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A Tale of Love and Darkness

By: Amos Oz
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
Length: 23 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

Non-member price: $46.09

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Publisher's Summary

Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, this extraordinary memoir is at once a great family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.

It is the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the 40s and 50s in a small apartment crowded with books in 12 languages and relatives speaking nearly as many. His mother and father, both wonderful people, were ill-suited to each other. When Oz was 12 and a half years old, his mother committed suicide - a tragedy that was to change his life. He leaves the constraints of the family and the community of dreamers, scholars, and failed businessmen to join a kibbutz, changes his name, marries, has children, and finally becomes a writer as well as an active participant in the political life of Israel. A story of clashing cultures and lives, of suffering and perseverance, of love and darkness.

©2016 Amos Oz (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • cocopuff
  • 11-12-2016

Engrossing

I think this book could have done with a bit of editing (parts tend to drag), but overall it is an engrossing account of the author's childhood in Israel just before statehood to the early 60s, with references to his later adult life. The death of his mother during his early adolescence is central to the narrative both in form and meaning. I can't imagine a more sensitive narrator than Stefan Rudnicki.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas F. Lennon
  • 04-07-2019

Heartbreaking, masterful

Much praise has been lavished on this memoir and all of it deserved. Let’s also salute the exquisite work of the translator -the English prose is gorgeous, elegant, pitch-perfect.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Devon
  • 27-01-2019

His life was interesting, but not his memoir

He seems for forget what he's already told you, For example I got maybe a 3rd of the way in and he'd described his father's rejection of spirituality about 10 times in almost the same words. There is a great interview with one of his aunts about life in Eastern Europe and I kept hoping for more like that, but gave up. He tells you that his father constantly makes bad jokes and then he feels the need to share them with you. There's too much detail! We don't need to know about every item on his grandfather's desk. Once he describes a very ordinary kid lying on the driveway woolgathering in a way every kid on earth has watching the sun set in his neighborhood. He ends up describing in painful detail the exact colors as they change in the sunset. It is absolutely the most tedious passage I've ever read. I heard an interview with Oz and had great hopes, but they were dashed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-2018

Extraordinary descriptions of a family story.

Deeply moving insights into Jerusalem at a remarkable period of time in Israeli history intertwined with a tragic and uplifting saga of a family .

2 people found this helpful

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  • Conrad Newton
  • 11-12-2019

About darkness and love - our lives.

If you never read another book, read this.It is about the essence of our existence.

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  • Duffy
  • 23-06-2019

A Tale I Won't Soon Forget

Deep, dark, yet earthy and humorous. Oz took me through a time in history that I knew little of. I have a better understanding of the Jewish people, their extreme suffering, their hopes for finding home, and the political process of the Israeli state. the narrator exquisitely painted pictures with his reading making me feel as though I was sitting at Oz's feet listening to his story.

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  • Margaret P.
  • 01-06-2019

Great Book!

A bit long, but captivating, and a very personal memoir of the beginning of Israel. oz loves people and it shines through his portraits of his family members and the people who filled his world as a child.

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  • Laura G. Marcantoni
  • 04-05-2019

Good but a little too long.

It is a very good book but could have used some trimming. There are things that pop up several times for , at least in my opinion, no apparent reason and, in my opinion again could have been edited.

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  • michael kedem
  • 03-05-2019

wonderful story. well read.<br />nice pleasent bariton

wonderful story. well read.
nice pleasent bariton
with several tones to differ the characters. thank you

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  • RL
  • 26-03-2019

so beautiful!

this book is so beautiful. it is painful to read it knowing how awful today's book are.

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  • Jo Brown
  • 04-03-2017

Brilliant

Beautifully written and spoken. This book was pure quality . I was so sad when I finished it but will listen to it again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Daniel S Kelly
  • 04-01-2017

absorbing and memorable autobiography.

the details of prewar life in Poland,the personal account of the war of the Israeli War of Independence,the Sabbath walk across Jerusalem to Oz's uncle's house and so much more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MAGGS
  • 30-04-2018

A tale of Love and Darkness - Great storytelling

A tale of Love and Darkness - Great storytelling
The author Amos Oz told the story of his life brilliantly, leaving his darkest moment to the end.
Brilliant narration

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dorota Kotowicz
  • 10-03-2018

Words fail to describe the beauty and power

of this book. They say that life is stranger than fiction and as Amos Oz shows us it can be even more beautiful and tragic. Extraordinary story....Amos Oz is a writer who can measure himself with the giants of the 19th century Russian litterature as far as the mastership, the power of observation and emotiobal awarness areconcerned.Plus a tremendous erudition and culture.

1 person found this helpful

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  • F. Wynn
  • 17-04-2019

Meandering Memoire

The narrator, Stefan Rudnicki was excellent.
The memoire had many gems , but it was very repetitive .
It was interesting to learn of the birth of the State of Israel, and of the new settlers, and the problems they encountered; and of the experiences of his family during this time.
Amos Oz, spends time relating details that were plainly boring: the titles of every book he has read,( and he has read a lot of books! ) and
other inconsequential information.
If he had had a good editor who could have tidied the script , it would have been a very good book .

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  • Uneken Dan
  • 27-02-2019

Masterpiece.

I was blown away by this book. Very interested in the Israeli and Palestinian troubles, I found Oz’ account enlightening and encouraging.