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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.

What listeners say about A Tale of Love and Darkness

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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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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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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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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.

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Masterpiece

I can’t attempt literary criticism & explain why, but I know exceptional writing when I read it & would have to go back many years to recall another in its class.

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Epic story of last 150 years of Israel

Moving and beautifully written biography that is so much more than a simple biography. I have read the book, seen the film and listened to the audiobook in that order. The scope and detail is phenomenal this book is in my top 5. Stefan Rudnicki is just perfect as the narrator with his deep Eastern Europe Ashkenazi accent.

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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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Masterpiece.

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

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  • DR Harle
  • 27-01-19

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • cocopuff
  • 11-12-16

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
  • 04-07-19

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.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-18

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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  • Laura R. Perera
  • 05-11-20

A masterpiece

A beautiful story told in the most lovely way. I takes you to the profound psyche of a boy as he grows up. The story and history of Jewish people narrated with passion and magnificent details.

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael petro
  • 07-08-20

An excellent literary work by Mr. Oz

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. His use of language, literary devices, and a love of words made me purchase a hard copy so that I could follow along. The reader’s voice complemented my visualization. I am looking forward to my next book by Amos Oz.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Conrad Newton
  • 11-12-19

About darkness and love - our lives.

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • RL
  • 26-03-19

so beautiful!

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • asdasklda
  • 10-08-21

More Darkness Than Love

This is a terrible story of a boy growing up with a severely depressed mother, a sensitive, bookish and friendless boy, who understandably never got over the deep wound left by her suicide. The author freely acknowledges the anger that developed in him, and how it led him to renounce his father’s name, leave his father’s home, and try to start over in a kibbutz. But in this meandering long-winded memoir, that anger appears to cause the author to tell about his father’s every bad joke, sarcastic taunt, personality flaw and tic, every failure of his professional ambition, every politically incorrect view, and every bit of evidence that he gathered as a young boy of his father’s philandering while his mother lay in bed immobilized. Oz refuses to mention the name of his father’s second wife, although he is careful to tell us this marriage occurred a year after his mother’s death. His father’s death is described with all the sympathy and emotion of an autopsy report. This memoir, a tale more of darkness than of love, suggests that the author did not when he went to that Kibbutz get as far away as he would have liked.

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  • Lizabeth I. Flores
  • 24-04-21

could not put it down

excellent. description of characters brought them to life..narrator
was clear telling the story .
would recommend with enthusiasm