The Wall: A Modern Fable (Anglais) Relié – 4 juin 2013
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
A work with a lot of backbone, story writing skill, verve and integrity. A novel that is about justice and peace, and against colonialism and war ... a great achievement (Raja Shehadeh )
MORE PRAISE FOR WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE:
'Dark, witty ... dramatises the human craving for approval and strong leadership and the lengths we'll go to satisfy it(Kazuo Ishiguro, Observer on Bad Influence )
Horribly and plausibly disturbing (Geoff Dyer, Sunday Times )
Shocking, horribly credible, hilarious (Independent on Sunday )
Sutcliffe is an unflinching observer of the primitive power struggles underlying both child and adult interaction. His darkest novel yet (Observer )
A thoughtful, gripping piece of work (Time Out )
Conveys the way you felt aged ten ... a clever, very powerful book (Guardian )
Painfully funny, wonderfully vivid, truly menacing --(Daily Telegraph ) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Présentation de l'éditeur
Joshua is thirteen. He lives with his mother and stepfather in Amarias, an isolated town on top of a hill, where all the houses are brand new. At the edge of Amarias is a high wall, guarded by soldiers, which can only be crossed through a heavily fortified checkpoint. Joshua has been taught that beyond the concrete is a brutal and unforgiving enemy, and that The Wall is the only thing keeping him and his people safe.
One day, looking for a lost football, Joshua stumbles across a tunnel which leads towards this forbidden territory. He knows he won't get another opportunity to see what is beyond The Wall until he's old enough for military service, and the chance to crawl through and solve the mystery is too tempting to resist. He's heard plenty of stories about the other side, but nothing has prepared him for what he finds...
The Wall is a novel about a boy who undertakes a short journey to another world, to a place where everything he knows about loyalty, identity and justice is turned upside down. It is also a political fable that powerfully evokes the realities of life on the West Bank, telling the story of a Settler child who finds there are two sides to every story.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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Détails sur le produit
Commentaires en ligne
Meilleurs commentaires des clients
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
"The Wall" is good for both nations. It holds up a mirror to the Israelis to help them understand better the effects of the subjugation of their neighbors the Palestinians, while the latter are shown to be humans with souls, whose suffering and collective punishment are real, and deserving of immediate alleviation.
Given the censorship power of the Israeli lobby, I wonder how many American librarians will purchase this book for their school or public library? Let us pray, for the sake of peace, that librarians will do the right thing and defy the censors.
He had spent the first nine years of his life in Israel proper, and had always hated living in the Occupied Zone into which his step-father had moved the family. Not long after Joshua returns from his third venture beyond the Wall, he and his mother return to Israel proper; but as he reflects on what he has experienced, it is not only on his two Arab friends that his thoughts focus, but on the wider issue. Amarias had always felt to him "like a huge lie, but this place [i.e. Israel proper] doesn't feel so different... but more convincing, easier to fall for." He will dedicate himself to strive for justice: "even if I spend my whole life failing, I will be failing at something I believe in ... How can I possibly forget ... the Wall and the people who are supposed to be invisible?"
P.S.: It strikes me as totally absurd to have this book described as one for children, age range 12 to 17! I know that many books written for children appeal, on a different leve, to adults; but I would be very surprised if the author saw children as the main target readership.
On the other side of the wall, less than a mile away from where Joshua lives with his mother and despised stepfather in Amarias, Joshua finds a drastically different, impoverished world. Here he meets Leila, who saves his life. He tries to return the favor to her but ends up making things worse and bringing severe harm to her father.
Throughout THE WALL, Joshua struggles to help Leila's family and repay the debt he feels towards them, all the while defying his mother, stepfather and everyone else in Amarias who sees those on the other side as the enemy. One way Joshua can help is by tending Leila's family olive grove, which is located on "his side" of the wall. And so he gives up hanging out with his friends and playing soccer to dedicate himself to caring for the 100-year-old trees. Here amidst the trees and dirt he finds peace and purpose, at least for the moment. As he nurtures these trees back to health, he feels connected to the family and to past generations who have planted and tended these same trees.
But the peace does not last. How can he live at ease with his comfortable lifestyle while those nearby suffer? He must do something more.
The reader follows Joshua who does not understand the complexities of the political situation at hand, but instead is guided by a humanist compassion for the lives at stake.
THE WALL is exciting, insightful and inspiring. It takes place in a setting highly similar to that of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. At times the reader may be frustrated by Joshua's inability to say the right thing at the right time, wanting to jump in and speak for him to get him out of trouble or harm, which only speaks to William Sutcliffe's highly engaging writing style.
Once Joshua crawls through the tunnel --- embarking on the adventure that will change him into a man and affect him physically and emotionally forever--- there is no putting the book down or forgetting it once it's over.
Reviewed by Sarah Flamm
Although this review focuses on questions and criticisms, I definitely recommend THE WALL. It provides a view of the mentalities of two neighboring but antagonistic societies, particularly of the settlers living on usurped land. While the people whose land they have taken understandably resent them but can take little action, the settlers are obsessed by the official dogma that they are under mortal threat from barbarous enemies. Mr. Sutcliffe has done well to highlight the intractable problems posed by the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.
The plot line, briefly: Joshua is an Israeli boy living in the settlement and unhappy at home because of conflict with his brutal stepfather. He discovers a tunnel under the high "separation wall" that his government has built between the two communities. Exploring the tunnel, he emerges in the Palestinian village, runs into trouble, and is helped by a Palestinian girl. Feeling indebted to her, he goes back--and finds himself agreeing to care for her family's olive trees. His actions are discovered, but Joshua makes one more attempt to reach the family, which leads to a final crisis and a life-changing decision.
The dynamics of this dysfunctional settler family are compelling. While Joshua's intense dislike of the stepfather rings true, glimpses of the man's rigid personality, reflecting a paranoid group mentality, provide some understanding for him as well.
Basic questions, however, get in the way of the story's credibility. Who dug that tunnel, and how did they do it? And why? I found no clues. Why would Joshua take off his shoes when working in the stony soil of the olive grove? It makes him vulnerable to anyone who might steal the shoes. Why, with his well-indoctrinated fear of Palestinians, does Joshua so easily begin to identify with the Palestinian family? And who are these marauding teenage thugs in the village? That detail doesn't sound likely.
Above all, is this a credible 13-year-old boy? He tells his story in present tense, which provides immediacy and is effective in describing episodes of danger. But his highly sophisticated language, his feelings for his mother and the Palestinian girl, and his astonishing courage and physical strength strike me as much more believable for a youth of 18, or even 15, than a kid of thirteen. In short, I couldn't quite trust Joshua--and I wanted to.
Nonetheless, this is a book well worth reading, not only for the insights it provides into a major problem-area in the whole Israel-Arab conflict, but because in places, especially scenes of extreme suspense, the author's literary skills are excitingly impressive.
He had spent the first nine years of his life in Israel proper, and had always hated living in the Occupied Zone into which his step-father had moved the family. Not long after Joshua returns from his third venture beyond the Wall, he and his mother return to Israel proper; but as he reflects on what he has experienced, it is not only on his two Arab friends that his thoughts focus, but on the wider issue. Amarias had always felt to him “like a huge lie, but this place [i.e. Israel proper] doesn’t feel so different... but more convincing, easier to fall for.” He will dedicate himself to strive for justice: “even if I spend my whole life failing, I will be failing at something I believe in ... How can I possibly forget ... the Wall and the people who are supposed to be invisible?”
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