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Posted March 3, 2012
Do not waste your time reading this book
the book was on my book club list to be read and for our group to discuss on March 14th. Unfortunately, after I started reading the book I just could not get into it. I forced myself to read apporximately 100 pages and just put it down, did not finish it at all. Just was not interested in reading about pigeons. Although supposedly it is supposed to be ficton, I somehow got the impression from the first 100 pages I read that it was actually based on the author's life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The first book I ordered, In the Garden of the Beast was excellant and I am referring it to everyone. Will NOT refer a Pigeon and a boy.Rating O
Posted December 19, 2009
The art of writing a superb book is equivalent to that of creating a world.
A Pigeon and a Boy is a fine illustration of newly created parallel worlds which flow along unerringly, develop a rhythm by their own uniqueness and individuality and finally intersect with an ardency and impact that leaves the reader startled. Throughout the narrative, the reader experiences shifts in moods. The tone of the story begins quietly, almost reluctantly. Building on this, the drama offers brief glimpses of unresolved sorrows and temporary rays of sunshine and then further storms follow until the tension builds to an almost unbearable point. The ability of a story to put a finger on a sensitive part of somebody's soul is the true test of artistic commission. The soldier, Baby, as he lay dying, "Cold gushed from his bones and inundated his flesh. His heart grew tranquil... with open eyes, watched the pigeon fly, at first light-colored as she distanced herself, then darker as she ascended, with soft, puffed breast and strong wings, so beautiful that he craved nothing more than to rise toward her, to hold and kiss her before he died."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The novel is comprised of two separate stories conjoined by an unlikely device: a letter transported by carrier pigeon. The first story takes place around the 1940s before and during the Six-Day War when homing pigeons were used for military purposes. Shalev's characters in the first story are two pigeon handlers, Baby and Raya, whose love affair is kept alive via letters carried by the pigeons.
The second story is set in the present, centering around an Israeli man, Yair Mendelsohn, who wants to escape his current life in Jerusalem for a new home on the coast. The stories are intertwined by the motif of "home," symbolized by the pigeon's constant flight back. The building of a home is a creation of comfort. Shalev's rich sensory details allow the reader not only to see, but to touch, taste and hear and fully enter the scene. Meriam is defined by the incessant jiggling of her knees and the smoke curling from her evening cigarette; Raya's voice resounds in our ears saying, "I can't take it anymore"; Meshulam's blue handkerchief that appears from his breast pocket to dab the corner of his eye dabs our tears as well.
Shalev paints Yair as a flawed character, one who is easily flustered, hampered throughout life by his short stature, dark, closely spaced eyes, steel-wool hair, the face of a thug and his thick skull. Benjamin, Yair's brother, was the charmer, an angelic child with soft, fair colored curls and precocious, cunning intellect. Yair believes him to be more loved by his mother, a resentment that percolates their lives. His reluctance to leave his loveless marriage is disturbing.
Baby possessed the qualities of goodness, virtue, tenderness, passion and loyalty rarely seen. Whatever handicaps he had by way of birth, he remained true to his love of pigeons and to the ten characteristics of a good pigeon handler. Examined carefully, they mimic the Ten Commandments. Baby was a man of God. In a mystical way, this part seemed written by the female Belgian homing pigeon that Raya gave to Baby. As the pigeon soared and took flight, Baby ascended; his heart beat in synchrony with the heart of the pigeon. She flew fearlessly, determinedly and came home bringing Baby with her. She also reached out to us through storm clouds, treacherous winds, thunder, past hawk-eyed interceptors and deadly bullets and taught us that love and coming home to rest are what makes us whole.
Posted November 21, 2009
Posted February 19, 2008
Posted April 3, 2008
While on vacation, I saw this book on the library shelf. I was caught up in the story, the characters, and especially how they all came together at the beautiful finale. The author was not familiar to me but I found him to possess skills as a masterful writer and storyteller! A great way to spend a rainy day.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2009
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