Jericho Mosaic (The Jerusalem Quartet, Volume 4)

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9781882968251: Jericho Mosaic (The Jerusalem Quartet, Volume 4)
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Yossi is an ideal agent for the Mossad. He's recruited by an agent named Tajar, and code-named "the Runner." Thus begins the longest-running and most successful operation in the history of Israeli intelligence. Meanwhile, in the desert oasis of Jericho, Abu Musa, an Arab patriarch, and Moses the Ethiopian, meet each day over games of shesh-besh and glasses of Arak to ponder history and humanity. We learn about the friendship of Yossi's son, Assaf, an Israeli soldier badly wounded during the Six Day War, and Yousef, a young Arab teacher who, in support of the Palestinian cause, decides to live as an exile in the Judean wilderness.

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This fourth volume of Whittemore's "Jerusalem Quartet" contains some excellent writing but is beset with problems. Given the nature of his subjecta Jew, born near Baghdad, whose life working for Israeli intelligence and then as a spy in Lebanon (finally as a double agent) coincides with Israel's entire historythis is not surprising. Whittemore appears uncertain whether he is writing fiction or political commentary, and the nonchronological narrative only adds to the confusion. There are too many characters, even if they are well drawn. And at times their intertwined relationships seem too pat even for espionage novels. Perhaps the most interesting feature is Whittemore's beautifully lyric descriptions, particularly when landscape is used to give fascinating insight into character. For larger collections. Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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