Der Kindheitserfinder: Roman

by David Grossman

Hardcover, 1994




Carl Hanser (1994), Edition: 2, 544 pages


Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman gives us the story of the greatest and most universal tragedy, the loss of the world of childhood. At twelve, Aron Kleinfeld is the ringleader among the boys in his Jerusalem neighborhood, their inspiration in dreaming up games and adventures. But as his friends begin to mature, Aron remains imprisoned for three long years in the body of a child. While Israel inches toward the Six-Day War, and the voices of his friends change and become strange to him, Aron lives in his child body as though in a nightmare. Like a spy in enemy territory, he learns to decipher the internal codes of sexuality and desire, to understand the unyielding bureaucracy of the human body. Hurled between childhood and adulthood, between the pure and the profane, he is like a volcano of emotions and impulses. But, like his hero Houdini, Aron still struggles to escape from the trap of growing up. The Book of Intimate Grammar is about the alchemy of childhood, which transforms loneliness and fear into creation, and about the struggle to emerge an artist. Funny, painful, and passionate, it is a work of enormous intensity and beauty.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member suesbooks
I found this book very difficult, and I did not enjoy reading it as I did other books of grossman's. I was actually bored and did not really care about the characters. this is an adolescent very much pained by his coming of age. I will read it again, as I know Grossman always has much to say.
LibraryThing member suesbooks
I read this a second time because I will lead my book group discussion. I liked it a little better as a metaphor for Israel before 1967, but it is my least favorite David Grossman's books that I've read. I foumd tedious the details of the characters body functions and poor manners.
LibraryThing member jwhenderson
Compared to The Tin Drum and Call It Sleep by the New York Times, this book is at once a work of magical realism and post-Freudian psychology. Complex with multiple layers of meaning it draws you in to its depths and mesmerizes you with its language.


Dublin Literary Award (Longlist — 1996)


Original publication date

1994 (French)


3446170081 / 9783446170087
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