MixedThe New York TimesIn Mortals, we want to avert our eyes as Ray and Iris spend 700 pages throwing away 17 years of marriage ... Although Mortals covers a lot of ground, except for excerpts from a manuscript by Ray\'s gay brother, Rex, who is dying of AIDS back in the States, and tape recordings of people being spied on, we are stuck inside Ray\'s head.
Amos Oz, Trans. by Nicholas de Lange
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewUntil now, Oz has never written about his unhappy mother and the January day in 1952 when she walked back through the rain to a moldy flat and an overdose of sedatives...He will make up for that erasure with this indelible memoir, circling so often around the wound, inching up and closing in, that finally Fania's furious son has no other ground to stand on … A Tale of Love and Darkness also mourns the death of the socialist-Zionist dream of a just society and a strange new nationalism, predicated on research universities and string quartets, on comparative literature and experimental agriculture, that turned instead into an acid reflux of checkpoints, demolitions, transit camps, penal colonies and strategic hamlets...And yet, determined to remember every minute leading up to his mother's suicide, he also sees through a child's eye the prelude to statehood in a Promised Land.'
PanThe New York Review of BooksNerdy Dylan’s bohemian parents, avant-garde Abraham and radical hippie Rachel, move to Boerum Hill in Brooklyn just when the neighborhood is deciding whether to decay some more or gentrify, because they believe in community … A magic ring conferring the ability to fly would seem to belong more to one of Lethem’s earlier novels than this masterly, lyrical scan of childhood, a ligature of fellowship and blood ties. Before everything goes wrong about two thirds of the way through, Solitude has been perfectly poised between sense and stress, aura and object, the man who remembers and the boy who was there … Only in a comic book, and not very often there, will a magic trick harmonize the races or bring back your missing mother. Solitude, copping out, didn’t so much cheat the reader as it threw up its hands and shrugged us off.