My Name Is Asher Lev

My Name Is Asher Lev

by Chaim Potok
4.2 70

Paperback(First Anchor Books Edition)

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My Name Is Asher Lev 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a highschooler who was assigned 'My Name Is Asher Lev' as a summer assignment for my Pre AP English class my sophomore year and I must say that this tragic tale is brilliant. Most readers my age would take one look at this book and walk away with disgust. But I am a big fan of literature and loved it. In the beginning of the story, it got a little boring but as I read through the chapters, I couldn't put the book down. I would stay up til midnight or later reading. I can't even begin to explain how amazing this book is. It gave me unexplainable thoughts and feelings and a whole new perspective of my Catholic lifestyle. I would definitely recommend this book to people who have the same love for literature as I do.
AdamPetersen8 More than 1 year ago
I read this book in High School and liked it so I thought I'd give it another try. I was certainly glad I did. While it is not an overly exciting book, it provides an interesting & accurate view into the world of art and Judaism. I was intrigued by Asher's constant struggle in balancing the two very distinct worlds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Name Is Asher Lev My Name is Asher Lev by Chiam Potock is the narrative of a boy, Asher Lev, born to two very religious Hassidic Jewish parents. The only dilemma is that god has very different plans for him. From infantry, Asher Lev displayed a much sought out talent, the eye and mind of an artist. He is able to look at the world for not what it is, but how he feels it. Due to his orthodox background, Asher Lev is obligated to suppress his talent but, after time, the world realizes it is ineffective. This story tells of hardships, deals with how one with a special talent can fit in, and the ongoing battle between traditional beliefs and modern. I liked many things about this book. One of which is the author's ability to describe a person place or thing. He does not go the conventional route of just blurting descriptive words but, rather, he paints a partial picture that allows the mind to interpret in many ways. For example, the author gives very few details about Asher's mother but, with in only a few pages, he deeply conveys her essence. Sure, we may not know how tall she is or what color her eyes are but, he does give the reader a mental picture. I'm not saying that this is right or wrong but, fitting for this story. What I didn't like about this book was the length. Even though this is not a lengthy book, there are parts of it that feel like I'm forcing myself to read. For parts of the book, I remember reading scenarios such as Asher going to the store, buying butter, milk, and cheese, and then walking home through the snow to find nobody there. These passages seemed truly unnecessary to me but, thankfully this does not happen too often. I think the fundamental theme of this book is traditional vs. modern. Because Asher is a Hassidic Jew, his family does not want him painting. His father, who, I guess could be described as the antagonist, calls Asher's artwork a waste of time, foolish, and coming from the Sitra Archa, or the other side. As the story progresses, Asher begins to draw and paint more and more traditional paintings. This means, you guessed it, naked women and crucifixions. In Hassidism, this is looked down upon so, therefore, Asher's father is constantly quarreling about this with his son. Even though Asher is not proud to show these paintings, his inner artist tells him to continue. Before reading this book, I felt that I would be able to connect with this character in many different ways. I though this because I am also a Jew, not quite as observant as Asher, and I have a very strong interest in the arts but, after reading this book, I didn't feel as much of a personal connection as I would have guessed. Instead, it made me realize how much I took for granted in life. Unlike Asher, I have a very supportive family (mostly) that encourages my artistic endeavors. Although this book has it's boring parts, it was a pleasure to read.
theokester More than 1 year ago
I've heard good things about Potok's "Chosen" and it sounds like that's his book that most people have read. I enjoyed his style here and I suspect I'll pick up The Chosen to read later. Even though this book focussed on conflict between art and Judaism, it goes much deeper than that dynamic. I found myself relating many times to things that Asher would say or think. He was conflicted between his religious heritage and the "carnal" world. He was conflicted between respecting his parents and becoming his own person. He was conflicted between Tradition and Growth. He was conflicted between two things that were both "good." So much of his character development embodies principles that apply to us all. The story and the writing was very interesting and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it. The final climax made my soul churn as I realized there was no "happy" way for things to resolve. I'm not one to beg for happy endings, but after getting so attached to Asher, I had hoped that things would turn out better. Still (not to spoil the end), things didn't end up as grim as they could have done. I believe Potok wrote a second book about Asher Lev. I may have to read that as well to see what becomes of him beyond this novel. The reading isn't "heavy", but the tone of the book is heavy. But Definitely Recommended.
ubtaught More than 1 year ago
