Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
A profound read, truly challenging and thought provoking
on 29 May 2015
I have just bought this book for my twenty one year old son who has just finished Mila 18 my favourite read of all time and now his. A very difficult book to follow but this comes close. I first read this when I was seventeen, a year after it was first published and it had an enormous effect on me. For the first time I understood that the "Irish problem" was not just about a group of fanatics committing wanton atrocities on the innocent, it was as much about the centuries old Irish tragedy, about the innocent majority abused by the privileged few, a total over simplification of a terrible reality I know, but it is because Leon Uris' has a unique ability to draw characters in a multi dimensional way, that I was able to put aside the shocking and continuing current news events of the latest, appalling IRA bombings and so be able to gain some understanding of where this horror was born from, something most people in my experience then and now still have little knowledge of.
By relating to and caring deeply about the people who populate this novel, I was able to put aside my anger and prejudice, born purely out of lack of education on the subject and accept the responsibility, that the actions of the past were shaping an all too awful present. When you are able to put yourself in the other mans skin and look through his eyes the view is a revalation. This for me is Uris' greatest gift, because I care so deeply for his people, my hunger for education on the underlying topic has to be fed and for this I remain eternally grateful, but for some of his books I may have remained blind and ignorant about so much and in consequence so would my sons. When an author challenges you to reevaluate your beliefs, I think that is the ultimate achievement. Read this book, for me it is one of a few that I have been privileged enough to hold, and have happily accepted it's invitation to open and broaden my mind, which subsequently allowed me to make informed choices and altered my perceptions of life and people profoundly. I look forward eagerly to my son's opinion.