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Description - The Same Sea by Amos Oz

Nadia is dead. Her widower, Albert, comforted by his old friend Bettine, is trying to put his life back together. His son, Enrico, has gone to find himself in Tibet. Enrico's girlfriend, Dita, is being friendly and daughterly to Albert- but his responses are less platonic. Meanwhile, Dita has another lover, and a slightly repellent film producer lusts after her too. Through these intersecting triangles of desire and loss comes an intimate, everyday tale of unrequited love, attachment and grief- surprising, heartbreaking, funny, poetic and simply unmissable.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099283959
ISBN-10: 0099283956
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 7-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Same Sea by Amos Oz

Book Reviews - The Same Sea by Amos Oz

UK Kirkus Review » Oz, Israel's best known novelist abandons traditional literary constraints in The Same Sea to provide a lyrical and evocative study of a man in mourning, attempting to put the loss of his wife behind him. In a mixture of blank verse, prose and occasional internal rhyme, Oz produces an array of characters and voices, each of whom talks of their lives and loves in the aftermath of Nadia Danon's death from cancer. Set in the Israeli coastal town of Bat Yam (which means 'daughter of the sea') the narrative's only constant factor is the inescapable sea. While Nadia's accountant widower, Albert, combats the present by striking up almost platonic relationships with both his son's former girlfriend and a middle-aged widow, his son tries to find himself via the modern-day Israeli rite of passage in the mountains of Tibet, seeking occasional solace in an elderly prostitute. Oz deftly moves the force of the narrative from one character to the next, telling his tale from a variety of shifting perspectives. Mixing biblical images with the present day, his lyrical and yet occasionally blunt style brilliantly captures the atmosphere of Israel's sweltering coastal plain. His description of Tel Aviv: 'You don't see a sunset or a star, you see how the plaster peels from an excess of adrenaline, smells of sweat and diesel fuels' is simply superb. The Israeli author is just as strong in describing the feelings and individual isolation of Albert and his son, and it is hard to escape the conclusion that The Same Sea is a mini-masterpiece. Review by JEFF BARAK (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Oz's most experimental fiction in years uses poetry and prose to tell a convoluted story of interlocking relationships. A new novel from one of the most compelling voices in Israeli literature ("The Story Begins", 1999, etc.) should be a cause for celebration, but "The Same Sea "is at best an intriguing mess. The problem lies in a collision of form and content, and a large cast of characters whose relationships are intricate without being interesting. Albert, an accountant, is recently widowed; his son Enrico is now wandering the Himalayas, trying to learn why his mother died. Dita, Enrico's girlfriend, swindled by would-be film producer Dubi, moves in with Albert in an act of desperation. Albert tries to untangle her contract with Dubi and ends up as Dubi's tax adviser (and reluctant father figure). Add to this a mysterious Portuguese woman who sleeps with Enrico, a carpenter dead by suicide, Albert's co-worker and confidante Bettina, who has a yen for him dating back decades, a cryptic yuppie named Giggy who sleeps with Dita and, just to make the whole thing depressingly postmodern, the Narrator (clearly Oz himself, and gradually an active participant in the roundelay). The primary problem is that Oz chooses to tell this overstuffed tale as a series of vignettes, none more than four or five pages long, most much shorter, cross-cutting cinematically between Tel Aviv, Arad, Tibet, the past, the present, and even the future. As a result, few of the people acquire resonance, none of the situations are allowed to develop in a straight line, and, ultimately, the reader doesn't care what happens. There are moments of genuine power: the re-creation of Albert's awkward courting of Nadia has a poignancy underlined by our knowledge of her death; much of the material involving the Narrator is wittily self-deprecating. The verse passages, though, are almost embarrassing and the overall effect is surprisingly numbing. A major disappointment from a major author. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Amos Oz

Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Amos Oz is the internationally acclaimed author of many novels and essay collections, translated into over forty languages, including his brilliant semi-autobiographical work, A Tale of Love and Darkness. He has received several international awards, including the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Frankfurt Peace Prize and the 2013 Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Israel and is considered a towering figure in world literature.

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