Reviews of Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz

Scenes from Village Life

by Amos Oz

Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz X
Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 192 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 208 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BJ Nathan Hegedus
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A portrait of a fictional village, by one of the world's most admired writers.

In the village of Tel Ilan, something is off kilter. An elderly man complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging under his house at night. Could it be his tenant, a young Arab? But then the tenant hears the mysterious digging sounds too. The mayor receives a note from his wife: "Don't worry about me." He looks all over, no sign of her. The veneer of new wealth around the village - gourmet restaurants and art galleries, a winery - cannot conceal abandoned outbuildings, disused air raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped.

Amos Oz's novel-in-stories is a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life. Scenes from Village Life is a parable for Israel, and for all of us.

This book is published by an imprint of HarperCollins. Members of the HC union have been on strike since mid-Nov, fighting for a living wage. More than 650 authors and literary agents have committed to not submitting books to the company until the strike is resolved. Recent news articles

1
Heirs

The stranger was not quite a stranger. Something in his appearance repelled and yet fascinated Arieh Zelnik from first glance, if it really was the first glance: he felt he remembered that face, the arms that came down nearly to the knees, but vaguely, as though from a lifetime ago.

The man parked his car right in front of the gate. It was a dusty, beige car, with a motley patchwork of stickers on the rear window and even on the side windows: a varied collection of declarations, warnings, slogans and exclamation marks. He locked the car, rattling each door vigorously to make sure they were all properly shut. Then he patted the hood lightly once or twice, as though the car were an old horse that you tethered to the gatepost and patted affectionately to let him know he wouldn't have long to wait. Then the man pushed the gate open and strode toward the vine-shaded front veranda. He moved in a jerky, almost painful way, as if walking on hot sand.

From his swing seat in a ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

While initially these stories seem to be very much about Israeli life and culture, in fact, they are so much more. They speak of relationships each one of us wrestles with at some time - with ourselves, with the land, and with mortality (to name a few). Each one is achingly evocative and haunting, and though all the stories stand alone, main characters in one sometimes appear in the background of another; the idea being that no matter how solitary our lives may seem at times, we are a part of others' narratives as well - past, present, and future...continued

Full Review (830 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BJ Nathan Hegedus).

Media Reviews

New Statesman (UK)
An impressive and very affecting achievement... These stories, in their humanity, may do more for Israel than any of the decisions we have been led to expect of its leaders in the months to come.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Knit into a whole, these stories approach the surreal but don't pass the line; in exquisitely controlled prose... Oz reminds us of the creepy unsureness that underlies all "village" life, rural or urban - and not just in Israel.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Oz (Rhyming Life and Death) writes characterizations that are subtle but surgically precise, rendering this work a powerfully understated treatment of an uneasy Israeli conscience.

Booklist
Filled with tension and allegory, Oz's perceptive tales explore the nuance and alienation of transitioning states.

Kirkus Reviews
All the dead ends make for an unsatisfying collection.

Jewish Chronicle
One of the most powerful books you will read about present-day Israel.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Amos Oz

In the story "Strangers," two characters have a discussion about how writers choose their subject matter. "There are some subjects and motifs that a writer comes back to again and again because apparently they come from the root of his being."

Amos Oz There is nothing more true that could be said about Amos Oz, Israel's best known novelist and journalist. Having written over 20 books and 450 articles, his work has sought to define aspects of Israeli life. He is considered one of Israel's most influential and well-regarded intellects.

Born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem in 1939, his parents were right-wing Zionists who had recently immigrated from Eastern Europe. His father, Yehuda Arieh Klausner, was a librarian and a scholar, and his mother...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Amos Oz

If you liked Scenes from Village Life, try these:

  • Forest Dark jacket

    Forest Dark

    by Nicole Krauss

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More by this author

    Bursting with life and humor, Forest Dark is a profound, mesmerizing novel of metamorphosis and self-realization—of looking beyond all that is visible towards the infinite.

  • Beartown jacket

    Beartown

    by Fredrik Backman

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More by this author

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream - and the price required to make it come true.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Yonder
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...

  • Book Jacket: City Under One Roof
    City Under One Roof
    by Iris Yamashita
    When a disembodied arm and leg wash ashore in Point Mettier, Alaska, most residents assume they ...
  • Book Jacket: We Deserve Monuments
    We Deserve Monuments
    by Jas Hammonds
    Jas Hammonds' debut young adult novel We Deserve Monuments provides a fresh look at the coming-of-...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Mitford Affair
by Marie Benedict
An explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Margot
    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

    From two bestselling authors, the true story of the plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill.

  • Book Jacket

    Ghost Season
    by Fatin Abbas

    A beautifully orchestrated debut connecting five people caught in the crosshairs of conflict on the Sudanese border.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

He who opens a door, closes a prison

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.