The Chosen

by Chaim Potok | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0449213447 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingbookczukwing of Charleston, South Carolina USA on 2/12/2009
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Thursday, February 12, 2009
Part of a haul of books I picked up at Goodwill or a Friends of the Library sale to register on BookCrossing and wild release. I chose this one because it is either one I am interested in reading or one that will work well for a BookCrossing Release Challenge or because I know it's a book that someone in general would probably like to find and read.

I fully intend to re-read this soon.

Journal Entry 2 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Sunday, March 22, 2009
This was a re-read for me -- last read probably in 1969 0r 1970. What strikes me now is the description of a lifestyle that has vanished or become part of the great melting pot of America. (And of the quote of one of the boys in my high school English class, when we read this who said on the homogeneity of our society, "America is not a melting pot. It's an acid bath."

Anyhow, the initial part of the book charmed me again, and I found lost in the world of Reuven and Danny, and their unlikely, but hard won friendship. We so often hear about friendships across faiths, but all too often forget that it can be equally as hard to bridge differences within a common faith, yet across very different upbringings and beliefs. The friendship the boys build is a true one, though, as I said, hard work. Sometimes the obstacles come from their different beliefs, or sometimes, painfully so, from the different dynamics in their families. It struck me when Danny's father said "You think it is easy to be a friend?" to Reuven when they first meet. "If you are truly his friend, you will learn otherwise."

The second half of the book was much harder for me to read and I stalled out a couple of times. Part of it was the nitty gritty of the stuff the boys were learning and the debates -- and part of it was the dysfunctional relationship between Danny and his father. It comes clear in the end, but is painful reading and not a parenting style I can endorse.

What really grabbed me in the second half, though, was the description of the nation's response to Roosevelt's death and to the discovery of the true abomination that was the holocaust. For the former, it brought me back to 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, and how we as a nation responded. For the latter, it opened up the wounds made by the idiots who are trying to deny the horrors of the holocaust these days.

This was not the easy "trip down memory lane" re-read I expected it to be. None-the-less, despite the discomfort it raised in me, I am glad I took the time to re-read.

Journal Entry 3 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Sunday, March 22, 2009
This was a re-read for me -- last read probably in 1969 0r 1970. What strikes me now is the description of a lifestyle that has vanished or become part of the great melting pot of America. (And of the quote of one of the boys in my high school English class, when we read this who said on the homogeneity of our society, "America is not a melting pot. It's an acid bath."

Anyhow, the initial part of the book charmed me again, and I found lost in the world of Reuven and Danny, and their unlikely, but hard won friendship. We so often hear about friendships across faiths, but all too often forget that it can be equally as hard to bridge differences within a common faith, yet across very different upbringings and beliefs. The friendship the boys build is a true one, though, as I said, hard work. Sometimes the obstacles come from their different beliefs, or sometimes, painfully so, from the different dynamics in their families. It struck me when Danny's father said "You think it is easy to be a friend?" to Reuven when they first meet. "If you are truly his friend, you will learn otherwise."

The second half of the book was much harder for me to read and I stalled out a couple of times. Part of it was the nitty gritty of the stuff the boys were learning and the debates -- and part of it was the dysfunctional relationship between Danny and his father. It comes clear in the end, but is painful reading and not a parenting style I can endorse.

What really grabbed me in the second half, though, was the description of the nation's response to Roosevelt's death and to the discovery of the true abomination that was the holocaust. For the former, it brought me back to 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, and how we as a nation responded. For the latter, it opened up the wounds made by the idiots who are trying to deny the horrors of the holocaust these days.

This was not the easy "trip down memory lane" re-read I expected it to be. None-the-less, despite the discomfort it raised in me, I am glad I took the time to re-read.

Released 10 yrs ago (4/15/2009 UTC) at Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer; 4 Vanderhorst St in Charleston, South Carolina USA

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