le 19 janvier 2016
Fantastic story. Sheldon Horowitz is an 82-year-old who was a heroic sniper in the Korean War, but his family thinks he was a clerk, and he doesn’t argue when they disparage his military service. This book has everything: love of family, the experience of aging and loss along with the insultingly low expectations we have of older people, and a first-rate adventure story.
Sheldon is angry. War and the mistreatment of Jews are two of his main issues. When he moves to Oslo (and part of my enjoyment was the author’s witty portrayal of Norwegians), he clashes with a pocket of Serbian war criminals to save a four-year-old boy. (The author is a senior fellow with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.) The only ding on the book is that some of the reminiscing and introspection goes on too long (the Viet Nam conflict imagined by Sheldon). This is the redemptive story of a heroic grandpa. I would compare it to City of Thieves by David Benioff for dark humor, high stakes, and compelling characters. Highly recommended.
le 5 octobre 2014
A little too affected in style for my liking (ex within one paragraph a mix of present past events or thoughts, and tense !) but once one gets used to it it's a very rich book; insights into a Vietnam war sniper's experiences, Jewish survivors silence after the holocaust, patriotism to a fault, father's guilt, old age, Balkans war crimes, Norway's generosity, and more, plus here and there very good traits of humor. This rich backgrounds hardly needed a plot but there's one of course.