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Paperback The Book of Lights Book

ISBN: 0449001148

ISBN13: 9780449001141

The Book of Lights

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Gershon Loran, a quiet rabinical student, is troubled by the dark reality around him. He sees hope in the study of Kabbalah, the Jewish bok of mysticism and visions, truth and light. But to Gershon's friend, Arthur, light means something else, the Atom bomb, his father helped create. Both men seek different a refuge in a foreign place, hoping for the same thing.... From the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An ideal fiction

This book includes incredible amount of life stories, history, mystic, geography, philosophy and psychology in such compact intensity, that you can really compare it with an atomic bomb. Entertaining and educational. Definitely recommended

Memorable Journey

The Book of Lights is not as well known as Potok's The Chosen but was much more memorable for me. What struck me most was the convergence of faith, especially the protagonist's developing Judaism and his driver's steadfast Mormonism. The moments of mysticism truly gave me chill bumps. It is less plot driven than The Chosen and will probably never become a movie, thank goodness, but ultimately has more to offer.

Painful luminescence

The Book of Lights is one of those books that either captivates you, or bores you to death. I used to think that Chaim Potok must have written this book just for me, because I was the only person who read it. Or so it seemed. Gershon Loran reminded me of myself in seminary, a lackluster student with a spark for odd and heretical or mystical literature. Bored by normative religion, he seeks answers for the pain and suffering in his life in Kabbalagh, or Jewish mysticism. The reader sees the transformation of his soul into what his mentor, Dr. Keter, calls the next generation of Jewish mysticism: the Light of past wisdom and insight refracted through an American lense. Gershon is a mystic, and yet he doesn't seem to fully realize his potential, because it doesn't seem odd to him when G_d himself descends into his room, or he contemplates storming the throneroom of the Almighty.

Beautifully written, captivating story

Dr. Potok's books are all beautiful and moving. This one is my favorite. I have read and re-read The Book of Lights too many times to count, and with each reading it moves me more. It is a rich tapestry of characters, woven with darkness and light. I highly recommend it to avid readers who seek out deeply developed stories and characters.

Potok's brilliant evocation of darkness and light

Chaim Potok is one terrific storyteller. He tells big stories,of peoples,microcosemed in the stories of familes,mostly boys and men{though in Davita's harp, he steps outside,with interesting results}Th Book of lights is essentially the story of two friends, Gershon and Arthur.Gershon,alone attempts to understand the darkness swallowing the earth by studying kabbalah, the book of Jewish Mysticism. His friend is haunted by dreams of light, the brightest light men have yet discovered. Gershon becomes a chaplain in Korea,and contineus his journey. Arthur is haunted by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and especially Nagasaki.The title of the book is of course bouble edged, the book of lights and the balst of atomic weapons. There is little sermonising here. mr. Potok, as aleways, has kept to his storytelling genius. The debates among the rabbis at the Jewish Theological Seminary about the role of Kabbalh are very inereesting, and Loran's mystical encounter on a Brooklyn rooftop are moments of sheer poetry. This is a big book, rich, filled with ideas. In many ways, it is Mr Potoks most ambitious work of fiction. And very, very rewarding.
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