Thursday, May 31, 2007

HISTORICAL FICTION: "The Glory" by: Herman Wouk

BOOK TITLE: "The Glory"
FULL TITLE: "The Glory: A Novel"
AUTHOR: Herman Wouk
TYPE: Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLICATION DATE: 1994 original (1995 mass market paperback edition)
BINDING: Paperback
ISBN: 0316-955-280

- This is the sequel to The Hope (1993), which dramatized the unlikely course of modern Israel's history, ending with its smashing victory over the Arabs in 1967. As in previous sagas of Woukian dimensions, The Winds of War to name one of a dozen, ordinary people become heroic figures against a turbulent backdrop of war, death, and love. As emotional encapsulations of this century's ghastly and glorious Jewish experience, Wouk's epics have been automatically popular, regardless of their schmaltzy, made-for-TV texture. Here he places a dozen military characters and their families in crucial roles in the post-'67 fighting: the Barak family has a military attache in the Washington embassy and a son on a gunboat; the Luries fly fighters; and the Pasternaks lurk in the Mossad's shadows. From such vantage points, they fight along and over the Suez Canal and fend off disaster in the Yom Kippur War, pull off the exhilarating Entebbe rescue, and bomb Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, an endpoint that leaves out the less triumphant '80s. Wouk humanizes these intense events with scenes of passage (affairs, weddings, funerals) and mixes in real Israeli leaders such as Golda Meir, Dayan, Sharon, and Rabin, who consult with his characters. While action-minded readers await a possible televised adaptation, this spacious panorama of battle should sustain their interest.
By: Gilbert Taylor.

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