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1.0 out of 5 starsI did not like it
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
Adding modern dialogue for Old Testament figures seems totally inappropriate. I realize it is a fictional attempt, but I think it misses the mark badly. I waded through this, and tried to be open minded about it, but as a long-time Christian, I felt offended by this attempt.
Why do authors feel it necessary to put the F-word in their writing? Do they honestly think it adds to the story in some way. While they probably did use vulgar words in biblical times, it was unexpected and unnecessary to the story. It's doubtful I will read the rest of the series.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Very Different Look at King David
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2014
Uvi Posnznsky's "Rise To Power" follows in the style of previous stories (her tale of Job's wife in "Twisted" and her retelling of the story of Jacob and Esau in "A Favorite Son"), taking a well-known Biblical tale and examining it through a modern lens. And like those previous stories, she has created a compelling book that can't be put down.
"Rise to Power" chronicles exactly that: David's rise from obscurity to the throne of Israel. All the elements of the Biblical story are here, and the beautiful psalms and songs of David, but the author gives us a look behind them to the human beings who lived and struggled to create them. It's a fascinating approach, and it makes a distant age more accessible to modern readers.
Like her other works, the use of language in "Rise to Power" is simply beautiful - the author's artistic training shows through in the way she carefully uses words to paint images and draw forth emotion. It's simply a pleasure to read Uvi Poznansky's prose.
I'd highly recommend this book, and I'm looking forward to the next book - "A Peek at Bathsheba".
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2017
I forced myself to read through the death of Goliath but the pain was too great to go on. I'm retired and read a lot of historical fiction. This book is terrible. It had many historical errors and the writing style was horrific. The author says she is an artist who paints with a pen, if so, Rembrandt painted with a.broom! This is my first review on Amazon. I have read some horrible historical fiction but this is the first review. The author severed David's relationship with God and made it an afterthought produced by historians and chroniclers. Do not waste your money on crap like this!
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2020
Every author has the right to portray historical characters as they see them, so the personality of the David of this book doesn't bother me. My problem is that I didn't feel David's passion that was reflected so profoundly in the psalms he wrote. His words and actions seemed to be in conflict of each other, and all the "rationalizing" in the book didn't convince me. Perhaps because he was such a larger-than-life personality I expected more from the book. I think it might appeal to those who are unfamiliar with David's story.
A second point that bothered me and drew me out of the story was the use of modern phrases such as "Plan B." I like the fact that it's written in a way that makes the dialog easy to understand, but the use of phrases that would have no context for that time period was jarring. Plus a few grammatical errors that I wouldn't have expected from a "best-selling author."
5.0 out of 5 starshistory as a base with a modern flair PLEASE read this
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2014
Uvi Poznansky gets five big stars from me. I will do my best to explain and try to do justice to this marvelous book. You know David, the Biblical King David? Well if you dont you have to read this. Uvi's book reads like a piece of art. I think it is like taking the history that was written about David and creating a story resembling "A Real Hollywood Story" or "This is Your Life"
David explains his life and the creation of the legend that is David. So there are reveals, confessions and decisions leading to David himself just trying to survive.
Most people dont know David as young person formulating a plot and creating his ambitious life. David was not only a poet and writer but he was a musician.
, this time for her marvelous portrayal of the Biblical King David. Her David, although fictional, is not the perfect figure sculpted by Michelangelo. Nor is he strictly the David of the Bible. With his human failings, the David she has created is a bit of a departure from the legend.
I would say the book is also a modern tale. The way it is written in terminology that doesnt need a dictionary or interpreter. The author also adds to the story how women just adored David. He was pursued by many. In this time, David, had many wives as was the lifestyle.
As far as David’s alleged affairs, I was wondering how he kept up. He had twenty children with as many as weight wives. Shocking to me, by the way.
If you love history as a base with a modern flair PLEASE read this. I found it an excellent impression of all the is David. I’m really looking forward to the sequel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2015
I started reading this book a week or so before I went away on holiday, and after just a few pages I decided to put it aside and wait to read it while away. It is that good.
We all know the story of David, the musician who became a hero by killing Goliath, but to view that event unroll through his own eyes is nothing short of magical. This was a book that I never wanted to end.
David had been promised King Saul’s daughter, Merav, if he killed Goliath. Merav is 'lovely and bubbly with a bust that points to the stars,’ but instead of Merav, Saul takes the opportunity to offload his other daughter, Michal, whose chest is as flat as a board. “Who on earth would want a flat-chested, grumpy Jewish princess like her?” asks David, but it’s Michal he ends up with.
