©1995 Chaim Potok; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"Anyone who finds it is finding a jewel. Its themes are profound and universal." (The Wall Street Journal)
Narrative makes the world go round.
This listen managed to combine my two favorite types of lit - realistic depiction of another period (especially its social history) and reflection on faith in a troubled world.
I listened to this shortly after the more contemporary "Foreskin's Lament" and "Disobedience" -- and although I enjoyed those two (each in their own way)-- oh, how I wish I had listened to this first!
In addition to a beautiful "coming of age" portrait of two young Americans in the WWII/post war era, what a compassionate depiction of Jewish faith coming to terms with modernism! As other reviews point out, the novel portrays universal truths while giving outsiders to the Jewish faith a glimpse of its richness and diversity in the story's specifics. There are enough symbolism and imagery to satisfy a reader/listener without the literary complexity that demands much effort to digest.
I thank the reviewer who named Potok's follow-up novel, but since that is not on Audible (yet), I think as a follow-up, I will re-listen to Doctorow's "City of God" and hope for a re-release of "The Promise."
This book provides a fascinating glimpse of Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish culture but is also a griping story about friendship between two boys as they grow to adulthood. And the narrator does a fantastic job, making it fascinating to listen to, more so than reading the book in print. I wish the sequel to this (The Promise) was also available in audio form by the same narrator but unfortunately it is not.
Chaim Potok is an excellent novelist. The book depicts two very different father/son relationships and explores a deep friendship between two young men. It provides an accurate glimpse of Orthodox and Hassidic Jewish life and provides perspective on Judaism in post WWII America.
I first read The Chosen as a teenager. I loved it then. Listening to it now, 40 years later after raising children of my own, it had even more meaning to me. Jonathan Davis does a terrific job with the narration. The story of two Jewish boys in NYC at the close of WWII and the birth of the state of Israel is a compelling narrative of friendship, family and culture, with world politics woven in. The passage of time since the book was first published has only served to underscore its importance.
This story follows a delicate friendship of two Jewish lads, David & Ruven, their fathers and their different Jewish faiths (one Hassidic, the other not). There are few characters to keep up with but the last chapter is so moving, about understanding your children, not necessarily liking it, but loving them. I wish I would have read this years ago, perhaps my own angst with my children would not have been so dividing.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
I would listen again because this story was so much about being a real friend. The boys grown up in different backgrounds with similar religion but differing perspectives. I loved their sides and as they grew into men, how they changed and how they stayed the same.
Good friends are rare. They love us for the person we are and this story shows how two boys who have been separated through religious teachings have grown together and grown up.
Compassionate friendship with differences is what this book is about. I loved it!
I have not listened to other performances by Jonathan Davis but his voice is sweet and melodious. I really felt these characters more through his voice.
I really tried to get back as soon as I could because I hated putting my player down! It was a great performance and I really enjoyed it.
Enjoyed this again 40 years after I first read it. I can still see my dog eared paperback in my mind's eye. It was and is still an interesting read from a time, place and culture totally foreign to me. I found I had a lot more empathy for Danny's father this time around
The last scene where Danny's father finally speaks to him.
Both boys and both father's are equally memorable for the contrapuntal roles that they play which illuminates and give dimension to the other character.
This is a modern day classic. A wonderful story, well told, and well narrated, with a great "punch" ending.
I read this when I was young(er) in the 60's. I knew I thoroughly enjoyed it but could not remember why. It was fun going through the story again, discovering the fun parts! There are some parts of the story that drag on and certain situations are, well, I wonder about.
This is a story of two sons with two fathers. Although both are Jewish, their faiths take on very different lifestyles. The fathers, and how they are raising thier sons, are also very different. Reuven and his father are very close. In fact, their relationship seems too perfect. But that is besides the point. Danny and his father have a strained relationship, but it is still a positive one. How thse two boys meet and grow together as friends is a fascinating tale.
The narration is very well done. Davis differentiated between characters seamlessly and distinctly. He was a joy to listen to.
If you have never come across this classic, you will be ever so glad you found it. If this is not a new title, you will be thrilled to rediscover it!! Enjoy.
I have read a number of Chaim Potok's books. It was quite a few years ago when I was travelling the subway to work and enjoyed them very much and learned a great deal about the Jewish customs and culture.
The friendship between the boys and the growing understanding of each other's differences.
The two boy's, of course.
It was made into a movie and Robbie Benson played the main character.
This book is marked as unabridged, but I remember there being many more references to the Jewish culture and explaining the meaning of many of the symbols and why they are still in the culture today. These were missing from this audible book. I still have the hard copy of the book from years ago (I liked it that much I kept it) and will try to go back to the hard copy of the book to see if I can find some of the parts that seemed to have been left out of the audible book. It was those explanations that added so much to the story as whole. Example, I remember explanations of the symbols in Danny's apartment and a great deal of detail at his sister's wedding and explaining not only what was happening, but why and how that symbolizing came into being. It explained why they wear the curls and fringes, not just that they wear them. Those were parts I was interested in and learned about.
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