The Chosen

The Chosen

Book - 2016
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The story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2016.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition November 2016
ISBN: 9781501142475
150114247X
Characteristics: xv, 398 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction by Rena Potok
The Chosen
History, context, and criticism.
Summary: The story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.

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Einer2
Aug 07, 2017

Not being from the Jewish faith I found this book to be very interesting. I had no idea of the differences between Orthodox and Hasidic branches of the faith. The use of the baseball game was brilliant way to describe both the struggles of youth growing up on different sides of the faith in a world at war and how they could learn to relate to each other and the world around them.

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cvieira
Jun 02, 2017

Nice read about the relationships between fathers and sons!

lindab2662 Dec 07, 2016

A baseball game introduces two very different Jewish boys who begin a lifelong friendship growing up in the shadow of World War II. As both boys come of age and are more aware of the political world around them their interests take them on different journeys but the connections of their souls remain constant. A wonderful book.

a
amyallshouse
Aug 24, 2015

I returned this book last week when I checked out How to Win Friends and Influence People

AbigailCurious Jul 17, 2015

I stopped reading after the first ten pages, so writing a review is a little unjust. First of all the Historical background is wrong, there were only a handful of chasidim before the end of world war two in Boro Park. And coming from a Chassidic family reading his description of a chassidic life sounded like he was describing an entirely different culture.

Don27 Jun 13, 2013

I read this in the early 1970s and just re-read it. It was wonderful the first time I read it, and it still reads well. A great and beautiful coming of age story, and a wonderful look into the world of Hasidic Judaism. About breaking away from your upbringing, and how difficult that may be, and trying to understand the "other." A great New York story, too. About friendship, and parent-child relations. Read it if you haven't. Most of Chaim Potok's other books are really excellent, too.

NanoEagle19 Jun 08, 2012

A marvelous piece of literature by Chaim Potok. I read this for my theology class and I had to do a report on it, which actually enhanced my experience because the questions I had to answer were thought provoking. Nevertheless, this book stands out to me because the relationship the two boys had is much more relatable to kids and teenagers at this time. As teenagers, we are so exposed to wanting to reject people of other faiths or races that we sometimes fail to realize that the bond two people form is in no way affected by our beliefs or the color of our skin. We all have a back story, as this book explains. I wish more people would read this. There is a slow part towards the end of the book, nevertheless I still give the book 5 stars.

-AS

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wwoolf1
Dec 13, 2011

If I had read this book 10+ years ago, I would probably have given it at least 4 stars. The book is well written, the story is quite moving and the characters definitely draw you in. I thought Potok did a masterful job of exploring a number of themes and making them all fit in nicely with the narrative flow of the story. I think my big issue with it was the very strange relationship between Danny and his father. As a parent, I just had a hard time w/ it and, for me at least, that aspect detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Perhaps if I had read this before I had children, then this wouldn't have bothered me quite so much, hard to say.

g
Gwendoulos
Aug 07, 2011

Book Club 2011

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Expectations
Mar 19, 2014

Expectations thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

NanoEagle19 Jun 08, 2012

NanoEagle19 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 99

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Expectations
Mar 19, 2014

"I dream all the time," I told him. "everyone does," he said. "We just don't remember a lot of them. We repress them. We sort of push them away and forget them because sometimes they're too painful." "I'm trying to remember mine," I said. "some of them weren't very pleasant." "A lot of times they're not pleasant. Our unconscious isn't a nice place; it isn't a place, really; the book I read says it's more like a process- it isn't nice place at all. It's full of repressed fears and hatreds, things that we're afraid to bring out into the open."

s
squinton
Jun 30, 2013

“Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?

I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life."

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