Here I Am

Here I Am

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
7
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"God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, and Abraham replied obediently, "Here I am." This is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. Over the course of three weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., three sons watch their parents' marriage falter and their family home fall apart. Meanwhile, a large catastrophe is engulfing another part of the world: a massive earthquake devastates the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel. With global upheaval in the background and domestic collapse in the foreground, Jonathan Safran Foer asks us: What is the true meaning of home? Can one man ever reconcile the conflicting duties of his many roles husband, father, son? And how much of life can a person ultimately bear?"--
Publisher: Toronto :, Hamish Hamilton,, 2016
ISBN: 9780735232938
Branch Call Number: FIC FOE
Characteristics: 571 pages ; 24 cm

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e
eappelbaum
Jun 13, 2017

Fascinating book. Compare and contrast: the breakup of a family and the breakup of nations.

j
jdmm4ever
Jun 12, 2017

Jonathan Foer's return to fiction is well worth the wait and works on many levels. It is a melancholic account about the Bloch family both nuclear and extended. It has a great deal of dialogue which is very funny in places. The narrative also has many flashbacks and flash forwards which disrupts the flow. It reflects the deterioration in the marriage.
I am not Jewish. I appreciated the insights provided about both the blessings and the burden of being Jewish particularly the relationship between Israel the country and Jews in America.

r
rcplrozkutler
May 10, 2017

I paraphrase what my husband said about the author. It's like watching a train wreck, but the writing is so good, you can't look away. Worth it.

SPL_Shauna Apr 18, 2017

If you like witty, snappy dialogue and being incredibly depressed, have I got a book for you!

This book is a smart, honest look at a family disintegrating and a man trying to be really present for it all, but mostly failing. Parts are compulsively readable, and parts will maybe destroy you (if you're built like me, anyway). It's an awfully dark pick for these dark times. But, Foer has done something admirable here, and if you're up for it generally and specifically a fan of long, ponderous domestic fiction, it's worth the read.

brianreynolds Mar 18, 2017

In more than one sense, Foer’s <i>Here I Am</i> is a “Guernica” of family relationships. So often during the reading I sat in open-mouthed wonder at the author’s prose, his ability to paint emotions that defy the gravity of syntax: how in the world does the artist shift time and point of view and location all in the same paragraph to heighten impact without creating chaos! Courage and skill beyond anything close to the “literary fiction” norm. So I like his style. But this book is also a statement, a wrenching exploration of how difficult it is soldier on in the losing battle of love and commitment and existence. It is also a story, a compelling plot that strives beyond a bit of history or a character sketch. Foer creates an extended cast of likeable characters all fighting to hang on to their own definition of themselves, their own fragile creations of reality. Like Picasso’s famous work, the outcome is devastating, but Foer manages a triumph of sorts, a quiet, grim victory of the human spirit. Real. The saddest, most honest conclusion I am likely to ever read.

b
bronteside
Jan 27, 2017

Here I am has a special shine.
Long,insightful...the writing is brilliant.
The characters aren't particularly likeable , but they are recognizable,
The dialogue between the cousins was my favourite...the husband/wife relationship was a constant game of one-upmanship.
The kids were precocious and the words placed in their mouths stretched credulity.
Easy to see why it took Foer a decade to write this.
The last chapter was incredibly moving.

e
elizali
Oct 21, 2016

I liked this book - the tensions of being jewish in both the US and Israel were interesting, the kids were adorable, and the relationship between husband and wife was well-written. Reminded me of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. However, I do think this petered out about halfway through, and that Everything is Illuminated is a much nicer read.

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