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Apeirogon

de Colum McCann

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4704139,260 (4.28)81
"Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of intractable conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to take to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend. Theirs is a life in which children from both sides of the wall throw stones at one another. But their worlds shift irreparably when ten-year-old old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet meant to quell unruly crowds, and again when thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn one another's stories and the loss that connects them, they become part of a much larger tale that ranges over centuries and continents. Apeirogon is a novel that balances on the knife edge of fiction and nonfiction. Bassam and Rami are real men and their actual words are a part of this narrative, one that builds through thousands of moments and images into one grand, unforgettable crescendo"--… (més)
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McCann’s writing is not sentimental or brutal but it is tender, direct and honest. I found it both heart warming and very disturbing. I loved the writing style once I had acclimatised. The short chapters, little gems of facts that intersperse the narrative, punchy statements that hit you out of the blue, unnerving and shocking, searing into your head, making you wonder how people have the courage and determination to endure.

Two unlikely friends, Bassam a Palestinian and Rami an Israeli, united in the loss of their beautiful, young and innocent daughters, Abir and Smadar, a friendship that transcends the hatred and animosity between Palestinians and Israelis, using "the force of their grief as a weapon".

To be constantly watching, interrogating and humiliating fellow humans has got to be as soul destroying to the perpetrators as it is to the occupied. In fact Bassam does say to the young Israeli who killed his daughter Abir, that he is the victim. It takes courage, determination and faith to not be eaten by a hunger for revenge, to realise that your 'opponent' is also human and begin to listen, talk and learn and so be able to change perspectives. I greatly admire these two men and those like them.

Ignorance breeds fear and mistrust, we see that in every culture, so it is refreshing to see hope and determination and an understanding that by listening and learning about each other, things and ideas can change. If the oppressors question what they are doing to the oppressed, see them as people, don't let fear and propaganda dictate their behaviour, then there is hope even if their respective leaders haven't yet caught up. This is about shared loss and how that is common to everyone and not reserved for one side only.

It is a reminder that we are all human no matter our colour or creed and that no-one deserves to suffer at the hand of others. It is quite frightening that we haven't yet learnt that talking, listening, discussing, focusing on commonalities is the most humane and sustainable way forward.

A punchy, thought provoking, emotional read. ( )
  Matacabras | Mar 19, 2021 |
Right book, right time. As a big fan of Colum McCann, I bought his latest novel Apeirogon (Bloomsbury) a year ago when it was first published. I jumped in when the first lockdown happened and could not understand why I found it so difficult to engage with and I abandoned it after not so long. I have recently been on a streak of wonderful books and thought I had really to re-visit this ‘masterpiece’ of Colum’s work and I am so glad that I did. This book is centred on the friendship of two fathers, a Palestinian and an Israeli, linked by the loss of their daughters as a result of the conflict and united against it. It is crafted from, and delivers, so much more. Information, lateral facts, and anecdotes are sewn into the structure which itself alternates between short paragraphs and longer sections which ooze perception and empathy. All built around real characters that reduced the author to tears on a visit to the region when he met them and heard their stories. It is a stunning achievement. There is such a thing as wrong book, wrong time, and also a huge satisfaction and almost redemption when the moment is eventually right; a wise head revisited ( )
  davidroche | Mar 11, 2021 |
Le thème est brûlant, pathétique même, la guerre sans fin, des hommes essaient de promouvoir un mouvement vers l'apaisement de part et d'autre de la frontière... il y a des moments bouleversants, l'écriture est belle, mais... pourquoi l'auteur saute d'un sujet à un autre sans qu'il y ait le moindre lien ? que veut-il dire, démontrer ? beaucoup de répétitions, comme s'il fallait que le texte reflète la continuité des chagrins des parents qui ont perdu leur enfant dans des attentats, à cause de balles perdues ( ou non...). Je me suis perdue dans la lecture d'un livre qui aurait pu me passionner, m'interroger. J'ai fini, de guerre lasse, et sans jeu de mot, par abandonner et aller aux derniers chapitres, dans comprendre plus la logique de ce livre. Dommage. ( )
  pangee | Mar 1, 2021 |
Colum McCann's novel Apeirogon is a fascinating tapestry of a novel based on the true story of two real men, one Israeli, one Palestinian, who lost their daughters due to violence. Through an unusual structure of 1001 short pieces, McCann weaves metaphor, history, allegory, fact, place and the very real weight of human emotion: joy, profound loss, grief. It is a book that often left me in tears, that occasionally rendered me speechless with beauty, which in fact led me through an array of emotional responses. It is a book that changed my understanding of a place and a people involved in conflict in a way that I might otherwise never have experienced.

For this reader, the non-linear structure was compelling. I found the convoluted interlayering to be reminiscent of the way memory surfaces and then seemingly disappears in our lives, apparently triggered by random events, of the way grief evolves and shapes us. In the seventh episode of Pretend It's A City, Fran Lebowitz states "A book is not supposed to be a mirror, it is supposed to be a door." This novel opened a door to me and lured me in, into a world I still would not have seen, even had I visited Israel (I have not). What I do see, now and in the future, will never be the same. ( )
  dooney | Feb 4, 2021 |
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The thing about the Occupation is that it never let you decide. It took away your ability for choice. Banish it and choice would appear.
My name is Bassam Aramin. I am the father of Abir. Everything else rose out of that.
It struck him early on that people were afraid of the enemy because they were terrified that their lives might get diluted, that they might lose themselves of the tangle of knowing each other.
Above his desk he tacked a line he remembered from the Persian poet, Rumi: Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I have begun to change myself.
Some people have an interest in keeping the silence. Others have an interest in sowing hatred based on fear. Fear makes money, and it makes laws, and it takes land, and it builds settlements, and fear likes to keep everyone silent.
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"Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of intractable conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to take to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend. Theirs is a life in which children from both sides of the wall throw stones at one another. But their worlds shift irreparably when ten-year-old old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet meant to quell unruly crowds, and again when thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn one another's stories and the loss that connects them, they become part of a much larger tale that ranges over centuries and continents. Apeirogon is a novel that balances on the knife edge of fiction and nonfiction. Bassam and Rami are real men and their actual words are a part of this narrative, one that builds through thousands of moments and images into one grand, unforgettable crescendo"--

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Colum McCann és un autor/a de LibraryThing, un autor/a que afegeix la seva biblioteca personal a LibraryThing.

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Colum McCann va xatejar amb membres de LibraryThing de Mar 1, 2010 a Mar 14, 2010. Llegeix el xat.

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Mitjana: (4.28)
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