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Jerusalem Spring
by Fares Aoun | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingbookczukwing of Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, February 04, 2011
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by AnonymousFinder): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

12 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, February 04, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Fares Aoun, author of Jerusalem Spring asked me to review his book. I am unable to do so at this time, but explained about bookrings, and he was interested in having his book ringed.

Here's what he wrote me about the book:

"My novel, Jerusalem Spring, was recently published, and I would be
honored to have you read and consider reviewing it. Please let me
know where to send the hard copy or digital version of the book.

Jerusalem Spring is the story of an unlikely friendship between two men, a white prison warden named Scott and an African-American inmate named Joe, in a segregated prison in the American south. The book draws a parallel between the fight to end discrimination during the civil rights era and the situation in modern-day Jerusalem.

The novel explores the tensions in the relationship between Scott and Joe and the other people in their lives. Scott’s wife has become unhappy with the segregation in their town. New inmates arrive and challenge the status quo. Joe becomes less reliable as Scott’s informant and the warden begins to question his motives as he tries to redeem himself in the eyes of those he cares about.

Scott and Joe struggle to connect and overcome the obstacles to their
friendship despite prison riots, bus explosions, and recruitment
efforts by fundamentalist groups bent on destruction. The characters’
lives intersect across racial, religious, political, and geographic
boundaries, ultimately delivering a message of hope overcoming
prejudice as the story transitions in a surprising twist to modern-day
Jerusalem." 


Journal Entry 2 by wingbookczukwing at Charleston, South Carolina USA on Monday, February 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

It's Valentine's Day so who could resist starting a ring with someone who has a screen name like LovesOU?

LovesOU
Sherlockfan
raluk68
mafarrimond
karen07814
okyrhoe
Totje2
ruzena
minesayn
judygreeneyes
bookczuk

Again, I haven't read this book, but the author was intrigued by the idea of BookCrossing and sent us a copy to ring. I hope it's good. It was kind (and brave!) of him to send a book out for us to ring.

Please journal when you receive the book and read it as close to receiving as possible so that the ring can keep moving. If you are on GoodReads, please submit the review there, too, at the author's request.

Thank you all.

 


Journal Entry 3 by wingbookczukwing at Carrollton, Texas USA on Friday, February 18, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (2/18/2011 UTC) at Carrollton, Texas USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed today, media mail. Delivery confirmation #: 03102010000165342330. 


Journal Entry 4 by LovesOU at Carrollton, Texas USA on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received today. Hooray! Thanks for sending this Bookczuk. 


Journal Entry 5 by LovesOU at Carrollton, Texas USA on Thursday, March 03, 2011

8 out of 10

I liked the book. The author gave me insight to a couple of topic I have limited exposure in my life. I am going to PM the next person on the list to keep the book going... 


Journal Entry 6 by wingSherlockfanwing at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Friday, March 18, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived today. I have a couple of urgent reads to complete first but I'm a fairly quick reader so I'll pm the next person just so I have the address ready when I finished.

The synopsis sounds very interesting which is why I joined this bookring.
Thanks bookczuk for handling the author's request in this way. 


Journal Entry 7 by wingSherlockfanwing at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

7 out of 10

Thanks LovesOU for the colourful (both front and back) postcard of Dallas.
I read the first part of this book, when the overall despicable treatment of the African-American prison inmates was only slightly ameliorated by some compassion, secure in current day knowledge that Barack Obama is President of the United States so some things have changed.
The book was well-crafted with strong believable characters and an air of suspense all through. It certainly raises issues about which we all need to think.
However, when the author moves the story from the prison to another "prison of sorts" I found the transition unsettling. Could it have been done differently to achieve the same effect? I just don't know.
Reading this at a time when there is critical conflict in Libya with no certainty of outcomes my overall feeling was of despair, not the optimism I was starting to feel.
I have Raluk68's address and will post the book perhaps tomorrow when the rain stops. I'll be waiting his comments with great interest. 


Journal Entry 8 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Friday, April 15, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Got it! Thank you! 


Journal Entry 9 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

7 out of 10

Not bad, not bad at all :) Reading it, I had the impression I see a movie, a boy's movie :P, but still OK.
Now it's ready to go to UK, on its way to my virtual friend M.! :D 


Journal Entry 10 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (4/26/2011 UTC) at București, Wallachia Romania

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Bookring going to UK. Enjoy! :) 


Journal Entry 11 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, May 05, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book has arrived safely. I look forward to reading it. 


Journal Entry 12 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, May 15, 2011

8 out of 10

An interesting title for the book which evokes a feeling of hope. There was certainly a glimpse of hope in the battle to overcome the discrimation of the civil rights era from the actions and thoughts of Scott and Joe.

 


Journal Entry 13 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (5/18/2011 UTC) at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Posting onto karen07814. 


Journal Entry 14 by wingkaren07814wing at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, May 20, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today thank you, now next on tbr
 


Journal Entry 15 by wingkaren07814wing at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Saturday, May 21, 2011

5 out of 10

The book was too stilted for me although the premise is good. Too moralistic i.m afraid. 


