Unto Death: Two Novellas -- Crusade and Late Love

by Amos Oz

Other authorsAmos Oz
Book, 1975



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New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, [1975]


"Brilliant and insistent . . . The prose is sharp as a cameo, simple yet compelling, smoky, precise, lustrous, eerie." -- Boston Sunday Globe Here Amos Oz captures the atmosphere of hatred in which Jews have lived, died, and struggled for understanding. In Crusade, a band of soldiers journeys toward the Holy Land, killing any Jews they encounter; but soon the Crusaders face their own reckoning, as disease and deprivation take their toll. Late Love portrays an aged lecturer in modern Israel with paranoid visions of the destruction of his people at the hands of the Soviets. He is out of touch with a younger and saner generation, but knows they must be warned. "Powerfully written, with subtlety and flagrance delicately balanced." -- Austin American-Statesman… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ijon
Embarrassingly, I had never read any of Amos Oz's books until now. The other day, I randomly grabbed a re-issued pocket edition of a 1969 novella by Oz, called Unto Death: Chronicle of a Crusade (עד מוות) to take with me, as I was anticipating waiting in some line that day. I have finished it
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(it is a mere 70 small pages) last night, and I am quite impressed. Oz's reputation is not unjustified; he crafts words quite beautifully, and his style is good.

It tells of a despondent French nobleman who decides the only thing to do is to go on a crusade to Jerusalem. He sets out with some fellow knights, slaves, and retainers, with neither map nor guidance. The novella depicts their journey across Europe, pillaging, raping, and murdering peasants and Jews along the way, while nightly praying for salvation, and growing increasingly frightened of a curse that they feel is upon them. Oz weaves an effective and engaging interplay of piety and depravity.

I think it affords several allegorical readings, but I haven't had time to formulate an interesting one yet. Do read it, it's excellent. It's been translated into quite a few languages, so those of you who can't read Hebrew are robbed of that excuse, at least.
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LibraryThing member suesbooks
I liked the writing in this book more than the content. The two stories were interesting, but did not possess the power of other Oz works.

Original publication date



0156931702 / 9780156931700
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