Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Four Meals , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 08, Gary rated it it was amazing. A wonderfully written story , a masterpiece of contemporary Israeli literature , rich in imagery and deeply human. It is the story of the boy Zayde and his enigmatic mother , Judith , as well as Judith's three lovers, all of which take the role of Zayde's fathers.
We are kept guessing who Zayde's real father is. There story takes us from the 's to the 's in Israel Highly reccomended for a rich and whimsical read. Jan 18, Zdenka rated it it was amazing Shelves: magic , humor. I have discovered this book when browsing and I was intrigued by the comparison to Marquez and Murakami both authors I appreciate greatly in the reviews. The title of the book, and the synopsis - this is a story of a boy who has three fathers - instantly caught my interest.
This is a first time ever I have read a book by an Israeli author and I have liked it a lot - so much that I am going to look up and read his other books too. I don't want to give no spoilers, but this is a very human story I have discovered this book when browsing and I was intrigued by the comparison to Marquez and Murakami both authors I appreciate greatly in the reviews.
I don't want to give no spoilers, but this is a very human story - somewhat sheltered although not completely from the turpitudes of history and political events affecting the country and the world, the story describes village life that is on one hand ordinary - and on the other hand magical.
I have immensely enjoyed the variety and complexity of characters in the story - each with their quirks and wounds and peculiarities which makes them great and funny and moving all at the same time. I have laughed and cried and I did not get the chance to be bored for one second. The author manages to keep the suspense alive through the whole book - mainly by asking the question who is the real father of the child - but somehow after reading for a while, you ae so attached t all the characters, you almost don't want to know I also very much liked the end - not at all what I had expected, which is very refreshing.
I have finished reading the book with a smile and a feeling that all is well - although this has not exactly been a classic happy ending I still don't understand how the author has managed this, but it was very smoothly done! My personal favourite bits about the book - in addition to this are : the little Yiddish expressions and songs they seem strangely familiar to my czech ears , reminiscences about Ukraine and the important role of nature, water, birds, cows, farming and trees which bring equally good and bad things.
Finally, I have to agree - Meir Shalev is an author to watch out for.grouz-lait.com/layouts/2019-02-16/fu-aquarius-horoscope.php
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Apr 06, Adina rated it it was amazing. I don't know if you will love this book, but everything about Shalev's voice, his the world he describes and his ideas of love and magic wove a poetic world that was a pleasure to inhabit. I dragged out this reading because I didn't want to leave. View 1 comment. Jan 18, Joni Cornell rated it really liked it Shelves: general-fiction. Even though Jacob is married to the most beautiful woman in the village, he is besotted with Judith and sacrifices all to woo and marry her. The name alienates him from the other village children too.
One night each week even though she detests him, Judith meets with Globerman to drink grappa, as he attempts to woo her with his stories. Judith talks not about herself and we learn about her largely through others. Rabinovitch searches for the lost braid of his infancy, as he mourns the loss of his wife, who was his twin both in soul and body. He it seems has no inclination or time for wooing. Judith wails every night for a lost daughter until she is pregnant.
And Jacob — well he is our narrator and is too complicated to sum up in one line — philosopher, cook, wooer, bird lover and breeder and surrogate parent, he loses the most beautiful woman in the village but it takes him several days to realize his wife has left him. Perhaps Jacob feels that love can be shown through cooking.
If you prepare the meal, or for the event, even if it is a wedding, when everything is in place — it will happen. So we hold our breath waiting for it to happen. What I wanted as I read was to find myself a recipe and make myself some Zabaglione. View 2 comments. Oct 01, Ellen rated it liked it. I had to work hard to push myself through this book. Khaya was annoyed by the lack of a plot--a sentiment I agree with--and I was also bothered by the lack of characters. Yes, there are characters, but they aren't real people.
They are archetypes. The book is a fable. If you are happy with fables, you'll probably enjoy it, since Shalev's writing is beautiful if more than a bit repetitive.
But i like a real story, with real characters and a plot. So this wasn't for me.
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Aug 15, Cathy rated it really liked it. I was in love with Jacob's voice -- so plain, yet so poetic, and I also loved the descriptions of animals and country life lived close to the ground. The recursive structure wherein Zayde returns to Jacob's house four times to learn more about his dead mother is clever and keeps the story moving where it might otherwise drift; don't expect a conventional plot, however; this feels more like a fairytale -- an old fashioned one that grew in odd directions before it got written down and which the et I was in love with Jacob's voice -- so plain, yet so poetic, and I also loved the descriptions of animals and country life lived close to the ground.