Journal Entry 16 by okyrhoe at Athens, Attica Greece on Tuesday, July 05, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in Athens. Thanks bookczuk for including me in the ring, and karen07814 for posting the book to me! 


Journal Entry 17 by okyrhoe at Athens, Attica Greece on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I was so looking forward to reading Jerusalem Spring, mainly because - like the author - I spent my formative years in Lebanon during the civil war and, due to my father's job at the time, the complexities of the Middle Eastern conflicts are more familiar to me than my "own" Greek history.

Unfortunately I can't overlook the novel's literary shortcomings, and that is a shame, because there is potential here.

The main problem, in my opinion, is the uneven structure of the novel. Two-thirds of the narrative is set in a time past, and the last segment doesn't adequately balance or complement the first section.
The first two thirds did try my patience. I was reading on and on trying to get to some "substance"; a deeper meaning of it all seemed to elude me. Moral and existential issues were touched upon, but not fully developed.
In the latter part of the novel, the narrative is by contrast rushed and almost summarily presented, with insufficient background explication or character development. For me it ends with a fizzle rather than a bang.
In the first part the slow exposition gives the reader a sense of the crushing routine of the injustices, but because the second "Jerusalem" segment is short (by comparison) one doesn't really get a feel for common elements between racial segregation in the southern US and the daily injustices due to the security-related rules and regulations that Palestinians must endure in their stateless & citizenshipless reality.
The narrative's expository style could have been worked on a bit more. The book reads like a transcript from court proceedings rather than a novel. The dialogue most of the time resembles an interrogation rather than a conversation between two characters. Admittedly, there is a power imbalance between the warden and his prisoners, so this is a plausible effect. But I'm not so sure that this was the author's intention, at least not for the whole length of the novel. Even the scenes between Scott and his wife came off as formal, despite the words of endearment peppering their sentences.
Maybe there's too much dialogue and not enough exposition. At some point I even wondered if this was not a novel in the conventional sense, and that it was meant as a quasi-religious parable, or a philosophical text implementing the "Socratic method" to lead the reader to a specific (ethical) conclusion. This could explain the moralistic tone that a previous reader mentions as being overbearing.

Personally, I didn't find the tone to be that moralistic or didactic overall. I thought there was an attempt to avoid making outright statements, especially on the Palestinian issue. The few exceptions being the neutral tone of "education is the way" and the political correctness of "we have the right to resist, but we don't have the right to attack civilians."

The author seems to suggest that with education people will naturally come to understand as well as act for peace and justice. But even "peace" and "justice" are relative concepts (the devil always being in the details!), and this novel's/parable's conclusion comes off as a gross oversimplification.  


Journal Entry 18 by okyrhoe at Bookring, By Post -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (8/3/2011 UTC) at Bookring, By Post -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way by post to Totje2. 


Journal Entry 19 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Saturday, August 06, 2011

This book has not been rated.

This book arrived today. Thank you for sending it to me, okyrhoe.
I will be leaving on holiday soon and will read this book when I return. Looks interesting :-) 


Journal Entry 20 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Saturday, October 01, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I have started reading this book. Sorry it took me so long.... I've asked the next in line for their address, so when I'm finished, I can send it on.

By the way: like it so far! 


Journal Entry 21 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Sunday, October 02, 2011

6 out of 10

I'm not sure what to think of this novel.

I got confused by the title in comparison to the contents of the novel. At first I was wonderig if I did not mistake placing the novel in the south of the US during the racial segragation. But then there were too much clues leading me to that conclusion, so no, I was reading it with the right picture in my mind.
I liked the first part. That is, overlooking the sometimes awkward dialogues, lack of background information on the situation and what happens in the prison.
I really was wondering was would happen next, when the warden was challenged, Joe trying to get into university, 12 trying to get out for his own reasons.

But then all of a sudden the novel jumped to another time / another place. Leaving me totally confused, why a warden in the south of the US should speak Hebrew. I read the title of the part (Jerusalem) and first of all I thought that that was the name of the small town the prison was situated in.
The second part I did not like at all. To me it felt rushed, not like the first part at all. No time taken for elaboration, explaning the situation. Just drawing paralells between the south of the US and the occupied territories / the Palestinian problem. For me the compearison went wrong.
I do not have enough knowlegde of both issues to judge, but to me there would be more of a similarity between South Africa and the south of the US than here.

Having said all that: I liked the way the chapters were written in the first part. That, when reading, I had an idea how much time went by since the last one. 


Journal Entry 22 by wingBoekentrolwing at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Sunday, October 02, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (10/2/2011 UTC) at Leeuwarden, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to ruzena, the next reader in line.
I hope it arrives safe and soon & wish you a good read! 


Journal Entry 23 by wingruzenawing at Hämeenlinna, Kanta-Häme Finland on Friday, October 07, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived! Thank you. 


