Book of the Living, Book of the Dead
"What surprised me in Book of the Living, Book of the Dead, is the amazing restraint. There is no sensationalism, no dramatization. The story is completely believable… Oren tells it simply, eloquently, and coherently, in a novel whose unique virtue is that it is literature – without being ‘literary.’ Oren does not explain, he tells a story, and the flowing plot creates a fabric of reality in which even what is not explicitly stated, is there… Although Book of the Living, Book of the Dead is autobiographical, it is the autobiography of an entire generation of Israelis born around 1948. And perhaps it is more than that: The biography of us all.”
“If we can talk about the concept of ‘ritual novel,’ then Book of the Living, Book of the Dead is a ritual novel in the purest sense of the word… I have no doubt that this book will be extensively imitated…”
“Moshe Oren’s potential skill as a master-author is revealed in his ability to incorporate, seemingly randomly, Polack’s stories with Guy’s diary, and their appearance gives the stories an additional dimension of meaning… Book of the Living, Book of the Dead is one of best books written about our recent wars…”
Ari Polack was afraid he’d miss the war, and dropped everything to make it onto the first flight to Israel. Now he was digging a dugout for himself in an abandoned village in Africa, in a land of exile, beyond the desert and the canal, light years away from the Promised Land.
And he’s not alone. A hundred soldiers are digging dugouts and hunkering down around the village, in anticipation of a signal. In anticipation of the Exodus from Egypt.