Book Review: A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

March 16, 2023

About:

A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz is an autobiographical romance, written in first person, about the author’s childhood in Jerusalem and his teenage years in Kibbutz Hulda. Mr. Oz is an award-winning Israeli author whose works have been translated to many languages.

  • 560 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperVia
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 015603252X

Book Review: A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz
My rat­ing for A Tale of Love and Darkness — 5
Buy A Tale of Love and Darkness from Amazon.com*
More Books by Amos Oz*

Thoughts:

A Tale of Love and Darkness (סיפור על אהבה וחושך) by Amos Oz is one of the best books I’ve read. It is a compilation of history, politics, social commentary, biting observations, and literary thoughts, but also full of empathy.

The book is full of surprising anecdotes from Oz’s life. From his crush on his second-grade teacher who later gained fame as the poet Zelda, to his correspondence, and meeting, with David Ben Gurion as an 18-year-old grunt in the army, and encounters with many of Israel’s literary luminaries, like S.Y. Agnon, who lived near by..

This is a deceivingly simple book, deep yet readable. Even the relationship between art and life in the Klausner (the author changed his surname) family is told in a simple manner, without the high-brow attitude that many authors take. Which, ironically, usually has to opposite effect of what they intended.

As a son in an intellectual family (his mother spoke five languages and read in eight and his father spoke eleven and read in seventeen), Amos Oz realized later on the untapped potential his parents were never allowed to explore, and probably one of the reasons for their bitterness.  In fact, Mr. Oz remembers having quarrels with his father not about curfews, but about literature.

The story is told in a nonlinear fashion, jumping backward and forward, however, strangely, the narrative flows. Amos Oz’s inner dynamic is reflected in the story and I easily followed along with him.

This is not a conventional autobiography, but more of a search for identity. Nevertheless, it is imaginative and memorable.

Synopsis:

The author writes of his childhood growing up in the Kerem Avraham neighborhood of Jerusalem, as well as his teenage years on the kibbutz. The story is set against the British Mandate and continues to the early years of Israeli independence.

Along with the history, the author also tells of his painful childhood. The only son of an intellectual father and a depressed mother. His father, living in the shadow of his uncle, Professor Joseph Klozner, is both a loving father and a distanced one. His mother committed suicide with the author was only twelve years old.

Buy A Tale of Love and Darkness from Amazon.com*
More Books by Amos Oz*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
A Tale of Love and Darkness (סיפור על אהבה וחושך) by Amos Oz
Author Rating
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Wrap Up

A Tale of Love and Darkness (סיפור על אהבה וחושך) by Amos Oz

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