Article first published as Book Review: Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest by Amos Oz on Blogcritics.
“Suddenly In the Depths of the Forest” (פתאום בעומק היער) by award winning Israeli author Amos Oz (archive) is a short novel which you can read to your kids. Oz set out to write a folk tale and succeeded in more ways than one.
- 144 pages
- Publisher : Clarion Books
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0547551533
My rating for Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest – 4
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“Suddenly In the Depths of the Forest” by Amos Oz (translated by Sondra Silverston) has more of a European feel to it (forests, mountains, streams) than an Israeli one. While this is a story for children, adults will certainly enjoy this multi-layered fable.
According to the book, Oz based this story on fables he remembers from his childhood told him by his mother. He thinks that was the way his mother (who committed suicide before she reached the age of 40) communicated.
Mr. Oz certainly put a lot of thought into the symbolism in this book. The story could be about being exiled from the Promised Land or about the 144 , a terrible past of vanished creatures. There is a society based on lying, a voyage into a dangerous land away from home.
We never find out though, the ending is left open with no single truth found, as is most of life.
Great job by translator Sondra Silverston who managed, somehow, to translate the feel of anxiety as well as the humor.
Once upon a time there was a village. The village had no animals, no cows, dogs or pigs, not even worms, fish or spiders. None of the adults are willing to speak about that catastrophe and at night they bolt their doors of fear from Nehi, the Mountain Demon who is blamed for their misfortune.
No one dares go into the mountain except two kids Maya and Matti which…you’ll have to read for yourself.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account, the money is usually spent on books
- Amos Oz: “The King of Norway.” (newyorker.com)
- The Books I Haven’t (Yet) Finished (gilliansblog.wordpress.com)
- The Little Traitor Interview (mrmovietimes.com)
- Sounds Jewish: Jewish Book Week – podcast (guardian.co.uk)
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