Blooms of Darkness

Blooms of Darkness A new novel from the award winning internationally acclaimed Israeli writer One of the greatest writers of the age The Guardian a haunting heartbreaking story of love and loss The ghetto in which

  • Title: Blooms of Darkness
  • Author: Aharon Appelfeld Jeffrey M. Green
  • ISBN: 9780805242805
  • Page: 159
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A new novel from the award winning, internationally acclaimed Israeli writer One of the greatest writers of the age The Guardian , a haunting, heartbreaking story of love and loss.The ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and eleven year old Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where one of the prostitutes has agreA new novel from the award winning, internationally acclaimed Israeli writer One of the greatest writers of the age The Guardian , a haunting, heartbreaking story of love and loss.The ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and eleven year old Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where one of the prostitutes has agreed to hide him Mariana is a bitterly unhappy woman who hates what she has done to her life, and night after night Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages at the Nazi soldiers who come and go When she s not mired in self loathing, Mariana is fiercely protective of the bewildered, painfully polite young boy And Hugo becomes protective of Mariana, too, trying to make her laugh when she is depressed, soothing her physical and mental agony with cold compresses As the memories of his family and friends grow dim, Hugo falls in love with Mariana And as her life spirals downward, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the adoring boy who is on the cusp of manhood.The arrival of the Russian army sends the prostitutes fleeing But Mariana is too well known, and she is arrested as a Nazi collaborator for having slept with the Germans As the novel moves toward its heartrending conclusion, Aharon Appelfeld once again crafts out of the depths of unfathomable tragedy a renewal of life and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human Winner of the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

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      Published :2019-02-20T03:00:39+00:00

    1 thought on “Blooms of Darkness”

    1. A brilliant poignant and thoughtful novel about the Holocaust by talented Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld.When the Nazis invade the Soviet Union they unleash their Einsatzgruppen on the Jewish population living in these territories and cruelly anihilate millions of Jews.Hugo Mansfeld lives in a Ukrainian town, a Jewish child of eleven, part of unobservant Jewish family. who owns a pharmacy.Hugo's parents own a pharmacy in the town and are greatly compassionate people, giving the poor free medici [...]

    2. It will come as no surprise to scholars of contemporary Hebrew literature Aharon Appelfeld's latest novel and his first to be translated into English, Blooms of Darkness (pub. Alma Books) which has been longlisted for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, concerns the Holocaust.Appelfeld, 78, has written more than forty works of fiction, broadly on a similar theme. He makes no apologies for this. Appelfeld himself escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in 1941, and hid out in a forest w [...]

    3. Aharon Appelfeld's Blooms of Darkness, Waiting for the tick of the clockAharon Appelfeld born February 16, 1932, was transported at the age of eight to a concentration camp along with his father. His mother was murdered by members of the Romanian army when their village was raided. Appelfeld's hometown became a part of the Ukraine following the end of WWII.After three years of captivity, Appelfeld escaped the camp and joined the Soviet Army, serving as a cook. Following a year in a camp for disp [...]

    4. It is not unusual to compare a Holocaust-themed book with other excellent fictional works from that time period. So it was interesting that the one book that sprung to mind after closing the pages of completing Blooms of Darkness was Cervantes’ Don Quixote. The parallels between the two abound. Don Quixote—in the traditions of knights-errant of old – finds a love whom he names Dulcinea…or “sweetness.” She is not rich or famous or beautiful or well-born, but to him, she is his queen a [...]

    5. Ratings (1 to 5)Writing: 3.5Plot: 4Characters: 4Emotional impact: 4Overall rating: 4NotesFavorite character(s): Mariana was a great character; so very broken but complex enough not to become a cliche.Other notes: There were aspects of this story I was uncomfortable with but overall I enjoyed it.

    6. Po knížce o Moskevských procesech jsem si řekl, že si dám něco lehčího a tak jsem se vrhl na druhou světovou, přesněji na knížku z literárního subžánru Guess who is in da closet.Jedenáctiletý žid Hugo žije s rodičema lékárníkama kdesi u Karpat. Když začne válka a Ukrajinci začnou místo živijó živijó zpívat židijó židijó, rodiče ho dají k rodinné přítelkyni Marianě. Mariana je prostitutka a taky trochu džambulka, takže bez konaku nedá ani ránu. Hu [...]

    7. I cannot comment on this book without comparing it to another which I recently read,Clara's War . Both deal with the Holocaust and each relates the unbelievable experience of spending the war in hiding. Each is the tale of a wasted childhood. Clara's story, a non-fiction, is derived from diaries which she compiled while in concealment with her family and others. Hugo, in Blooms of Darkness: A Novelmakes some half-hearted attempts to also do so, but never quite achieves his goal.Hugo, the son of [...]

