Mordechai Landsberg (pen name: Ben Shmuel)is an Israeli Novelist. He has published two novels in Hebrew, that deal with Israeli and Jewish topics: ’The Gentle Ones’ and
‘The disconnections’- telling about simple soldiers before and after Six Days War and Yom Kipur War (they have been awarded the President’s Incentive - and Public Libraries prize). Mordechai Landsberg studied literature and philosophy in the Tel Aviv university, and has worked many years as an Administrative & Finance Officer for U.S. Contracts with the Israeli Arms Industry - an experience that has contributed a lot to his writing in English.
gilad ben avi, Sr
on Sep. 08, 2012 :
There are millions of teenagers in the world, like the main character in this novel- who search something new, fresh, fascinating and exciting. Their soul may split, wandering between the innocent past and the new sensations derived from growing sexual impetus and other ohysiological and spiritual changes. There is clash between the child’s ‘toy minded’ unshaken human world, that their parents, teachers and other spiritual- behaviorial guides had tried to lead them toward - and the new, ‘mature script ’ on the scroll rolled before their eyes and minds. There are of course many- who remain ‘teenaged minded till the end of their life, but this novel shows a guy Humik –who is aware of this period in his life, as he is aware of the death that was hovering over him already as a child in the past, when friends, neighbors, acquaintances – suddenly disappered; but the idea of the sad and bitter – is so mixed with the ideal of beauty and innocence and hope for good to happen, that he is attracted back . For a few months he tries to forget that his ‘dream’- to come back to his native country Israel – may risk his life (He’s going to volunteer to the parachte troops); so- before his voyage he visits NY, meeting there a young woman – older than him. He enjoys there a kind of forgetfulness, that only the hard fact of her separation from him- brings him back to reality, and to renew his vow to help his friends from the far past, who are mobilized to the army, knowing that a new war is ahead…
I liked very much also the description of another character, who represents the ‘antithesis of the normal’: He is Nathan, the boyfriend of the girl, to whom Nahumic was burning from lust. ..Nathan is the extreme religious - on the verge of Psychotic Jew, and Nahumic’s intuition makes him feel, that from now on such characters will dim the light of his horizon in Israel . He can’t help it, but does not decide to retreat, and let Israel ‘swallow that Frog -and choke with it.’ He remains- hoping for the best.
I do not know if every reader would agree to ‘perpetually live with a hope that derives from no other choice,’ but I FIND IT VERY NICELY DESCRIBED AND EXCELLANTLY EXPRESSED. Some would say that most Israelis’ true feeling is like that.
(reviewed the day of purchase)