Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed best-seller Exodus for an epic story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler tries to save his people from destruction but cannot save them from themselves. When violence spreads like a plague across the lands of Palestine - this is the time of The Haj.
©1984 Leon Uris (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
What an extraordinary work of historical fiction and what brilliant narration!
Extreme reaction was of being completely engrossed!
Palestine made clear.
Exodus, same author, more expanded subject
A sense of the place and time is elicited by his accent.
I read this book many years ago, I love it in the audio because I'm able to share it with my husband who otherwise couldn't read it. He also loves this book.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
This was a book that confirmed my impressions about blind hatred and how much damage it can do. I found it so sad that the family who were the "protagonists" of the story, that of Haj Ibrahim, were all victims of the hatred that they espoused and continued. One by one, the children died due to savagery on the part of their own people, not the Israelis. There were a number of references in the book to the fact that the Arabs really had very little problem with the "Jews" but had a lot of problems with their own people. The notion that one was raised from infancy to hate a people for no reason blew me away, though I have known for some time that this happens. It is like a family feud that is fuelled by nothing but a history of the feud itself. Many of the Arabs refused to take supplies offered by the Jews so as not to give them the impression that they needed them in order to survive. And yet, the Arabs in this story fed on hatred and it ultimately consumed them in both a spiritual and physical sense. There were very disturbing parts of this book but I feel it was probably fairly accurate. I am sure that there are people who would think that this book was biased. I do not think so. The Haj was a very good book and a sad story of a family self-destructing.
Uris takes 21 hours to make a very good case that the world is better off when the power to control the course of events is not in the hands of superstitious fanatics and to explain the complexities at play in the middle east and similar regions - but I can get that message validated from listening to a minute of news on the BBC any morning. The characters are too stereotypical to care about and the stereotyped accents of the narrator come close to mockery. I would recommend this book as a way for high school students to learn the region's history, current events, and civics in a manner more interesting than reading a text book but it was not an entertaining way to spend 21 hours.
The story line starts off very compelling but the ending fizzles out worse than a faulty firecracker! Definitely NOT Uris quality!
The ending was weak, predictable and very poorly done!
remarkable ability to go back and forth with all the different accents!
The last 2/3 of the story should be cut out!
One more reader
this book was recommended to me years ago, but was to large a task to attempt. Fortunately, Audible made it possible and it was worth every one of the 21+ hours. The narration was spot on and the story is one that everyone should read if you hope to have any understanding of the history and reasons behind the problems in the Middle East. the insight into the thinking of the Arab mind is spot on, and the tale is current even though it was written decades ago.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
This is historical fiction. Like other books I have read written by this author ("Exodus" and "Trinity"), "The Haj" educates the reader about real world events through the eyes of fictional characters who lived through those events.
This book's two primary characters are an Arab father and son, living in Palestine when the state of Israel is born. (The story begins at the close of WWII.) Uris's portraits of these two men are exquisite; I would recognize them if I met them!
Additionally, Uris tells the story in a way that manipulates my sympathies for the warring factions MUCH more than I expected, and in a way that brings me joy and heartbreak as the story unfolds.
Without spoiling anything, I will add that this is not a happy story. How could it be? The hatred and violence continue today.
I highly recommend this book. The narrator is fabulous!
This book might be able to be excused if it was written in the 1950's, but it wasn't. The Arabs in this are portrayed in a way that would be unacceptable for any other group (for example, Jews or African Americans). Leon Uris is a good writer, but that makes the racist piece even worse. I can't even call this historical fiction since it is so biased against Arabs that it's hard to imagine whatever else he wrote about being true. Neil Shah did an excellent job narrating this book.
Tell us about yourself!
Saw the movie Exodus years back and thought it would be good to read Uris's perspective from the Palestinian view.
Compelling read - but violent and didn't finish the book as a result
The Arab-Israeli conflict is a complex problem with both sides contributing to the struggle for each group to be autonomous. Had Uris acknowledged the equal culpability of the Jewish settlers in escalating tensions, the book may have been tolerable.
His one-sided picture of a complex subject has done so much harm as he justifies the excesses of the Israelis in destroying a rich and ancient culture.
As I listened to this grossly exaggerated and inflammatory piece of garbage, I became more and more incensed by the author's willingness to blame the Palestinians for their homelessness and degradation.
Uris presnted This blatant piece of anti-Arab propagand in a blurred fact/fiction format that blames the displaced Arabs for their forced homelessness. His specious arguments come across as grossly biased, untrustworthy, drenched in bigotry. Gratuitous scenes of Arab sex-and-violence are inserted to remind the reader that this is a "savage, uncivilized people, hell-bent on revenge for having their lands and livlihoods forcibly stripped from them. Generalizations about the Arab "nature" abound. Similar remarks about blacks or Jews would probably be considered unpublishable and inflammatory.
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