The recursive structure wherein Zayde returns to Jacob's house four times to learn more about his dead mother is clever and keeps the story moving where it might otherwise drift; don't expect a conventional plot, however; this feels more like a fairytale -- an old fashioned one that grew in odd directions before it got written down and which the ethnographer recorded faithfully but with one eyebrow cocked at the weird parts.
I was perplexed by the obsession of Judith's three suitors because she didn't seem like a very nice person. I will go so far as to say that women in general in this book are portrayed as irrational and violent creatures. Terrifying for their power, but also just plain terrifying. I am determined to try making a zabaglione by breaking an egg between my fingers the way Jacob did. Thanks for the recommendation, Dov. View all 4 comments. I loved the way this story was told, almost in circles slowly getting to the crucial point.
It is the story of the love of three men for one woman, the mother of their son. The story covers 30 odd years, from the twenties to the fifties and takes place in a village in the Yizrael valley. The woman is Judith and the men are: Moshe Rabinovitz, a strong silent widowed farmer in whose stable she lives, the cattle dealer Gluberman, and Yakov Scheinfeld, expert in cooking, sewing, charming and dance. And others: the wife of Ranovitz, his son, his daughter and this sister and her family, accountant Livkin, Rachel the cow, an Italian refugee, ravens and canaries, the angel of death, an old green truck, a swelling river and big eucalyptus trees I read this book in a most masterful Spanish translation by Ana Maria Bejarano Escanilla, with whom I have since corresponded.
Set in rural Israel, in the years before its inhabitants had forgotten the art of coexistence, the book weaves incidents in a spiralling way, punctuated with elements of magical realism and Jewish folklore. Characters are clearly drawn and language is extremely rich - I wonder how the English translator dealt with it Jan 07, Dov Zeller rated it it was amazing Shelves: jewish , novel , fictionth-cen. Beautiful, musical, mystical without ever losing contact with the tragic comedy of our particular animal predicaments.
I truly hope the charm is not lost in translation, but keep that in mind when you read my review.
For me Meir Shalev is one of those authors you can always trust to deliver. This book is no different, an excellent example of his writing. The first thing I always enjoy In Shalev's works is the language which as I already said, I hope is not lost in translation. Shalev's language is always exquisite, combining biblical, Talmudic and modern language seamlessly, making mundane sentences poetic. Language is a recurring subject in Shalev's work, and his characters keep mentioning it as well, but in this book, he outdoes himself by giving each of his characters mainly the three fathers their own unique intonation.
Reading it is a joy. The second thing is the storytelling. A man has three fathers. He inherits property and characteristics from all three. How did this happen? I imagine myself in a pub drinking beer with Shalev or sitting around a campfire, while he masterfully spins the story of how this has come to be, giving hints here and there but never giving up the all story, keeping the suspense. Another way to keep the interest is the fantastical imaginative characters dreamt in the authors mind. For example, imagine a man so good at impersonating other people that he can learn to be a cook just by looking at cooks at work.
It all feels like a fantasy, a contemporary fantasy. And with all this, I haven't even touched the important lessons in love and life and passion and food the author teaches us or the important subjects he touches, as these things, which in other books are so important to me, are just an extra to the experience. After a streak of mediocre books, I like to spoil myself with a book that I can trust to be worthwhile, and this is it.
Five stars out of five. Even love you can close up like that, real good. But memory has all the keys, and regrets They're like the magician Houdini, they know how to get out and like ghosts they know how to get in, when and where they want. Paper boats in Russian rivers bearing messages of love; a lonely woman's love of a lost daughter and a male milk cow who may or may not have borne the same name; three men's different loves for Judith, the center curiously undefined of the novel.
A son named "Grandfather" belonging to one or all of the men, four meals over many yearsat each one we eat the times as well as the food. Crows fly through the pages, a giant eucalyptus grows over our heads, and death, weddings, humor, trucks, portents, the cattle business, and unusual characters march by. In the English translation certain characters speak with Yiddish-derived grammar and many Yiddish words.
Perhaps it adds to the color. Turns out he did.
His desire for miracles outstrips his feeling for tragedy. Judith, like her ancient namesake, remains apart. We don't really know her thoughts or feelings; we know Sheinfeld most intimately as he serves the four meals to the three-fathered son Zayde.
