The Hope

The Hope

4.7 10
by Herman Wouk
     
 

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Herman Wouk is one of this century's great historical novelists, whose peerless talent for capturing the human drama of landmark world events has earned him worldwide acclaim. In The Hope, his long-awaited return to historical fiction, he turns to one of the most thrilling stories of our time - the saga of Israel. In the grand, epic style of The Winds of War and War… See more details below

Overview

Herman Wouk is one of this century's great historical novelists, whose peerless talent for capturing the human drama of landmark world events has earned him worldwide acclaim. In The Hope, his long-awaited return to historical fiction, he turns to one of the most thrilling stories of our time - the saga of Israel. In the grand, epic style of The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, The Hope plunges the reader into the major battles, the disasters and victories, and the fragile periods of peace from the 1948 War of Independence to the astounding triumph of the Six-Day War in 1967. And since Israelis have seen their share of comic mishaps as well as heroism, this novel offers some of Herman Wouk's most amusing scenes since the famed "strawberry business" in The Caine Mutiny. First to last The Hope is a tale of four Israeli army officers and the women they love: Zev Barak, Viennese-born cultured military man; Benny Luria, ace fighter pilot with religious stirrings; Sam Pasternak, sardonic and mysterious Mossad man; and an antic dashing warrior they call Kishote, Hebrew for Quixote, who arrives at Israel's first pitched battle a refugee boy on a mule and over the years rises to high rank. In the love stories of these four men, the author of Marjorie Morningstar has created a gallery of three memorable Israeli women and one quirky fascinating American, daughter of a high CIA official and headmistress of a Washington girls school. With the authenticity, authority, and narrative force of Wouk's finest fiction, The Hope portrays not so much the victory of one people over another, as the gallantry of the human spirit, surviving and triumphing against crushing odds. In that sense it can be called a tale of hope for all mankind; a note that Herman Wouk has struck in all his writings, against the prevailing pessimism of our turbulent century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the Historical Notes to this solid saga encapsulating three Israeli-Arab wars, Wouk makes astute reference to the element that gives the novel its considerable power: he refers to his ``arduous personal research . . . which is one reason that my books appear at long intervals.'' Conceding the impossibility of using ``cool perspective'' about events so recent and often still hotly debated, he then clarifies which episodes in the novel are based on fact. These accounts of specific battles, behind-the-scenes political skirmishes in Israel and diplomatic strategy in Washington, D.C., provide the novel's fascinating historical background and true drama. Among and between his accounts of the 1948 War of Independence, the Suez crisis and the Six-Day War, Wouk weaves a story of two protagonists and their fortunes in love and war. Young Polish immigrant Yossi Blumenthal first distinguishes himself in battle in such a reckless manner that he is dubbed Don Kishote; he goes on to become a military hero. His first commander, Zev Barak, is ``sidelined'' into diplomacy and becomes an attache in Washington. Such actual figures as David Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and others are depicted with candor and credibility. While his account is sympathetic to Israel, Wouk does not paint the Arabs with a tarred brush; nor does he put a false gloss on less-than-admirable episodes in the short history of the Jewish nation. Though his prose at times peregrinates into the pedestrian, Wouk has not lost his touch: this is an engrossing and often moving tale. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
When an engrossing and well-developed tale of human drama is combined with a first-rate audio production, the result is a superlative listening experience. Such is the case with Wouk's newest epic novel. Set against the backdrop of Israel's early struggles for autonomy and recognition, the story follows the lives of Zev Barak, a Viennese-born military advisor, and Yossi Blumenthal, a soldier whose valor quickly becomes legend. Zev and Yossi, along with real and fictional supporting characters, are representative of the young nation's fight for survival in years punctuated by constant warfare and diplomatic maneuvering. Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, and David Ben-Gurion are protrayed with authenticity and sympathy, and Wouk's introduction of a young and brash African army recruit in the name of Idi Amin is of special interest. The tale benefits from the artistry of narrator Theodore Bikel, who lends magic to each character he portrays. This is perhaps one of the best audiobooks currently available, and despite its prodigious length, it is a most worthwhile purchase for any public library collection.-- Gretchen Browne, Rockville Centre P.L., N.Y.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316954419
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/03/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
704
Sales rank:
123,612
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.25(d)

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