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In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, "Abraham!" before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, "Here I am". Later, when Isaac calls out, "My father!" before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, "Here I am".
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others'? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel in 11 years - a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, DC, Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home - and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.
Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that listeners and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer's most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer's stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers in America.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sara23 on 09-30-16
Wonderful novel marred by imperfect narration
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I am so disappointed at the narrator choice for this book, which I have long been awaiting. While he is generally a very good narrator, his mispronunciation of nearly every Hebrew or Yiddish word he encounters is so jarring and distracting, I am thinking of returning the audiobook and waiting until I have time to read in print. That the producers did not consider how important a natural flow of authentic American Jewish use of words like siddur, bris, kiddush or Israeli names like Noam or Yael (which have two syllables, not one) is surprising given that the content is Rothian in it's self-conscious Jewishness.
What did you like best about this story?
The writing is brilliant and the pacing is masterful.
Would you be willing to try another one of Ari Fliakos’s performances?
Not for a book by this author or any other book that required accents.
Any additional comments?
I hope you fix it!
31 of 34 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 10-18-16
Great book, probably best to read (not listen) it.
The narration was great, and the story is really interesting. I'm not sure this is the best book for the audio book format. The author changes place, character and time several times in critical periods of the story. in text, he uses "space" to note the changes. In the audio book format those changes are not always clear, or become clear once you already missed a point.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful