Saturday, March 19, 2016

* exodus by leon uris

* i found a stash of my high school and college book reviews. any askterisked titles denotes a book review from this period.

february 21, 1994

exodus, by leon uris, is an exciting book about how the jews gained their freedom after hundreds of years of persecution by the russians, germans and many other countries, that tried to exterminate the jewish race.  anyone who reads this book will gain an understanding of the jews and see why is was so important that they should fight for a homeland of their own.

the novel starts out on cyprus with a reporter meeting up with a nurse and old friend - kitty fremont.  kitty was on vacation in cyprus, but later went to work in a british detained persons camp for exiled jews after world war two.  she later meets a man by the name of ari ben canaan, who is a leader of a jewish organization.  together with the report, mark parker, they get an old ship, the exodus, and train children and prepare them to go to israel.  mark writes a story about how the jews are treated by the british and sends it back to london in order to get the world on the side of the jews.  finally the british let the boat go to israel.  when they get there, the organization gets the children into camps and cities called kibbutzes.  kitty also goes with the children, but mainly for the reason of a girl named karen clement.  karen went mainly for a boy named dov landau, who was an excellent forger.  when karen and dov arrive there, karen stays with kitty and dov goes and joins the maccabees, a terrorist group fighting for the freedom of the jews.  later on, dov and a man by the name of akiva, who was ari's uncle, are captured by the british.  ari goes to the maccabees and helps them get akiva and dov out of th British jail.  their plan succeeds, but akiva dies and ari is shot in the leg.  at about the same time, kitty and karen were preparing to leave to the united states.  when kitty hears that ari is injured, she goes to him and nurses him back to health.  after all this time, the united nations votes on the issue of the jews obtaining a homeland or not.  the jews get their homeland.  the arabs did all that they could do to keep israel from becoming a state and they end up fighting the jews to do so.  the jews put up a miraculous fight to keep their homeland.  they end up keeping all their homeland at the end.

the theme of the book is nothing byt to show the world what the jews went through to get their state.  leon uris, just as his other books, puts fiction with reality.  in this book, he uses flash-back to tell the story of the jews before, during and after world war two.  the graphic disgust of what the germans did to the jews is also portrayed in this novel.  if there were any lesson to be learned from the book, it would be the reminder of what the jews went through and how no one should ever go through what they experienced.

exodus is an excellent book to read if one wants to lean the story of the jews.  leon uris is probably one of the best sources for this subject.  he spent many years researching, reporting and travelling through the countryside of israel.  exodus might also perhaps be one of the best books about the jewish story.

mr. puckett gave me a 46/50; with the comments, "don't tell so much of the story and devote more time to response and reaction"  reading this again, i vigorously agree with his assessment!

* fahrenheit 451 by ray bradbury

* i found a stash of my high school and college book reviews.  any askterisked titles denotes a book review from this period.

february 14, 1994

Fahrenheit 451, by ray bradbury, takes place in a distant future of the 1990's.  guy montag is a fireman who burns books rather than saving houses and other burning buildings.  one day he meets a girl who is carefree and looks at the simple pleasures of life.  she ends up talking to montag, almost every day, about the little things like looking at the dew on the grass in the morning or the smell of burning leaves.  montag starts to change from being a slave to the society to becoming an individual for himself.  later on, guy finds out that the girl and her family disappear and he becomes suspicious.  guy also starts to take books from the houses he is burning.  capteam beatty, the head of the firemen, comes to talk to montag.  beatty knows that montag is starting to question the society in which they live.  beatty ends up explaining the reasons behind burning the books.  guy ends up killing all the firemen in his unit during a burning and then goes on the run.  he escapes and just when he gets to a camp of runaways, just like him, another war breaks out and the city he left was obliterated.  the story ends with the runaways walking back to the city.

this book is well-written and has an excellent meaning to it when it talks about censorship and how far it could go.  this book also shows the change in guy montag at the end of the story.  at the beginning, guy was just another person, but as the story progressed he gradually changed from being a common villain, to a hero who has beaten the corrupted system.

the theme of the book is all about censorship.  ray bradbury's whole point was to avoid the censorship of anything pure.  he protests the whole idea of shortening plays and writing condensed versions of plays and books and whatever else is written by original authors.  he is against anything that cuts, destroys, or makes anything of the work, other than itself in its original form.

fahrenheit 451 is one of the best books that has been written by ray bradbury and has an excellent message that every person in american should learn and remember.  every person is himself and no one else should judge how he should express himself or take away the right to do so.

mr. puckett gave me a 49/50 on the report; with the comment 'a little too much story-telling but not bad.  what is the significance of the title?'