Journal Entry 24 by wingruzenawing at Vantaa, Uusimaa Finland on Sunday, October 23, 2011

8 out of 10

I liked this book. The structure that draws a parallel between the events in two different societies at two different times is original and smart. It makes the history transparent and the themes universal.
The characters are personal and enough complex, and their fates are touching. The book is written with warmth and wisdom.

The text is mainly based on dialogue, which is at its best in describing the odd relation between the warden and his informant. You can see and hear Joe and Scott, it is just like watching good theater! In general, the dialogue is fluent and properly carries the events on. Only some of the discussions between the warden and his wife are less skilful, leaving nothing to discover by the reader but only register every word like a tape recorder. In the latter part I sometimes found the speech a bit "lecturing", and I think that more narration and less dialogue in some places would have made the style more literary.
Anyway, I find the book a fine work, and not least because the author has made its important subject perceptible to us. I appreciate that.
Thanks for the opportunity to take part in this bookring.

-ruzena  


Journal Entry 25 by wingruzenawing at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, October 24, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (10/24/2011 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Priority to the next reader :) 


Journal Entry 26 by wingminesaynwing at Huron, Ohio USA on Saturday, October 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received via the mail from ruzena...can't wait to read it. Thanks bookczuk for the opportunity to read this novel. 


Journal Entry 27 by wingminesaynwing at Huron, Ohio USA on Thursday, December 22, 2011

4 out of 10

Jerusalem Spring by Fares Aoun is a very different novel, one that is difficult to categorize. It combines those jailed because of the issue of segregation of the South in the 1960s with today’s Palestinian/Israeli issues. It also shows a friendship between two very different people (the warden Scott and the inmate Joe). The first half is all 1960s…when two men enter a jail compound for no other reason than the color of their skin, and a mentor who helps the man (known only as 12) adjust, and possibly to escape. It ends with the younger man (known only as 13) becoming involved with the religious group in the jail.

Flash forward to Part II, Jerusalem today! There are the walled-off Palestinians, their guards, and the man-in-charge, Scott, and Yusef (Joe). There are the same characters in this section, and the same unlikely friendship exists. Even 12, who is now known as Mustafa, and 13 exist, and the scene plays out similarly, and continuing from where it left off in Part 1…that is, 13 is involved in religious fervor that ultimately affects them all.

Is the first part a dream of Part 2, or is it coincidence that all the characters echo the events of the first part? It is never clear, and I guess the author leaves it up to the reader to decide; however, it seems to this reader that the novel is trying to get the world to take notice of Palestinian issues such as being walled-in and away from land that was owned previously as well as recognize the fact that peace can be achieved between very different people.

The dialogue is a bit stilted between characters especially between the characters of Sarah, Scott’s wife, and himself, between Scott and Joe despite their friendship, but overall, it’s not a bad first novel although it may less a novel than a cautionary tale.


 


Journal Entry 28 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Saturday, December 31, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Thanks, the book has arrived safely in San Diego! I have two books ahead of it, but will get to it within a few weeks. 


Journal Entry 29 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Tuesday, February 07, 2012

4 out of 10

I tried, but I just couldn't get into this book. I'm sure that the story is compelling and is certainly on an important topic, but the quality of the prose just wouldn't let me continue. I'm returning the book to bookczuk since I'm last on the list 


Journal Entry 30 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Tuesday, February 07, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (2/7/2012 UTC) at San Diego, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off by mail to bookczuk  


Journal Entry 31 by wingbookczukwing at Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Received back here in bookczuk-land. I will add it to the pile begging to be read.

Thank you all for participating in the ring. I've loved following Jerusalem Spring as it journeyed around the world. That alone makes it a very special book.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself with wings, or your wings flutter a little longer than they did yesterday. I got a little excited when I realized this book returned a year and a day after it was originally sent out. :) 


Journal Entry 32 by okyrhoe at Athens, Attica Greece on Thursday, February 16, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Thanks so much !! ~flap!~ ~flap!~ 


Journal Entry 33 by wingbookczukwing at Muddy Waters Coffee Bar 1739 Maybank Hwy at Folly in Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, October 05, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (10/5/2012 UTC) at Muddy Waters Coffee Bar 1739 Maybank Hwy at Folly in Charleston, South Carolina USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

To the finder of this book:

Welcome to BookCrossing, a unique community of book lovers, sharing their libraries with the world. This book is now yours to read, enjoy, keep or pass on to another reader. The BookCrossing ID, which you entered in the "Enter a BCID" box on the website, is unique to this copy of this book. If you make a journal entry (either anonymously, or as a BookCrossing member) all previous readers of this actual book will be notified by email, and can follow the book as it travels. BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address) and a heck of a lot of fun. Be on the lookout for other books left in the "Wild"!

PS And if you find yourself liking BookCrossing, there may be local BookCrossers who meet regularly in your area. Come join us!  


Journal Entry 34 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Johns Island, South Carolina USA on Sunday, July 07, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Y'all are overly generous. I thought this just meh. Irony = it was published before Egyptian Spring actually happened. I put it back at the bookshelf I found it. I get some of my best reading there 




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