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Apeirogon: A Novel af Colum McCann
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Apeirogon: A Novel (udgave 2020)

af Colum McCann (Forfatter), Colum McCann (Reader)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5704532,138 (4.22)93
"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"--… (mere)
Medlem:lannies
Titel:Apeirogon: A Novel
Forfattere:Colum McCann (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Colum McCann (Reader)
Info:Random House Audio (2020), Edition: Unabridged
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read, Goodreads

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Apeirogon af Colum McCann

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Bassam Aramin is a Palestinian who lost his 10 year old daughter, Abir, when Israeli soldiers shot a ‘rubber bullet’ in the back of her head. She was walking home from school and was shot outside of a candy store where she had bought a candy bracelet.

Rami Elhanen is an Israeli. He lost his thirteen year old daughter, Smadar, to a Palestinian suicide bomber.

In the midst of their grief and anger, Rami and Bassam come together in an organization for both Israelis and Palestinians who have lost children. Together, slowly, they see each other’s pain and, as the book cover describes it, ‘attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace’.

I was not familiar with the word ‘apeirogon’. It means a shape (polygon) with a countable infinity number of sides.

The word ties both into the Middle Eastern conflict and into the book’s unusual literary style. There are 1001 small segments telling the story – bits of history, art and literature, both recent and ancient, are interwoven with the stories of the two men; returning time and again to the painful moments that defined their current lives.

I found it a tough novel to read. Not only is the story of grief of losing a child and living in a war zone an emotionally tough read, but I found the style a challenge. Although the short segments were easy to read a handful at a time, their non-consecutiveness interrupted the flow of the story. The history both illuminated the centuries of pain and somehow made the current pain more bearable.

It’s not a story I’ll forget soon. I’ve come away with an appreciation of the heartbreak on all sides of a war.

Favorite quotes:

"The best music forgets that it is being sung. It comes naturally.” P235

“Rumi, the poet, the Sufi, said something that I will never forget: ‘Beyond right and wrong there is a field, I’ll meet you there.’ “ p 237 ( )
  streamsong | Sep 3, 2021 |
Worthy but just could not get into this at all ( )
  SarahKDunsbee | Aug 2, 2021 |
Apeirogon - a shape with a countably infinite number of sides. From the Greek apeiron 'to be boundless, to be endless' and the Indo-European per 'to try, to risk'. Mathematically an apeirogon approaches the shape of a circle. When magnified, however, it appears as a straight line.

Colum McCann chose this shape for the title of his 2020 novel that explores the never-ending conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. The protagonists are Bassam and Rami, both of whom have lost a daughter to the conflict. Although Bassam is Palestinian and Rami is Israeli, the two find common ground in their grief and the useless deaths of their daughters. A friendship develops and they work together to make people on both sides of the conflict - both internally and internationally - aware of the consequences of senseless killing by telling their own personal stories.

I quite liked the book for the story it tells as well as its message. I have to admit that apart from what one hears on the news I am not very informed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Reading the novel made me dive a little deeper and read up on several issues online, but I still feel that I do not know enough to read the novel with the historical background knowledge it probably deserves. Still, the story captivated me and I liked McCann's way of portraying the conflict through the lens of two personally involved characters. 4 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Jul 25, 2021 |
This is a difficult book to review, because it's based on real events in a highly contested political conflict: the deaths of two girls, one Israeli and killed by a suicide bomber in downtown Jerusalem, one Palestinian and killed by a rubber bullet during a break in her school day. Their fathers become involved in the peace movement, partly, but not only, as a result of their deaths.

McCann has chosen an unusual structure for his novel: 500 sections, ranging from a sentence (or a picture) to several pages, numbered from 1-500; a middle section numbered 1001; and then another 500 sections, from 500 to 1, for a total of 1,001--like the Arabian Nights. The sections digress onto topics ranging from birds to geometry to an Israeli TV comedy skit. As a work of literature, it's lovely, the tiny pieces ultimately fitting together. The pain of the fathers is real and clear, as is the pain of the occupation.

The politics here are tricky. There is no objective way to write about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nothing that will not have you criticized, which also can make it very difficult to critique a work of literature. What one person views as sympathetic towards one "side" may be viewed, by someone else, as objective; and critique may be viewed as simply an outgrowth of the critic's preexisting beliefs. With that said, I don't believe McCann's interest here is in being objective or presenting "both sides." He goes more in depth into the Palestinian narrative. This isn't about the treatment of individuals, but of national stories. As a novel, it's probably stronger for dispensing with false objectivity, but it's worth considering when placing the novel in context. Apeirogon literally means a figure with many sides, but the book is not about multiple political points of view. It's about two men's and their families and their perspectives, not those of all the Israelis and Palestinians. Some of the publicity for this book is giving it a burden it can't bear--the ability to open up the conflict for readers. That's not something it does and it's something it can't do.

It's worth remembering that McCann is an outsider. It's not for me to say that he should or should not have written this book. He's clearly listened and transmitted the views and feelings of the people in the story. But he is at a remove. He is bound to filter this story through his own biases. Read this book. Understand the story. But don't elevate the words of a European man above the voices of those actually involved in the conflict, who do tell their stories. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable--as a frequent reader of Israeli fiction and nonfiction in particular--to see his voice elevated above those who have experienced it firsthand. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Unlike any other book I've read. Dazzlingly brilliant, reflecting an infinite number of sides; points of view; parallels;metaphors. Based on a true story of two fathers, one Israeli, one Palestinian; and two daughters, each killed by the opposite side. Impossible really to review - just read it, I say! ( )
  bobbieharv | Jun 11, 2021 |
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The hills of Jerusalem are a bath of fog.
De heuvels van Jeruzalem baden in mist.
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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 er LibraryThing-forfatter, en forfatter som har sit personlige bibliotek opført på LibraryThing.

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Colum McCann chatted with LibraryThing members from Mar 1, 2010 to Mar 14, 2010. Read the chat.

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