I am the Clay Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2002
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Potok writes powerfully about the suffering of innocent people caught in the cross-fire of a war they cannot begin to understand....Humanity and compassion for his characters leap from every page. --San Francisco Chronicle
From the Inside Flap
"Potok writes powerfully about the suffering of innocent people caught in the cross-fire of a war they cannot begin to understand....Humanity and compassion for his characters leap from every page."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
As the Chinese and the army of the North sweep south during the Korean War, an old peasant farmer and his wife flee their village across the bleak, bombed-out landscape. They soon come upon a boy in a ditch who is wounded and unconscious. Stirred by possessiveness and caring the woman refuses to leave the boy behind. The man thinks she is crazy to nurse this boy, to risk their lives for some dying stranger. Angry and bewildered, he waits for the boy to die. And when the boy does not die, the old man begins to believe that the boy possesss a magic upon which all their lives depend....
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
It is a very moving story told in a unique prose style which keeps the reader on his toes as the thoughts of the three characters are often interwoven in the same sentences. It is very much narrative drive, with minimal dialogue certainly until towards the end, and even then there is not a lot; but through the narrative we learn the thinking and motives of the characters. The old woman, caring and very much taken with the boy; the old man torn between his fear of what the boy will cost them and the good fortune he seems to bring them; and the boy, dependant, trusting yet intelligent and resourceful, a boy with integrity. It is also through the thoughts and dreams of the characters that we learn much of their individual and very different backgrounds.
A compelling and beautifully told story, very different in style from some of Chaim Potok's novels, with three very different yet appealing characters, even the seemingly bitter old man has his redeeming points. The horror and futility of war inevitably come across, indirectly for there is no propaganda here, no hidden agenda. My only reservation is that the conclusion seems somewhat abrupt; and I would really like to know the eventual prospects for the young boy especially. It is a very good story, but perhaps not quite as good as "The Chosen" and its sequel, or the Asher Lev books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I felt that I am the Clay by Chaim Potok, is a very emotional story that also puts emphasis on the relationships the characters develop. These relationships help the reader to understand the way people treated one another and what is important to their Asian culture. This book also gives you a feel of what it would be like to live during the war and how hard it must have been to pack only the necessities and leave your home. Not only did they have to worry about their survival but also what condition the house would be in if they returned. Would they have to build a new life from scratch for themselves and how many of they're neighbors and friends made it through this horrible ordeal? These are the questions they had to ask themselves everyday while they suffered from the cold and hunger. Chaim Potok really gives a descriptive view of the life they led and the hardships they had to succumb in order to survive.
What I found very odd about how Chaim Potok wrote the book was how he named Kim Sin Gyu, but only referred to the couple that took care of him as the "old man and woman." I would like to know his reason for doing this and how it enhanced the book. Another style of his I picked up on was how he tended to have a lot of long sentences when the boy spoke and how he tended to ramble on a bit about things that is not completely relevant. So I would recommend this book for those who have some past knowledge in history and war, or it may be a little hard to follow. However the author's vivid description of their hardships and struggles really made the book come to life.
Set in South Korea during the Korean war of the mid 1950's, I am the Clay is centered around the journey of two elderly South Korean peasants as they struggle to save a young orphaned boy they found in a ditch, and travel north (a poor choice during the war).
The book, as with most of Chaim Potok's, is very well-written and detailed.
However, I am the Clay lacks the intimacy od Potok's other celebrated works due to the fact that Potok, despite having served for two years as a Chaplain in South Korea and Japan, is largely ignorant about Korean culture. I am the Clay has two peasants who believe animals to be spirits, and a little boy to be a magical charm. Although the characters are intended to be simple-minded, it is not a part of Korean culture to believe animals to be spirits, and human beings are not regarded as lucky charms.
for this, I am the clay is certianly one of Chaim Potok's less imporessive novels. However, he does deserve three stars for experimenting with themes outside of Orthodox Judaism.