ABU by Joseph Trigoboff


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Meant as a gesture of Arab-Israeli friendship, the relationship between an embittered sabra veteran of the Syrian front and a cigar-smoking urchin soon degenerates into guilt-assuaging paternalism. In his own terms the soldier Itzhak comes a long way as his affection for fast-talking Abu brings him into contact with Arab restaurants, hard-working villagers and despairing refugees and the painful dissolution of old certainties evidently reflects the young author's sincere discomfort. Nevertheless those who don't immediately identify with Itzhak will find the glib child-man Abu a condescending choice as a Palestinian spokesman and Abu's death during a terrorist attack is an easy out. At best there are moments of controlled tension in descriptions of the Israeli countryside and barbed humor in ltzhak and Abu's conversation, but the naive perspective makes this parable-sized tale more annoying than touching.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1975
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard