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Book Review: QB VII (Uris)

Have I read this before: Indeed! I can’t remember when, exactly, but I’ve definitely read this one before. This would be a hard one to forget.    

Review: Okay, turns out I’m a fart, I know exactly when I read it. As you can see in that post (if you bothered to click on the link; I’m actually not sure how many people click on the random links I put in these posts), I mention that I changed my mind about Kelno a whole bunch of times.

Yeah, that didn’t happen this time. I don’t know if it’s because I just recently read Exodus or if I’m just more mature now than I was when I first read this book, but the evidence presented by individuals who claimed to be hurt directly or indirectly by Kelno seemed to very obviously point at his involvement in sadistic concentration camp medical practices/procedures.

Also, I had no idea that this was loosely based on an actual case for defamation against Uris for his Exodus.

But anyway, this is a really good book. It’s not as intense as Exodus (though it definitely gets intense in places), but it still will be one of those books that will stick with you for a while after you read it.

Favorite part: This is kind of more of a side note of a point in the book, but I still really liked this quote. Super relevant to today.

“The crux of the problem is that there exists a basic flaw in the human race and that is man’s inevitable drive toward self-extinction. Instead of war, he has replaced war with things as deadly. He intends to destroy himself by contaminating the air he breathes, by burning and rioting and pillaging, by making a shambles of the institutions and rules of sanity, by mindless extermination of breeds of animals and the gifts of the soul and the sea, by poisoning himself into a slow lethargic death through drugs and dope.”

Rating: 6/10

Book Review: Exodus (Uris)

Have I read this before: I…think so? Maybe? Perhaps this is a book that I started but didn’t get very far into, because I remember like the first twenty pages but nothing beyond that (and there’s a lot beyond that). So let’s say…no.

Review: Oof. This book. This is basically “let’s tell the long history of suffering of the Jewish people through a handful of characters.” It’s super heavy and very disturbing at parts. I think that it’s definitely something people should read, especially people who aren’t very familiar with all the stuff Jewish people have had to go through throughout history (not just right before/during/right after WWII). Apparently Leon Uris wrote this with the goal to tell the story of Israel, but a lot of praise for the book acknowledges it as propaganda for the existence of Israel as an independent state. And beyond that, I don’t even really know what I can say about this book. It’s long, it’s dense, it’s disturbing, and it will stick in your memory for a long time. Read it.

Favorite part: there’s basically zero humor in this book due to the subject manner, but I did like the bit of humor at the end when the Jews from Yemen were being brought to Israel via plane. They had never seen a plane before and there’s a few pages of lighthearted chaos describing how they are acting while on the plane (lighting fires to celebrate, opening windows, etc.). It’s a bit of levity that really feels earned once you get to that point in the book; it’s like finally there’s some end to some of the suffering.

There’s also this line: Anti-Semitism was synonymous with the history of man, Johann Clement reasoned. It was a part of living – almost a scientific truth. Only the degree and the content varied.

Rating: 7/10

Waiter! There’s a hippocampus in my zoo!

Leon Uris’ QB VII.
Read it. Seriously. You:
1) won’t be able to put it down, and
2) will change your mind about the main characters like 20 times.
That is all.