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We know Globerman, the tricky but cool cattle dealer but only the beginnings of Moshe Rabinovitch, a farmer, the third and possibly most successful in the quest for Judith's hand. His own children, Oded and Naomi, play supporting roles to the central story. But who is Judith? Why did she love or reject each of the three? Not clear. The story lasts too long, the ending is not as riveting as the beginning. The ancient, pious Judith fooled the Greeks and brought the cut-off head of the enemy general to her beseiged town. On seeing that, the enemy broke and fled.
This modern, self-contained Judith buries the cut-off braid of one of the men under a large rock. When it is found, her situation is also resolved. Mythology upon mythology. Original writing with many wry and poignant insights, beautiful and poetical metaphors, but it could have been sharpened with some editing. This was quite a journey. My mother recommended this book to me, promising that Shalev doesn't write about shtetl don't care for that genre. I was dismayed to find that he basically does here, seeing as most of the characters are first gen immigrants.
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The first 20 pages took me ages. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the story or the characters people who keep telling little boys explicit stories about where to touch women just aren't But then I re This was quite a journey. But then I read on The story structure is absolute genius. I keep thinking about the last couple of pages, where everything starts to come together Damn, son. It just won't let me go. I love stories that feel like myths, so this should be right up my alley. There are two 'but's.
First, the language. The entire time I felt like I was missing something. The language was beautiful, but why is it that it just wouldn't touch me? I'm inclined to blame it on the translation. I would jump over beautiful metaphors which were placed in a way that just couldn't anchor my gaze. Or maybe my habit of reading incredibly fast sometimes at the cost of detail has finally caught up with me.
Usually books that require a lot of attention force you to slow down though, so I do feel like this is the translators fault. The second is You know, the good old times, when men were men and women were women? The rating process was a rollercoaster. In the beginning, this seemed 2 star material. Then I actually found so many aspects I loved for which alone a 4 star rating would be justified. But I have too many apprehensions, so I'm gonna go with the middle. Doesn't do justice to what I liked, doesn't do justice to what I disliked, either, but well.
If I had to read what is essentially a shtetl story, it would be this one.
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- My preferences.
I don't know any other modern Hebrew author with such an effortless command of the language. It is a continuously enjoyable read: every other sentence could have been taken straight out of a poem. Shalev is also an excellent narrator of fables which, by the way, also makes his children's books superb. This book has its share of short fables, mostly Diaspora-Jewry-style stories recounted by Yaakov like the one about the guy who builds a huge hourglass and believes he will die when the sand runs I don't know any other modern Hebrew author with such an effortless command of the language.
This book has its share of short fables, mostly Diaspora-Jewry-style stories recounted by Yaakov like the one about the guy who builds a huge hourglass and believes he will die when the sand runs out. These, to me, are always the best parts in Shalev's novels. So the book is well worth reading, at least if you can read the Hebrew original. On the downside, the overall plot is rather thin and its implausibility, though undoubtedly intentional and serving some higher literary purpose, often left me head-scratching, view spoiler [especially the ending: I couldn't understand neither why Yehudit chose to marry Yaakov, nor why she suddenly changed her mind, nor what literary purpose was served by her tragic death hide spoiler ].
May 27, Kyle Johnson rated it liked it. And then think about what you eat. You might go for a standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but add in a healthy afternoon snack. Or maybe a lighter breakfast, bigger lunch, light dinner, and a snack before bed. Basically, do whatever feels right for you. And then sit back and reap the benefits. If that sounds good and you'd like to give it a try, you may notice some of the health benefits below, according to experts.
While it may be a good idea to have a light snack before bed , eating a large meal late in the evening can make it difficult to sleep. And that's where having smaller meals throughout the day can come in handy. If this is something you struggle with, moving your larger meals to earlier in the day, and lightening up towards the evening, may make a big difference.
If you start to feel sluggish throughout the day, you may want to eat more frequently as a way of preventing dips in your blood sugar , which can leave you feeling tired. So make sure you never go more than three to five hours without a snack, lest you begin to feel sleepy. The less your blood sugar fluctuates, the fewer "hangry" moments you'll have.
So if you're someone who feels super cranky whenever you're hungry, listen up. While stress can come from many sources, hunger — and the resulting blood sugar fluctuations — is definitely one of them. But if you're sleeping well, stressful situations may not bug you as much. Another benefit of keeping your blood sugar stable, is that your body will be less likely to begin pulling energy from other sources — like your muscles.
Eating more frequently can help train your body to actually know when its hungry, so you'll be less likely to get stuck in an unhealthy cycle of ignoring your body's needs.