Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Exodus



I got a rather special copy of this book to read.. it was from a friend i met in hyderabad.. he was a collector and so was his mom.. the copy of exodus that they had actually belonged to his mom and aunty had had it for a really long time.. he's been meaning to get a new edition of the book bu its off the press and there are no new editions! so i got to read this wonderful story from a rather old and battered book with crumply pages.. but reading from such a precious book is an experience in itself!! like Roots, the book that i have already written about, this is also a tale of struggle and agony over many years...still in a totally different environment..
In this book, we are taken to Palestine. Yes, its about the Jews. The story revolves around a Christian nurse, Kitty Fermont. She falls in love with Ari Ben Cannan, who is a very determined leader of the Jewish underground. It is set against the bachground of opression of jews in europe and the misreable plight of those forced into concentration camps. With all the injustice and cruel torture in the background, the story revolves around the lives of these two young people. He is totally dedicated to his cause..his main aim being to bring the jews out of their torture caps and take them to the promised land- palestine. In the course of the novel, kitty meets a young girl karen who is a refugee. She grows very fond of the girl and in no time karen becomes like a daughter to her. This is the time for her to realize that both the people who she loves more than anything in the world would never give her the first priority.They are completely committed to working for a country for their people inspite of any danger. She is torn between the decision to move with them or leave them both and finally decides to go with them. starting life in the "promised life" is not a bed of roses and the jews have to continuously fight against bandit groups etc etc..
the life of the jews is brought out beautifully in this book and i learnt quite a bit about how they were ill treated and tortured..the stories of the "ghettos" really tore my heart out..:( the book ended with a rather non-optimistic tone.. it didnt have the "and they lived happily ever after" kind ending and i usually hate books like that.. i felt so let down by the book for a while after seeing it end soo abruptly..but then thinking about it now.. the book has been soo true to the jews and been soo honest in its portrayal of thier picture..anything but for the truth as the ending would be a let down to them and to the cause of the book right??


9 comments:

Vee said...

Oh my God! I was sobbing and sobbing through this book. It's wonderfully written, and by the end of it, I wanted to go to Israel and work hard! I kid you not. Call it naivety or idealism or just the passion that arose in me as I got immersed in this story.

Ramya said...

i know exactly what you are talking about actually.. the passion of all those people for a cause was really inspiring..made me feel like i wasnt doing anything in life!:) and the book does make you feel sad for the jews right?? are you are book-sobber too?? wow! join the club!

Vee said...

Yep! Definite book sobber. Movie sobber. Music sobber. You get the idea! lol God, when you meet me you might be carrying a tissue box at this rate. LOL

Ramya said...

haha.. when i meet you the next time, i think i'll have more than just a box of tissues!:) i am major sobber too!:) it just flows!!:)

Mathi Ezhil said...

Certainly one of the best books on the crisis that engulfed the formation of Israel.And Ari Ben Cannon was my childhood idol along with Howard Roark .(But don't you think Andrei Adrofski of MILA 18edges Ben Canaan?).With everything said and done and save Leon Uris's personal inclinations towards a jewish homeland, this is certainly an amazing book.

Ramya said...

@mathi - who is andrei androfski?? havent read that one! gos.. now i feel really ignorant!:) you admired howard roark? i thought he was different but he didnt strike as a pleasing personality at all! not one that iwould like to meet someday! ari ben has the same passion (if not more) but he does have a human side to him that i found missing in roark..

Mathi Ezhil said...

Well, Andrei Androfski is the protagonist in my favourite Leon Uris book-MILA 18.I would personlly rate this book as Uris's masterpiece work rather than Exodus.If you haven't had a chance to read MILA-18 please do.And talking about human side,Androfski will make Ari look like a stone.Andrei is humanism and fanaticism fatalistically personified :)
Howard Roark ,well until i moved into serious philosophy he was the epitome of principles for me.(I had said only my childhood idol:) But then as years passed i got cured of Roark and Rand.

Ramya said...

@mathi - is this MILA 18 also related to jews and israel?? or is it totally different compared to exodus? not like that would make a difference.. i would be picking it up anyways..:) atleast to read about andrei androfski.. by the way, did you read any other book by ayn rand? i am, not sure if i want to try atlas shrugged..have you read it??

Mathi Ezhil said...

Well,Leon Uris has always something to write about Jews,only the background changes.MILA 18 is about the initial days fo second world war,to quote leon uris verbatim "The entire country of poland was occupied in 48 hours and the jewish ghetto in warsaw fought for 48 days and 48 nights".It's about Jewish struggle against German occupation.

Ayn Rand, yes i have read her Atlas shrugged and Anthem.Both aren't as good as Fountain head.(IMHO).