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Hardcover Bearing the Body Book

ISBN: 0374299722

ISBN13: 9780374299729

Bearing the Body

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Growing up, Daniel seemed like a model son: a student activist blessed with easy charm and a fluid intelligence, who believed that he was heir to a better and brighter future. When that dream faded, he drifted from his family and into a rootless life, marked by wasted possibility. Bearing the Body begins when Daniel's younger brother, Nathan, a medical resident in Boston, learns that Daniel has died in San Francisco. The circumstances are unclear,...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

My Review

I would not have ordered the book unless I knew everything I needed to know before I ordered the book.

A compelling story on a difficult subject.

It took me awhile to get into "Bearing the Body". The main characters initially were so dysfunctional and unsympathetic that I almost gave up, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The story opens just after Sol, a Holocaust survivor tormented by the past, and his younger son Nathan have learned of the death of first-born son Daniel, from whom they have been estranged for several years. They fly out to San Francisco, in an attempt to shed some light on the circumstances surrounding Daniel's death, and to deal with their conflicting emotions of pain, guilt, anger and loss. The story unfolds in a non-linear way, jumping from past to present and character to character, providing insights into the inner turmoil they are dealing with. While the novel does not present any clear-cut answers, it ends on a note of hope that there might yet be a chance for redemption. Havazelet is at his best when fleshing out the characters of Sol and Nathan, particularly in the scenes of Nathan as a medical resident or with his therapist, and the tragicomic description of Sol wandering the streets of San Francisco with Daniel's cremated remains. This book was recently the recipient of the 2008 Oregon Book Awards Ken Kesey Award for fiction.


This is a wonderful book. There has been so much written about the Holocaust that at first you might think, "Not another take on WW II!" The writing flows, the characters are engaging even when Havazelet is brutally honest with his portrayals of their less than stellar lives. I felt I came away with a whole new take on how one survivor was impacted by his horrifying past. I felt the core of this book is understanding, learning to be compassionate and loving through new realizations of others and self.
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