    8. Aharon Appelfeld is the author of more than forty books and has received numerous awards, but I had never heard of him until this novel, Blooms of Darkness, was nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It’s a sombre work, because it deals with the Holocaust, but it’s beautiful all the same, because although Ukraine has never yet conducted any investigation into its known Nazi collaborators, Appelfeld’s story holds no bitterness or blame. He has chosen instead to focus his story [...]

    9. Reading about the holocaust always leaves me saddened by the brutality and hatred that was directed toward the Jews. There were some kind souls that risked their lives to hide Jews. This book tells the story of a damaged women doing her best to protect a Jewish boy, in unconventional circumstances.

    10. Protagonista asoluto di questo romanzo è Hugo, ragazzino ebreo di undici anni. Siamo nel periodo delle deportazioni degli ebrei e Hugo è ebreo. Ha imparato a non fare domande, sa che deve nascondersi, ha visto amici e parenti, tra cui il padre, venir catturati dai nazisti e portati via, chissà dove. Per salvarlo la madre lo affida a Mariana, una prostituta di straordinaria bellezza, che lo nasconde all'interno di uno sgabuzzino da cui Hugo non uscirà per un anno e mezzo e da cui sente e vede [...]

    11. Květy temnoty pro mě nebyly čtivé. Z celé knihy na mě tekly vodopády snahy o vyumělkované popsání jednoho mladého života, ale po tom co všechno jsem v tomto směru přečetla, mi ten příběh připadal pustý, prázdný a nečitelný. Chápu, že autor pochází z oblasti, kde život nebyl jednoduchý, a snažil se nám nastínit jeden z příběhů, které se tam možná, s přimhouřením oka, mohly odehrávat. Nicméně jazyk knihy, a nemyslím si, že by za to mohl překlad, m [...]

    12. I feel terrible saying this but this book was like reading something written by a perverted teenager. It had potential to be good; a young boy being hidden by a prostitute. It sounds intriguing but it was just so odd. I felt like the same 10 sentences were recycled for each chapter. They all spoke like robots. Spoiler* not sure how Mariana caring for Hugo meant she should corrupt him and have sex with him. I hope something was lost in translation.

    13. ugh. so disappointing. there's a good story in there, but the way it's written is so annoying! i wonder how much was lost in the translation - the fact that the whole book is in short, choppy sentences is unbearable! and that one of the main characters constantly refers to herself in the third person - aaarrrggghhhh!!!

    14. What a powerful and poignant story Appelfeld wrote! As is the case with his other books his prose is blunt and sparse. But he still manages to portray people, places, and events in an extremely evocative and effective way. Appelfeld demonstrates incredible insight and empathy in his development of the two main characters of this story: 11 year old Hugo and Mariana, the prostitute who was asked by Hugo's mother to hide and protect him from the Nazi's. Hugo struggles to find his way while still re [...]

    15. Escrita en 2006. Un niño judío de once años oculto en un prostíbulo de una ciudad de Ucrania durante la SGM. Sexo y religión son los motores de esta novela y de cómo ambos fallan. Tanto la religión como el sexo suponen una especie de alineamiento que marca indefectiblemente, y de forma trágica, el destino de las personas. Inteligentemente Appelfeld escribe una especie de anti-"diario de Anna Frank" y también tiene en cuenta la anterior narrativa sobre esa época, que él también ha fre [...]

    16. I hate to say anything negative about a book about the Holocaust - it was an absolutely horrible time in the history of the world and it is always a difficult and uncomfortable subject to read about.I have read many books about the Holocaust - this one tells the story from a young jewish boy's perspective. It is based on the author's real life experiences. He spent time in a concentration camp and then lived with a prostitute. Although I found the text rather boring and repetitive, maybe that wa [...]

    17. Escaping the ghetto 11-year-old Hugo is left by his mother in the local brothel, where Mariana, one of the prostitutes, has agreed to hide him. Mariana is a bitterly unhappy woman who hates what she has done to her life, and night after night Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages at the Nazi soldiers who come and go. Quickly the two become fiercely protective of each other and, as her life spirals downwards, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the adoring boy who [...]

    18. If I were to sum this book up, I'd call it something of a reverse-Lolita, set during the Holocaust. That isn't exactly the most accurate way to describe the book, but it gets at what I felt were the most central aspects of the book: a young boy Jewish (Hugo) on the cusp of puberty is sent by his mother to hide out in the closet of a prostitute (Marianna) with bipolar disorder and a drinking problem. He endures the war and his forced solidarity while simultaneously remaining stunted and maturing: [...]

