Saturday, 1 November 2014

DNF - The Hilltop

Hi there!

Title: The Hilltop
Author:  Assaf Gavron
Publisher:  Oneworld Publications

Published Date:  6th November 2014
Rating: DNF

 *Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review*

Synopsis:
On a rocky, beautiful hilltop stands Ma’aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling community flying under the radar. According to the government it doesn’t exist; according to the military it must be defended. On this contested land, Othniel Assis – under the wary gaze of the neighbouring Palestinian village – plants asparagus, rocket and cherry tomatoes, and he installs goats – and his ever-expanding family. As Othniel cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive, and, amid a hodge-podge of shipping containers and mobile homes, the outpost takes root.

One of the settlement’s steadfast residents is Gabi Kupper, a one-time free spirit and kibbutz-dweller, who undergoes a religious awakening. The delicate routines of Gabi’s new life are thrown into turmoil with the sudden arrival of Roni, his prodigal brother, who, years after venturing to America in search of fortune, arrives at Gabi’s door, penniless. To the settlement’s dismay, Roni soon hatches a plan to sell the “artisanal” olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies. When a curious Washington Post correspondent stumbles into their midst, Ma’aleh Hermesh C becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal and faces its greatest test yet.

By turns serious and satirical, The Hilltop brilliantly skewers the complex, often absurd reality of life in Israel, and makes a startling parallel between today’s settlements and the kibbutz movement of Gabi and Roni’s youth. Rich with humour and insight, Assaf Gavron’s novel is the first to grapple with one of the most charged geo-political issues of our time.

DNF reasons: I am afraid to say I really, really couldn’t finish this book. I had to put it down at the 10% mark.

I don’t really think I should’ve requested this book either. Usually, I am not someone who likes translated books. In general, there seems to be something lost in the magic of the literature when a novel is brought into another language. The last translated book I read (called 172 hours on the moon) I absolutely hated as well, but struggled through. This one I decided wasn’t worth it. It was not only the language, but also there seemed to be long descriptions that I skimmed over and characters that I felt nothing for. At the beginning I felt  a bit bombarded with a lot names and regardless of translating, I don’t think this was my cup of tea.


I think people who enjoy books like of Mice and Men (which strangely enough I did enjoy) might also like this. Especially if they are someone who cares a lot about setting in novel and likes beautiful language that describes things.

Psst! This is my 100th post! *silently cheers*

Olivia’s Question: If you had to live in another country besides your own, where would you go?

Ongoing giveaway: Please check the terms and conditions!

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Olivia-Savannah x
Disclaimer: All images are not mine and are found on Pinterest

20 comments:

  1. Hi Olivia - That's too bad because the premise had sounded interesting. But, you know, you have to move on. There are soooo many good books out there to enjoy! :)

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    1. Yes, the premise was what drew me to the book in the beginning! I will try and find another good book instead ^^

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  2. So bad you had to DNF this. I don't tend to DNF (I've only done it twice) because I always think the book would get better but I do feel you about translated books. That's one of the reasons I no longer read as much in Spanish as I used to do. Especially when it comes to YA. But there are also some very good translators out there ( for example, Song of Ice and Fire, Adult historical fiction and fantasy and classics).

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    1. I try to avoid DNFs as well, but sometimes I really can't go on. I do believe some people can do it well though! I think I just have trouble finding the right translators. If only I could learn all the languages so I wouldn't need them translated :D

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  3. Congrats on the 100th post. Sorry this book was a miss for you. :/ I hope your next read is better.

    I would love to live in England or Greece or Ireland maybe. :) Well, at least those are the countries I want to visit.

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    1. Thank you! I would love to see Greece or Ireland one day!

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  4. I did like Of Mice and Men! Sorry the translation of this didn't work for you...
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I am glad you were able to like that book, I found it one of the nice ones we studied for school!

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  5. This is definitely not something that I would even consider reading.
    Sometimes you really have to sit down and figure out if the book tha is I front of you is the right pick - I accepted a lot of books I the beginning that I barely managed to finish or I dnf them, too. I'd like to think that I am smarter now. :)
    I hope that your next read will be much, much better.

    I would love to live in Australia. :)

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    1. Yes, I can understand what you are saying! Seeing as I am recently starting out, I would like to think I can make a few mistakes as I find my feet on the matter :3 I would like to get smarter too.

      Australia sounds awesome!

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  6. What a shame you couldn;t finish it, I hate it when that happens x

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  7. Aww, that's too bad. I never tried a translated book before.

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    1. It's sad that I don't enjoy them as much as ones that aren't translated...

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  8. English is not my first language so I mostly read translated books. Three years ago I started reading most of the books in English because I did not want to wait for the translation. But when it comes to French books, Asian books or Russian books I have a hard time enjoying them in English so I read them translated in Romanian. There are things that get lost in translation, but it's easier to read them translated... only if I could speak all the languages of the world.
    Andreea | http://catsfika.blogspot.ro/
    Check Out My New Food Blog Flavour Chic

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    1. I would love to be able to read all the languages possible as well :) Would make things so interesting!

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  9. I hate when I have to DNF a book. Thank goodness I didn't have too many this year, I think I put down maybe 3 or 4, so that's not too bad. I was reading the synopsis and busted out laughing when it said that the main character plants asparagus and "installs goats" whatever that is. I mean I like asparagus, but it doesn't sound too intriguing in a book lol.

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    1. Yeah, DNFing books is no fun, but sometimes it just has to be done. And also, I do like stories like this, the ones about families that span deep... but this just wasn't for me...

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  10. I would probably go to Jamaica. To be honest, I don't think this book would be my cup of tea either. Just reading the blurb made me already feel dizzy, so much complex and new language, the plot seemed confusing too. Thumbs up for being honest, yet still leaving something positive about who might want to read this book.

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    1. It was very confusing overall, I doubt I will ever pick it up again.

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