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'On the kibbutz it's hard to know. We're all supposed to be friends but very few really are'
Ariella, unhappy in love, confides in the woman whose husband she stole.
Nahum, a devoted father, can't find the words to challenge his daughter's promiscuous lover.
The old idealists deplore the apathy of the young, while the young are so used to kibbutz life that they can't work out if they're impassioned or indifferent.
And amid this group of people unwilling and unable to say what they mean, Martin attempts to teach Esperanto.
"The mind is a place Oz explores masterfully in all its contradiction, texture and heartache. Between Friends paints the daily lives behind utopian dreams, fully realized."
—New York Daily News
"[A] deeply affecting chamber piece [that] draws on…the contradictory urges that lie at the heart of Israel’s psyche."
—Ben Lawrence, Telegraph (UK)
"Oz lifts the veil on kibbutz existence without palaver. His pin-point descriptions are pared to perfection… His people twitch with life."
"Lucid and heartbreaking… Oz explores the always uncertain relationships between men and women, parents and children, friends and enemies, in a clear, clipped language perfectly suited to the laconic tone of the narrative and impeccably rendered into English by Sondra Silverston"
—Alberto Manguel, Guardian (UK)
"A collection of stories….that boasts the sense, scope and unity of a novel…Breathtaking."
—Irish Examiner (Ireland)
"A complex and melancholic vision of people struggling to transcend their individuality for the sake of mundanely idealistic goals."
—Times Literary Supplement (UK)
"All Israeli life is here, rendered in loving detail."
—Mail on Sunday (UK)
Posted November 13, 2013
Excellent writing style but almost all the short stories are bleak, and sad.
I find it hard to
life in the kibbutz in the 1950's was really that depressing. I hated the detailed description of a puppy being run over by a bus and suffering an agonizing, painful death. Really, that was totally unnecessary!