    19. This novel traces the life of Hugo, an 11-year-old Jewish boy from an unnamed city in Ukraine near what is now Slovakia, under German occupation 1943-45. He and his mother escape from the city through the sewer system one night, evading German soldiers searching house to house looking for Jews to deport to concentration camps. He is hidden in a closet with his mother's longtime friend Mariana, who, we learn, is a prostitute working in a bordello. There is the constant danger of discovery. The Ge [...]

    20. En un gueto ucraniano, Hugo, un niño de once años, es salvado del exterminio nazi cuando su madre lo envía al cuidado de Mariana, una prostituta que lo oculta en la casa de citas donde trabaja. Hugo no sabe bien qué es lo que sucede en esas calles en las que antes viviera y a las que ya no tiene acceso, pero las conversaciones que Mariana mantiene con los soldados con los que ejerce su oficio le irán ilustrando las persecuciones, deportaciones y matanzas de su pueblo. Y entre su soledad y s [...]

    21. I've said it before and I will say it again: I am not reading one more book on the Holocaust!! How do these books keep creeping back into my book list? And, yes, okay, I did like it. The story is about a Jewish boy on the cusp of adolescence who is taken by his well-educated professional mother to be hidden by an old school friend of hers who is a prostitute living in a brothel. The boy has to live in the woman's closet at night while she entertains German soldiers in her bedroom. When they leav [...]

    22. First of all, this author is the cutest person I have EVER seen. He's the sweetest little old man that I just want to squeeze! Ok, now that's over. I picked this book up b/c I read some article saying how so many great books are written in other languages that us mono-lingual Americans never get to read, so I thought I would put more effort into reading translated works. This actually won some best translated book award - and its from Israel! So that's neat. So yes, another Holocaust book but ma [...]

    23. This is Holocaust fiction, but not as I've known it. It's a coming-of-age novel that happens to take place during the Holocaust; 12 year old Hugo isn't all too aware of what's happening and where his family and friends have disappeared to. He seems overly innocent, even though he lives in a brothel and is seduced by a prostitute. He doesn't indicate to what extent he knows what she does and what the noises he can hear at night indicate, and he doesn't express all of his feelings towards his sedu [...]

    24. 11 year old Hugo's mother gives him to her high school friend to hide him. Mariana is a whore servicing Nazi soldiers who constantly jeopardizes her job by drunkenly refusing to do some of the demands of her customers. But she loves her "puppy", Hugo, whom she hides in her closet. This novel takes place in the Ukraine and is told in a very matter-of-fact way, probably due to the translation. When the Russians took over from the Germans, I was surprised that there was a small crowd of others who [...]

    25. Blooms of Darkness, by Aharon Appelfeld is a compelling and haunting novel that takes place during the Holocaust. The protagonist is an eleven-year old Jewish boy named Hugo. The ghetto he and his family live in is being evacuated by transports, on a a daily basis. His father has been sent away.Blooms of Darkness is more than a dark story line, and it is haunting in its intensity due to the masterful writing of Appelfeld. It is a stark coming of age story, and one of sexual awakening. Appelfeld [...]

    26. "Whores and Jews are always persecuted. There's nothing to be done."In this powerfully emotional novel set in Germany during World War II, Hugo, an eleven year-old Jewish boy, is forced to hide for nearly two years in a closet in a brothel. Distracted only by memories of his good and loving mother and the complicated and twisted emotions of Mariana, the beautiful prostitute charged with his protection, Hugo is forced to find his true self as he comes of age during the most difficult of circumsta [...]

    27. This Israeli novel set in WW2 Ukraine is the story of young Hugo, whose mother leaves him with her childhood friend as the Nazis round up the Jew in the ghetto. The friend, now a prostitute, protects Hugo as she plies her occupation with the German soldiers. Their relationship is well developed and unusual. As the war ends, they flee the brothel, but are still not safe since Mariana is viewed as a collaborator. Even though I was gripped by the story and the characters, the novel felt a bit plodd [...]

    28. In spite of some reservations I have as to the reality of certain descriptions and situations, which at times I felt were flat and made it difficult to fully immersed and believe in the story being told, I was finally won over. It is a unique, well "love story" between a mature Ukrainian prostitute and the Jewish boy she was intrusted in hiding during the Holocaust, at times touching, at times hard to believe. At the end, though, I couldn't but get emotionally involved in this tale of lost child [...]

    29. There should be something between 3 and 4 starsThere was much I liked about this book; a simple, straightforward description of how people adapt to dreadful circumstances. My only criticism was that sometimes the boy's dreams seemed set up to comment on what he was going through, but they hardly seemed like something he would be imagining. A minor problem in a powerfully grim story of the Holocausty we never grow used to these tales.

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