Scenes from Village Life

Amos Oz

Scenes from Village Life

Amos Oz’s new fiction presents a surreal and unsettling portrait of a village in Israel. A picture of the community takes shape across seven stories, in which a group of characters appear and return. Each villager is searching for something, yet in this almost dreamlike world nothing is certain, nothing is resolved. 3.9 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
Scenes from Village Life

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Short Stories
Format Hardcover
Pages 272
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication July 2011
ISBN 978-0701185503
Publisher Chatto & Windus
 

Amos Oz’s new fiction presents a surreal and unsettling portrait of a village in Israel. A picture of the community takes shape across seven stories, in which a group of characters appear and return. Each villager is searching for something, yet in this almost dreamlike world nothing is certain, nothing is resolved.

RHYMING LIFE AND DEATH by Amos Oz.

Reviews

The Scotsman

Catherine Lockerbie

Amos Oz is one of the greatest writers at work in the world: wise, elegantly eloquent and unfailingly humane ... The tone is pitch perfect. Each protagonist is made manifest with just a few brushstrokes, the maestro at work. The translation from Hebrew by long-time Oz collaborator Nicholas De Lange is pellucid, there's not a jarring note. The music shifts key effortlessly. The whole collection is a masterclass in the paradoxical art of invoking the unspoken, exquisitely, in words.

10/07/2011

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Times Literary Supplement

Tadzio Koelb

If Oz is using this intimation of the political as a tactic to build tension, it is effective: the book develops a strong feeling of dread and it might have been less forceful without it. “Singing”, the last story set in Tel Ilan, brings together some of the characters and many of the themes and images from the preceding stories, and puts them to good use, while advancing the impression of an ambiguous allegory of contemporary Israel.

22/07/2011

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The New Statesman

Karl Miller

The mysteries encountered earlier in the book are only incidentally of the Gothic order. They are enigmas of everyday life, experienced by people you mind about. These stories, in their humanity, may do more for Israel than any of the decisions we have been led to expect of its leaders in the months to come.

11/07/2011

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The Independent

Julia Pascal

Oz's mythical Tel Ilan is a microcosm of a modern Israeli village and, although his stories are fiction, there is a kind of documentary element - as with Chekhov.

19/08/2011

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The Guardian

Alfred Hickling

It is not a novel so much as an interwoven collection of vignettes set in an imaginary village whose characters intrude on each other's stories in the manner of a small community where everyone knows each other's business. It's an inward-looking place where, once again, people barely speak beyond essential things. But it's the unspoken sense of dread, or incipient threat, that makes the stories so powerful.

05/08/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

Helen Brown

... a strange and disturbing book.

02/08/2011

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The Times

Leo Robson

Oz, in writing this little book of menace and misery, exhibits a desire to write a novel by other means. Over eight narratives, in which characters and places recur, he constructs a portrait not just of a place but of a species. The book’s atmosphere of desolation and disquiet is bewitching, and its single-mindedness is impressive; but the coldness that comes with this may prove too much for some readers.

09/07/2011

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The Sunday Times

David Grylls

Oz specialises in ill-defined apprehension. Read for their realism, his scenes from village life might seem almost cosy ... But, it’s implied, dislocation and disruption also operate on deeper levels. Frustration, longing and loss are endemic.

17/07/2011

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