Once upon a time there was a house on the outskirts of Jerusalem and in it lived an old man, his beautiful widowed daughter-in-law and a hapless young man. Having abandoned his studies, the young man in question, Shmuel Ash, accepts employment, in the winter of 1959, as Zionist Gershom Wald's live-in companion expressly required to spend each evening debating with his employer.
Moving between the provocative mix of Judaism, Christianity and the Jewish/Arab conflict, their nightly wrangling gives voice to arguments of intellectual challenge and the history of their fledgling nation.
A complex and multi-layered story with betrayal at its heart. [Small font]
We have not been able to meet to discuss this book, but I give it the highest rating - a wonderful, very thought-provoking book.
The highest scoring book we have had! With a retired Anglican minister and a theologian, and some members with 'Jewish' blood, it made for an interesting discussion. Drab situation but exciting book. Excellent construction and translation. Complicated but an engaging read.
A very 'meaty' book. Generally enjoyed by all.
We all enjoyed and admired the book.
The group had a very diverse response from feeling it was too repetitive to it being one of the best books this year. The different perspective about Judas was interesting, as well as the history around the formation of Israel and the impact on the Palestinians. The writing was great and we enjoyed the symbolic use of e.g. the step and the weather.
Most members really enjoyed the learning they gained from this book. It gave another perspective of Judas, and an insight into life in Israel today, along with how individual lives have been affected.
This book easily has a place in our top 10! It used a simple plot and 3 characters to convey complex historical, religious and political views on Israel. Well done!
A masterful writer. The 'club' found his descriptions wonderful. The Palestine/Jewish conflict was well portrayed. Fascinating interpretation of Judas.
Not the easiest read - but a great Book Club read as it generates discussion on so many different aspects. It's different but very clever.
Those of us who got to read Judas were grateful for the introduction to the Jewish/Palestine conflict. The author is firmly of the view there needs to be two states, one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians. Atalia was a character that alienated some readers...
Generally liked. Well-written. Great character development.
Heaps of discussion about characters, politics, style and treachery!
Few finished the book. Those who did found it very interesting and informative from another perspective - the (Jewish) view of Judas.