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Paperback I Am the Clay Book

ISBN: 0449001121

ISBN13: 9780449001127

I Am the Clay

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Book Overview

"Potok writes powerfully about the suffering of innocent people caught in the cross-fire of a war they cannot begin to understand....Humanity and compassion for his characters leap from every page." SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE As the Chinese and the army of the North sweep south during the Korean War, an old peasant farmer and his wife flee their village across the bleak, bombed-out landscape. They soon come upon a boy in a ditch who is wounded and unconscious...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I recently revisted this book, it still staggers me

I read this book when I was 13, I couldn't quite recall the plot but I there were certain images from the book that popped into my head. The main characters are known as old man and old woman and the boy. The Chinese Army has begun its sweep South and the villagers of a Korean Village during the Korean War have become refugees. The Old Man and The Old Woman, immediately upon leaving the village find a young boy. The old woman refuses to leave the boy, she thinks of the child she lost, the old man begins to resent the boy and think that the woman is crazy. They risk their lives to save the boy, they suffer to save the boy. And when the boy does not die he returns as many kindnesses as he can upon these people who protected him and did not give up on him. I think what moves me most is the desire to reconnect to one's humanity when the world feels as if it is spinning dangerously out of control. The are lead by their compassion and it is a remarkably moving story. If you were to use this book with young adult readers there could be a number of topics to discuss. The tension between the man and the boy. Why do you think they do not have names. The complexity of the Old Woman. The hard side of the old man. The sacrifices made. The reason for the title. And discuss the things unsaid at the end of this powerful book.

Potok is the potter

Wow. I just finished this book. I've read many of Chaim Potok books and have enjoyed each one so much that I keep picking up another one. He is such a great storyteller. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about this one. Most of his books center on Judaism and this one seemed so different than his other writings. I wondered how he would manage a different culture. However, what I have learned is that certain themes are universal to humanity. Heroism in the face of extreme conditions is a theme that certainly holds true in the Judaic experience and in this book on the Korean War experience. Heroism to me is the ability to remain human and loving even under the most stressful and dire of conditions. The heroism of the characters in this book is so moving and heart warming. It is classic Potok. He leaves you thinking about the characters and their future long after reading his books.

review of Chaim Potok's "I am the Clay"

When I first started reading this book, I assumed that it would be boring, and redunant, and hard to understand. That all changed after I got into the book, and I found myself attached to the young eleven year old boy, who is orphaned by war. "I am the Clay" is an intimate and touching novel about the cruelties of the Korean war, and how it affected the little people, the citizens of Korea. I think that it should be read by all people to better understand a different point of view on the wars. I trust I will never forget the images of survival and suffering put into my head, and am confident that I have gained a better knowledge of war.

A good story

I Am The Clay by Chaim Potok is a striking story of war and love. It is a story of people who get lost in a war, who feel alienated from one another, and who after suffering together, finally find a true love. The story is remarkable in its vivid beautiful images, incredible in its surprise twist, and powerful in its ending. It creates an intense heat of the war, the bleak cold of suffering, and a moving feeling of love. If you are a true lover of ramance, you should venture in the war zone, find your compassion and treasure it for your meaningful life.

A beautiful love story

I am the Clay is superb reading. From the beginning I did not want to put the book down and felt sorry when I had to say goodbye to the people at the end. Potok departs from his previous stories of families with Jewish backgrounds to tell the story of a family of Korean refugees during the war. In spite of the horror of their sufferings, the story instead of being depressing, is constantly filled with hope and love. Although in some ways each day in the lives of the old couple and the boy they rescue is the same as the one before it, each day you also get deeper into understanding them and thus the story progresses rapidly. The language and writing style are simple to match the simple lives and minds of these peasants, while the psychology is complex. We recognize and resonate with the complexity of love - the surpise as loved ones seem to change before our eyes, the impatience with things we don't agree with, the need for one another, and the deep love that can exist between two individuals who share a long life together.
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