Unsurprisingly, David’s imagination still conjures up visions of Merav, but her cleavage is even more revealing and her bust even riper, and so to compensate for having the flat-chested daughter dumped on him David starts sleeping around. And who can blame him?
The story finishes off with the tale of Bathsheba, who by all accounts was well fit. For those who aren’t familiar with her tale, David spotted her bathing on the roof of her apartment, flashing a bit of this and that, and …. well, I’m sure you get my drift. David’s over there in a New York heartbeat, and before you know it Bathsheba’s pregnant.
Well now, David’s in a bit of a tiz-woz because she’s actually married to one of his soldiers, Uriah the Hittite, so he’s obviously got to get rid of him. He sends him off to war with instructions to his generals that when the action hots up they’re all to leg it on out of there and leave old Uriah stranded, which they do. Uriah was a bit of a numbskull and when he was told to hold the fort on his own while they all pegged it to safety, he’s up for it.
Not for long, of course, because before you know it they’re all on him, “Uriah, ye dobber, tak' 'at ye twat, an' 'at, ye Sasanach heathen. Kick his heed in! Chop ay his heed!” and it doesn’t take long before it’s the end of old Uriah.
David gets beautiful Bathsheba, who gives birth to Solomon, of all prophets.
I’ve always loved the tale of Bathsheba but trust me when I tell you that Uvi Poznansky is a master storyteller and writes her narrative much more eloquently than I ever could.
All in all, this book (the first of three I believe) offers a unique insight into the early years of King David, and I absolutely loved it!
King David was some guy. And Uvi Poznansky is some writer. Put their attributes together and you have a mindwhirling novel called Rise to Power. Before I read this book I knew a fair amount about David of Old Testament fame. I knew for example that he had a few warts here and there - though not nearly as many as Poznansky came up with in the course of her boldly creative research.
There's much much more to David than his ascent from court jester to king of the Israelites. He was driven by ambitions that consumed him and left certain eminent and not so eminent corpses in his wake. To put it fairly mildly the giantslayer stopped at very little in getting what he wanted, and this included richly rewarding sex and the throne that God Himself had blessed. To tell you the truth I felt a little morally confused now and then. "How could ...." I would occasionally ask myself. But then God always did move in mysterious ways.
I sometimes had the impression as I read this gem of a novel that Ms Poznansky was sitting chatting to me. Such is the wealth of her conversational style that I wanted to come closer so as not to miss anything. And it is all told in language that is not so much colorful as kaleidoscopic. The Bible was never like this when I used to read it. And more than that, it's the only book in that sometimes unholy collection that was written by a woman. Hallelujah!
4.0 out of 5 starsAlmost as lyrical as one of David's Psalms!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2016
There is a musical quality about this book. The words flow smoothly, and David is brought back to life in this interesting take on his life.
The story is based very loosely on the 'Biblical" life of David. Poznansky portrays David as a showman more than a man touched by God, and in fact, she suggests that the whole 'God talking to David', was something David made up to increase his popularity and his claim to the throne. Umm?! The modern terminology of this book did throw me initially, and it is not the most historically accurate of stories — a little more time researching the era would have been appreciated by this reader! But the tale is an old one, and this is a modern twist that was actually very enjoyable.
Told in the first person in the form of a memoir, Rise To Power is a compelling read. Initially, with the modern terminology, I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, but I persevered, and I am glad I did because for what it is, it is a wonderful story and I look forward to reading the sequel.
Uvi Poznansky's "Rise to Power" waxes Shakespearean: "What a rogue and peasant slave..." is Saul and yet bursts out with an intriguing "I Claudius" tone at times as well.. The best of both worlds. Kingly pomp, drenched in battle blood, and stark raving, inbred madness all painted together in a picture of David as a modern man. Why did I choose At Odds with Destiny? Well, I love to get my history indirectly in fictional form and the 12 tribes of Israel have intrigued me since spending almost a year in Israel in my late 20's. I know. I know, that was 35 years ago. Life, work, raising two wonderful children didn't leave time to peruse history for interesting topics. Now I am retired and can take my curiosity wherever it wanders. Now back to "Rise to Power". The story opens up with a Hamlet-like Saul suffering and lamenting, among other things, that he doomed his rise to power by showing mercy to a captured king. Almost like another of Shakespeare's characters, Lady Macbeth, he can't wash out the stain of this ill-fated decision. Enter the 'fool', a wise peasant in the person of David the musician trying his luck as a court musician. Saul tries to dissuade the young man and sends him packing but he's persistent. So the story of the foundations of the House of David begins. No more spoilers here. Highly recommended. Five stars.