Category Archives: Leon Uris

the haj leon uris

The Haj by Leon Uris – Book Review

Published / by Elizabeth / 2 Comments on The Haj by Leon Uris – Book Review
The Haj by Leon Uris - Book Cover - Goodreads

If you ask me to name  few of the greatest authors in this world, Leon Uris would surely be one of them…There is no doubt…If you don’t believe me, try reading Exodus, Trinity or The Haj for that matter.

Historical Fiction spanning over centuries, generations, clans etc. That is Leon Uris’s territory and his writings are influenced by his Jewish background. Exodus is about the creation of the state of Israel from the point of views of the Jews, Trinity is about the struggle of Irish Catholics in Ireland in early 20th century, and The Haj is about the Arab population in the middle east in the 1920s-1950s.

The Haj is written as narrated by Ishmael, the youngest son of Ibrahim, the muktar of a village called Tabah. Being situated close to Jerusalem, Tabah has a lot of importance as a military and strategic location. The title of the book has pretty much nothing to do with the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca; it just denotes Ibrahim who is a Hajji – a title he earned after his travel to Mecca.

The Haj starts describing about the village life in general and how Ibrahim leads his people. Things change when a Jewish settlement is made just next to the village. Ibrahim is both awed and disturbed by Gideon Asch, the leader of the Jewish settlement. They strike up a friendship which is kept very official to everyone outside them.

Ibrahim realizes that there is nothing hateful about Jews, and that the Arabs do have a lot to learn from them. But then the general sentiment against the Jews are hate. Islamic leaders also keep up this frenzy for their own personal gains. Eventually when war breaks out, Moslem leaders convinces Ibrahim to evacuate Tabah and Ibrahim and his villagers moves from one refugee camp to another, without any hope of returning to their own soil.

The Haj is the toughest of the 3 books I have read. Exodus written about the formation of the State of Israel had a lot of hope embedded in each chapter in the midst of so much misery. Trinity also had a lot of miseries described in detail, but that was also bearable. The Haj is a tale of never ending misery and probably insanity was the only way to conclude this one…because there was no other conclusion to be provided.

This book has a lot of narration about the Arab-Israeli conflicts in Palestine, but this is primarily focusing on the Arab culture, their mindset, their way of living etc. This is a book that totally horrifies you when you stop a second to think that this is a fiction based on historical events, however biased it may be…

A true masterpiece…

Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review

Published / by Elizabeth / 16 Comments on Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review

Trinity Leon Uris Book Cover

Rating: 4.75/5
Source : JustBooks Library, Bangalore
Year of Release: 1976

Trinity is the story of Ireland from the Great Irish Famine in 1840s to the Easter Rising of 1916. More than that it is the story of Irish Catholics, their struggle in their own land for the sake of their religious beliefs, the British colonization and exploitation of Ireland.As usually seen in novels by Leon Uris, Trinity is a beautiful blend of fiction and history. There are characters which are entwined very well to portray the history in a very interesting way. This is what makes Leon Uris novels like Exodus so much fun to read.

Seamus O’Neill is the narrator of the story. The story starts while Conor Larkin the protagonist and Seamus are in their early adolescence. There are other characters in the story like Roger Hubble the British aristocrat, Cornelia his wife, Sir Fredrick West, but the focus of the book is the three generations of Larkin family mainly the life of Conor Larkin.

Conor Larkin just like his father and grand father are rebel Catholics who understand the depth of the exploitation faced by Irish Catholics. The never ending hatred between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland has been conveniently exploited by the British Empire to implement the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy.

My Thoughts

I was initially scared to start reading this book as a 900 page book is quite a long read. But I couldn’t put it down once I started it. The story did feel a bit long towards the second half, but that lasted only for a few pages. Personally I enjoyed every bit of this book. It is true that the history portrayed in this novel may be far from the actual truth, but from my past experience I know that it cannot be too far from truth either.

Conor Larkin is the strong point of the story. Many can say that he is a larger than life character, but I believe his character is not an impossible one either; otherwise the world could never have had such great leaders like Mahatma Gandhiji, Nelson Mandela etc who strived hard for their causes. Conor Larkin is portrayed as a strong man who cannot get the cause of Ireland from his life. Though he was many a times tempted to flee Ireland, he always comes back to his own country.

The history of Ireland was something which never came into my realm of thought until I started reading this book. Even the difference or enmity that existed between Protestants and Catholics in the past was unknown to me. So this book was a total eye opener to me.

I find it difficult to put down my precise thoughts on this particular book. So I would just stop after recommending it to every one who doesn’t get scared by a 900 page book. Believe me. Try reading it, the story will take you till the end of the book :) And I am currently tempted to read more on these subjects. ( which should be cured very soon when I got hold of another great book)

Buy Trinity From Amazon

Other books by Leon Uris reviewed on this blog:

Exodus by Leon Uris

Published / by Elizabeth / 2 Comments on Exodus by Leon Uris

Exodus by Leon Uris. Book about formation of State of Israel

Writing a review for a book like Exodus is truly difficult. I don’t think my words can capture all the feelings, thoughts and the emotions I went through while reading this book.

Exodus by Leon Uris is about the founding of the State of Israel and the struggle of few of the Jews in achieving this drama. As in any historical fiction, some characters are fictitious but many are actually referring to or resembling actual people.The name Exodus comes from the name of the ship which is used to transport 300 kids from the British detention camp in Cyprus to Palestine. There is elaborate description of the lives of people like Barack Ben Canaan, Ari Ben Canaan, Kitty Fremont an American nurse, Dov Landov, Karen Hansen Clement etc. The story starts with the sailing of Exodus and progresses describing the great struggle and the hardships these people face while fighting for the formation of the State of Israel. The romance between Ari and Kitty is also a part of the story.

My verdict: This book may not be correct in all its historical facts, but it has a well researched background and is well written. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking beyond the usual mysteries, thrillers, romance stuffs. Of course this book has enough of those to keep the readers interested :)

There is a movie based on this book released in 1960.

Other books by Leon Uris reviewed here:

The Haj by Leon Uris – Book Review
Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review