By Amos Oz, and Nicholas De Lange

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Shmuel, a young, idealistic student, is drawn to a mysterious handwritten note on a campus noticeboard. This takes him to a strange house, where an elderly invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him. But there is someone else in the house, too… A woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past.


06 Jun 2017

Kathryn Gray

This is an absolutely beautiful book, which is painstakingly pure. The deftness of touch by Oz to create a book which is very easy to read yet has some considerable weight to it. It is a book that has stayed with me, partly due to the fact that is as taken me a while to read, but partly because this is written by someone who is a remarkable writer. There is not a word out of place, there are so many excellent descriptions of the characters and bystanders, for example "A diminutive, bespectacled woman, whose face radiated goodwill and kindliness, but who had a slight moustache". I also expect that the translator Nicholas de Lange, who has a considerable history of translating Hebrew into English and of Oz's works, is a real genius too.

I have never read any of Amos Oz's other works before and I now intend to read "A Tale of Love and darkness" based on my experience of reading the book through our reading group. I would recommend this book to others because it is a book full of emotion, yet full of hope for the future, redemption and ugliness too.

From the noticeboard