This just goes to show you that sometimes you need to read outside your genre. I didn't think I would like the book but I sat down and once I began reading I couldn't stop. Very well written. If you don't know a great deal about the Jewish Community, you will learn something. Plus, an interesting premise. Overall, a great read and a great addition to a permanent library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's astounding. A tragic masterpiece. Empowering and demeaning. Constrcutive and destructive. A perfect balance between demonic and angelic. The writing is lyrical, like poetry, like a song from a river, the flow of a small brook. I am absolutely captivated. I cannot remove my thoughts from this story, from this book, from this absolutely profound and all encompassing beauty of the written word. An unparalleled work of genuis. I could not praise this book enough. The depth and richness of the Jewish culture has never been put into such a narrative form. The degenerate and ugly state of our world has never been so aptly described, so powerfully illustrated. The suffering of our lot, the suffering of the Jewish people, the curses of our fathers and our father's fathers. What propels us by day and haunts us by night are all contained in this wonderful piece of literature. This book resonates inside. It is art in its truest form. No lies.. only truth... I don't have words for this book. All I have is an appreciation and recognition of its meaning and the goosepbumps and tears that it has given me. I held the book to my chest and wept for what it is. I love this book. I have not experienced writing of this caliber, this charm, this allure, in years. Not since Narcissus and Golmund by Herman Hesse have I felt the triumph of thought, the dominance of feeling, and the acceleration of the unknown, vibrating within and screaming at something inside of me to grasp them, swallow them, and become them. I have nothing more I can say about it... It held me spellbound and those moments will be forever remembered.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Judging from the reviews of high schoolers on this page this is a novel for a mature audience! This is a beautifully written, poignant story of a gifted artist and the pain it causes within himslf and his family. Don't miss it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was required to read Chaim Potok's 'My Name is Asher Lev' for an english assessment. When i started to read it it was a chore, a boring text about a child. Yet as I continued to leaf through its pages, I couldn't put it down. A deep and meaningful text about a boy with an inner passion to great for even his elders to smother. I would encourage any person facing religious conflicts to read it and it will help you find your way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My name is Asher Lev is a truly touching story of a boy with a kind of urging feeling to draw the world he saw. His Jewish family and friends could never seem to understand this need for drawing and soon, in adulthood, Asher is rejected by even his own parents. When you read this book, you stand in Asher's place and feel the torment in his soul, and the decisions he has to make between his faith of his drawing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My name is asher lev is this frequent readers favorite novel. Varied and interesting themes (paternal relationships, art, judaism, etc...) and character development make this a touching and memorable story, I even shed a tear at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time i read this book i was blown away. It is absolutely brilliant. I love Potok's characters and come to feel as if i know them as well as my friends. I can read this novel over and over again and never get sick of it. It is amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like all his books, also this one is a masterpiece. Characters are brilliantly portrait and their relationships is a Potok special. This book turned me on to modern art, in the process discovering that Chaim Potok is also a very talented painter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read 'My Name Is Asher Lev' over 20 years ago, and it is still on my annual required reading list. Asher Lev lives the dichotomy we all have within us but most lack the courage to pursue our true calling. This book along with many other of Mr. Potok's works have helped me sculpt my existance as it is today. Don't live your life as other's think you should, live it as God expects you to no matter how painful it may be, your rewards are not from others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book over 10 years ago when I was 12 years old. I loved it then and I still do to this day. I found it enthralling and very in depth. I have read this book numerous times and would recomend it to anyone who needs a little form of semblance added to their life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Jew and a searcher, I found My Name Is Asher Lev warm, enlightening and a boost to speaking to my own moral conflicts. To pursue a love that does not meet with strict religious values/beliefs is courageous! I will read Chaim Potok's other books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I began skeptical as the first chapter began slowly. Then it suddenly jumps off. I was captivated the entire time I was reading. I could relate to so much with Asher, being 15 and all. I extremely recommend the book to anyone at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wounderfull book. The book lets you meet the clash of the jewish cultural world with it secularised and christian surroundings.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the finest novels that I have ever read. The plot of a young boy who chooses to brake away from his Hasidic background to persue his interest in painting made me read on. It can be a bit slow at times, but the positives outweigh the negatives by a large margin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the orthodox to appreciste this story My favorite of his books is The Chosen which was made into a movie abiut the friendship between an ultra orthodox teen and an observant teen. A different view is a dvd the stranger among us about a woman detective who goes to live in the brooklyn ultra orthodox home of the rabbi to solve a murder in the diamond community
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whatches happily
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She jumped on top of the High rock, beaming. "Those old enough to catch their own prey, come forward!" She waited untill they did, then continued. "Today, GopherKit is six moons! She is now GopherPaw, and her mentor will be FoxPower! Congratulations. FoxPower, I trust that you will teach GopherPaw to the best of your ability. Clan dismissed."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Falconsoar looked confused. "Uhh...why?" He asked Scorchstar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Post below me is very rude
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Camp is result four. Sorry Weatherkit honest mistake. Owlkit don't cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He smiled, and brushed his nose with Gopherpaw's