is still timely. If you read only one book in 2010 then please read this one and strive for an honest peace.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mediterraneo on 17 July 2011
Format: Paperback
An splendid sight to the inner as well the complex outer writing world of the author, who shows us how the reality is always beyond the news.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Smith on 10 Feb 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife loves this book a massive David Grossman fan. Book arrived quickly and as described.
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