YOUNG ISRAELI ARMY conscripts with minor disabilities, such as heart murmurs and epilepsy, are sent to Training Base 4 for basic training. Some come from large cities, some from kibbutzim; some were born in Israel, some are new immigrants from Eastern Europe or Arab countries. Infiltration tells the story of one platoon’s experience, a group of soldiers who represent all Israelis during the early years of their nation.
Melabbes is determined to stay separate, self-contained from the rigid routines and power plays of military life. From his detached stance we observe the other members of the platoon: Avner, a reckless romantic whose mother worked for the families of the wealthier, Ashkenazi recruits known as “the Jerusalemites”; Alon, the proud and patriotic kibutznik; Miller, a German epileptic and survivor of the concentration camps; and Micky, a famous soccer player who only recently discovered he has a heart murmur. The platoon’s sadistic drill sergeant has found in the army a way to transform himself from a student ridiculed and ostracized into someone who can literally make or break lives.
Infiltration takes place sometime in the 1950s, but it is a universal story of loss of innocence, exposing the darker side of the military process of “making men out of boys.”
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YEHOSHUA KENAZ lives in Tel Aviv, where he works as an editor for a publishing house. The author of several novels and a collection of stories, he won the following major Israeli literary awards for Infiltration: the Alterman Prize, the Newman Prize, the Agnon Prize, the Bialik Prize, and the Acum Prize.From Publishers Weekly:
Hailed as Kenaz's masterpiece when it was first published in 1986, this mammoth novel by one of Israel's leading novelists (The Way to the Cats; Musical Moment) is a powerful exploration of military life and Israeli society in microcosm. Set in 1955, a few years after the Israeli War of Independence, the novel follows recruits on the army's Training Base Four, a camp for those medically disqualified from ordinary service. United only by their weaknesses (" `Defective combat-worthiness! Medical Grade B!... We're going to get basic training for girls!' "), the soldiers are a mix of sabras, Arabs and European immigrants. Melabbes, the first-person narrator, is a socially awkward sabra who would rather observe than act. He becomes friends with Avner, a rash, gregarious romantic from a humble family who resents the rich, cliquish "Jerusalemites" on the base. Alon, a kibbutznik with a strong belief in collective responsibility, is disheartened by his instructors and struggles to live up to his ideals, gradually abandoning his dreams of being a military hero. The group's outcast is Ben-Hamo, an Israeli Arab, who is continuously ostracized, ridiculed and even beaten. The interactions of these and other characters reflect larger questions of weakness, loneliness, friendship, historical duty and the future of Israel. Kenaz builds his narrative out of countless conversations, meticulous descriptions of everyday life in 1950s Israel and searching observations of national dynamics. Though the novel may not have the moral weight of Solzhenitsyn's epics, it has their social sweep. Like the Soviet Union, Israel began as a daring social and political experiment, and Kenaz's exploration of its origins and nature is at once encyclopedic and tenderly human.
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Book Description Zoland Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111581952058
Book Description Zoland Books, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB1581952058