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Extended Audio Sample To the End of the Land, by David Grossman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,266 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Grossman Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an epic hike in the Galilee. She is joined by an unlikely companion—Avram, a former friend and lover with a troubled past—and as they sleep out in the hills, Ora begins to conjure her son. Ofer’s story, as told by Ora, becomes a surprising balm both for her and for Avram—and a mother’s powerful meditation on war and family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This is a book of overwhelming power and intensity, David Grossman's masterpiece. Flaubert created his Emma, Tolstoy made his Anna, and now we have Grossman's Ora—as fully alive, as fully embodied, as any character in recent fiction. I devoured this long novel in a feverish trance. Wrenching, beautiful, unforgettable. Paul Auster
  • Very rarely, a few times in a lifetime, you open a book and when you close it again nothing can ever be the same. Walls have been pulled down, barriers broken, a dimension of feeling, of existence itself, has opened in you that was not there before. To the End of the Land is a book of this magnitude. David Grossman may be the most gifted writer I've ever read; gifted not just because of his imagination, his energy, his originality, but because he has access to the unutterable, because he can look inside a person and discover the unique essence of her humanity. For twenty-six years he has been writing novels about what it means to defend this essence, this unique light, against a world designed to extinguish it. To the End of the Land is his most powerful, shattering, and unflinching story of this defense. To read it is to have yourself taken apart, undone, touched at the place of your own essence; it is to be turned back, as if after a long absence, into a human being. Nicole Krauss
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anne Flanagan | 2/18/2014

    " This novel is unlike any other I've read - in terms of content and knowing the circumstances of the author's own siutation and loss. I enjoyed the book - I felt, however, it was too long at times. The details of the lives of her sons, provided by Ora, could have been truncated without losing the power of the narrative. Overall a very memorable book with powerful imagery and style. If I had been the editor I probably would have shaved off about 100 pages and it still would resonate with the power that it has. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pamela | 12/27/2013

    " A huge, orchestral, rambling, occasionally hysterical, deeply emotional and significant novel on family, Israel, war, and love of and fear for one's children. I thought I knew a thing or two about Israel but before this book I did not feel in my bones the way in which the political situation in that country literally maddens its inhabitants. Ora, Avram, and Ilan are three teenagers who form an intense bond when they are all hospitalized with hepatitis in a nearly abandoned hospital during the Six-Day War. Later, the Yom Kippur War, Avram is captured by the Egyptian Army, harshly tortured, and returns a broken man. In the meantime, Ora and Ilan have married. Although Avram separates himself from the couple for long periods of time, there are past and current realities that tie the three of them intimately and permanently together (I don't want to give away too much here). The novel opens (after a short Prologue) with Ora and Ilan's younger son, Ofer, now twenty-one, volunteering for an emergency army call-up after having just finished his three-year mandatory stint. Just when she thought her sons had made it through their army service safely, Ora once again must fear for Ofer's life, and this fear practically unhinges her. She decides that if she does not stay at home--for home is where army officials bring the news of a soldier's death--she will magically be able to keep her son from harm. She insists that Avram, fragile as he is, accompany her on an extended hiking trip through the north of Israel. Completely out of touch with what Israelis call "the news," refusing to be anywhere where they might hear it, they re-live much of their past: friendship and war, grief and madness, as well as the sporadic fullness and calm of family life. Somehow this novel manages to be about both global politics and the most idiosyncratic, intimate moments of love. A truly rich and important book which I will want to read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lynn Dolven | 12/26/2013

    " This book is one of the most difficult to read I have picked up in a long time. It is set in Israel in the 1960s to the 2000s. It explores the emotional depths of Ora, a woman who married one man, Ilan, had a son with him, Adam, had an affair with her husband's friend, Avram, and had a son with him, Ofer. The husband and his friend served in the Israeli army in the war with Egypt in the Sinai Penninsula, and the friend was captured and tortured. Both of her sons fulfilled their obligatory service in the IDF. When her younger son's service is about to end, Ora plans a hiking trip with him to celebrate. Instead, he reenlists in the IDF, and she takes the hiking trip with Avram, Ofer's father. Because Avram had never been part of Ofer's life, Ora tells him about Ofer's life during the hiking trip as a means of protecting Ofer from harm. She thinks that if she isn't home to get the news of his death, he won't die. The book is a roller coaster of emotion, the gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching kind. At the end, you learn that the author had two sons, both of whom served in the IDF and one of whom died in Lebanon - more than the ultimate irony because he had finished writing the book before his son died. The author obviously isn't a "hawk," and believes in the enduring bond between a parent and child. The book is stunning, but exhausting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Heather Richardson | 12/23/2013

    " I gave up on this one, I'm afraid. The writing is terrific, but it's almost too rich. "

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