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In the Image (2002)

de Dara Horn

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226792,131 (3.94)5
In the Image is an extraordinary first novel illuminated by spiritual exploration, one that remembers "a language, a literature, a held hand, an entire world lived and breathed in the image of God." Bill Landsmann, an elderly Jewish refugee in a New Jersey suburb with a passion for travel, is obsessed with building his slide collection of images from the Bible that he finds scattered throughout the world. The novel begins when he crosses paths with his granddaughter's friend, Leora, and continues by moving forward through her life and backward through his, revealing the unexpected links between his family's past and her family's future. Not just a first novel but a cultural event; a wedding of secular and religious forms of literature; In the Image neither lives in the past nor seeks to escape it, but rather assimilates it, in the best sense of the word, honoring what is lost and finding, among the lost things, the treasures that can renew the present. Reading group guide included.… (mais)
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A writer to notice and to keep in mind. This was her debut novel, which she wrote at the age of 25 (!), and I loved a lot about it. I also read her second novel a while ago (she wrote 5 up to date) and didn't like that one as much as this one, although I admired her imagination there. But it intrigued me enough to remember the author's name and go looking for more.

In this book, she chronicles several generations of Jewish immigrants (not in direct sequence), the main protagonist being a young girl - through her late teens and late-twenties who struggles with tragedy earlier in her life and trying to fit in at the same time. There is also very insightful take on evaluating the relationship and differences between moderately religious Jews and Hasidic Jews... A brilliant idea of an imaginary town underwater in New York harbor with its unusual residents. Which also leads to the last several pages of the book where the author dives into a slightly abstract way to make a point. But it works, even though so different from the conventional storytelling of most of the book. I say it's excellent for a debut novel.

Here are a few quotes that made me stop and ponder:

"The whole reason people want to believe in God is because they want to believe that the world isn't indifferent to their presence."

"It is often said that we are shaped by our experiences, but I don't believe it's true. Because we don't choose our experiences... I think we are not shaped by our experiences, but by what we do choose - by the way we react to our experiences."

"What do you really know about anyone, other than what they choose to show you? "

"Her "lovers". She was allowed to say that because she wasn't American. Americans weren't allowed to have lovers, unless they were describing their extramarital affairs. Instead Americans were stuck playing like children with "girlfriends" and "boyfriends", even if the girls and boys in question were well into their sixties. God forbid you should grow up".

I had to smile at this last one... ( )
1 vote Clara53 | May 30, 2020 |
Beautifully written, Interesting internal dialogue/memories, resonated with me such that I will want to read this again and refer back often to well-stated insights on human nature ( )
  bibliolevin | Sep 27, 2019 |
Another success from Dara Horn in the early/mid-then-late-20th-century-european-then-american-jewish-multi-styled novel. The best of this book is a realistic, complex hope and pathos. Moderately imaginative and occasionally moving. Worth it, but no real rush. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
I liked the writing and most of the content, but was disappointed with the ending. The characters were well developed and I was provided just enough information to keep my interest. I felt the final dream was unnecessary and detracted from the book. ( )
  suesbooks | Feb 20, 2016 |
Jews--New York (State)--New York--Fiction.
  icm | Oct 3, 2008 |
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In the Image is an extraordinary first novel illuminated by spiritual exploration, one that remembers "a language, a literature, a held hand, an entire world lived and breathed in the image of God." Bill Landsmann, an elderly Jewish refugee in a New Jersey suburb with a passion for travel, is obsessed with building his slide collection of images from the Bible that he finds scattered throughout the world. The novel begins when he crosses paths with his granddaughter's friend, Leora, and continues by moving forward through her life and backward through his, revealing the unexpected links between his family's past and her family's future. Not just a first novel but a cultural event; a wedding of secular and religious forms of literature; In the Image neither lives in the past nor seeks to escape it, but rather assimilates it, in the best sense of the word, honoring what is lost and finding, among the lost things, the treasures that can renew the present. Reading group guide included.

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Dara Horn é um Autor LibraryThing, um autor que lista a sua biblioteca pessoal na LibraryThing.

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W.W. Norton

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por W.W. Norton.

Edições: 0393325261, 0393051064

 

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