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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446414132
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592

To The End of the Land

From one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family life – the greatest human drama – and the cost of war.

Ora, amiddle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer’s release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the ‘notifiers’ who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young, but their lives were forever changed one weekend when the two jokingly had Ora draw lots to see which of them would get the few days’ leave being offered by their commander – a chance act that sent Avram into Egpyt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as a POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Now, as Ora and Avram sleep out in the hills, ford rivers and cross valleys, avoiding all news from the front, she gives him the gift of Ofer, word by word; she supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive for Ora and for the reader, and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world. Their walk has a ‘war and peace’ rhythm, as their conversation places the most hideous trials of war next to the daily joys and anguish of raising children. Never have we seen so clearly the reality and surrealityof daily life in Israel, the currents of ambivalence about war within one household, and the burdens that fall on each generation anew.

Grossman’s rich imagining of a family in love and crisis makes for one of the great antiwar novels of our time.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446414132
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592

About the Author

David Grossman

David Grossman is the bestselling author of numerous works, which have been translated into thirty-six languages. His most recent novels were To the End of the Land, described by Jacqueline Rose as ‘without question one of the most powerful and moving novels I have ever read’, and Falling Out of Time. He is the recipient of the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the 2010 Frankfurt Peace Prize.

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Praise for To The End of the Land

“David Grossman writes with a vulnerability that is free of fear, poetic and powerful, sensual and angry, passionate and gently. He writes not only for his survival but for ours as well.”

Die Zeit

“The formative novel of Hebrew literature in the 21st century. No less. Perhaps a lot more”

Ariana Melamed, YNET

“This is a book of overwhelming power and intensity, David Grossman's masterpiece. Flaubert created his Emma, Tolstoy made his Anna, and now we have Grossman's Ora -- as fully alive, as fully embodied, as any character in recent fiction. I devoured this long novel in a feverish trance. Wrenching, beautiful, unforgettable.”

Paul Auster

“There are some writers in whose words one recognizes the texture of life. David Grossman is such a writer. He is a master of the emotionally accurate and significant. His characters don't so much lie on the page as rise before the reader's eyes, in three dimensions, their skin covered in prose that both stabs with insight and shines with compassion.”

Yann Martel

“This is a great novel, a rare example of a book that lives up to its billing, its emotional depth and humanity balanced by formidable formal control and pacing of the chronological sequence, the text rendered into an English that mostly finds the cadence and associative range of the original Hebrew... To The End Of The Land is, quite literally, unforgettable”

Brian Morton, Sunday Herald

“Grossman's use of language - emotive, poignant, sometimes bewitching - draws the reader in and Ora becomes a truly sympathetic character. An eloquent and captivating read, and quite possibly a landmark novel in Israeli fiction.”

Danielle Goldstein, Timeout

“Extraordinary, impassioned... To the End of the Land is without question one of the most powerful and moving novels I have ever read”

Jacqueline Rose, Guardian

“Honeyed and portentous, rhythmic and often breathless, the prose sweeps the reader into a pool of shimmering reflection”

Toby Lichtig, TLS

“Grossman's account of Ora and Avram's lengthening flight from their painful lives is a tour de force.”

Jonathan Mirsky, Spectator

“David Grossman explores how words illuminate the darkest landscapes and how lives can be shaped and preserved through stories”

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

“wonderful, and desperately sad”

interview with Claire Allfree, Metro

“Sorrow and magnificence go hand in hand in Israeli writer David Grossman's intimate view of lives held hostage to the threat of violence and danger...potent, moving and emotionally raw. To the End of the Land is unforgettable”

Marie Claire

“The book is full of incidents of magical thinking of the kind that anyone who has ever tried in vain to protect someone they love will recognise. This is a powerful epic of love, loss and loyalty”

Psychologies Magazine

“...terrific...this is a powerful and memorable novel, which movingly evokes the strains of war and peace in one household...British people are often accused of failing to see things from the Israeli point of view. To the End of the Land sears this perspective onto the memory.”

Theo Tait, Sunday Times

“...extraordinary epic of love, war and sorrow...Stunning-brilliantly written and beautifully constructed.”

Kate Saunders, The Times

“...a deeply serious, utterly honest work about the state of Israel.”

Justin Cartwright, Financial Times

“It is tricky to set out the scale of Grossman's achievement without resorting to reviewers' clichés. He has aimed as high as it is possible to do in a novel which deals with the great questions of love, intimacy, war, memory and fear of personal and national annihilation-and has overwhelmingly achieved everything.”

Linda Grant, Independent

“...a powerful and memorable novel, which movingly evokes the strains of war and peace...British people are often accused of failing to see things from the Israeli point of view. To the End of the Land sears this perspective onto the memory.”

Theo Tait, Sunday Times Culture Magazine

“Stunning-brilliantly written and beautifully constructed.”

Kate Saunders, The Times

“Is a heartbreaking, riveting portrait of modern Israel. A family story, a rich character study, a story of war. Unmissable.”

Erica Wagner, The Times, Christmas round up

“A work of art”

Rachel Cooke, New Statesman, Christmas round up

“First-rate writing about the craziness of modern-war.”

Simon Schama, Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up

“Breathtaking skill...an extraordinary emotional charge.”

Colm Toibin, Guardian, Christmas round up

“David Grossman laid bare the flayed soul of Israel”

Boyd Tonkin, Independent, Christmas round up

“Articulates the pain and complexity of being born in Israel so powerfully that it will unquestionably be studied by future generations.”

Nick Barley, Herald, Christmas round up


Katherine Duncan-Jones, Times Literary Supplement, Christmas round up

“Often impressive, sometimes touching”

Neal Ascherson, London Review of Books

“He is the finest living novelist I have read. His work is visceral and clear-headed. Though I loved Franzen's Freedom, Grossman's novel is better”

Stella Tillyard, Observer

“To define David Grossman's masterly new novel as the ultimate anti-war oeuvre would not do it justice...To the End of the Land is richer and more complex than a chronicle of war. It is an intimate portrayal of a woman and mother, Ora, who has been compared to Flaubert's Emma or Tolstoy's Anna...With characters with whom the reader can empathise, a powerful if disturbing theme and an element of suspense and the unknown, Grossman's novel, while not easy to read, is well worth the effort”

Emma Klein, Tablet

“Further proof the Very Long Novel is in rude health with David Grossman's fine book about the seemingly endless conflict between Israel and Palestine”


“Movingly evokes the strains of war and peace in one Israeli household”

Theo Tait, Sunday Times

“Grossman's soaring, wrenching journey through Israel ... grapples with the largest of themes: memory and identity, community and nationhood. Yet through its picaresque plot, it always remains a mother's story and a family romance... Grossman aims high, digs deep, and returns from inner and outer voyages with darkly glittering jewels of insight”


“An intimate and national epic”

Colin Waters, Herald

“A stunning, powerful novel”


“To the End of the Land is a novel of relationships: personal, moral and political: all reviewed against a muted landscape of pain, threat and hostility... Grossman list his youngest son Uri in the final hours of the second Lebanon war and his personal connection to the trauma of conflict adds weight to this substantial work”

James Urquhart, Financial Times

“Very rarely, a few times in a lifetime, you open a book and when you close it again nothing can ever be the same. To the End of the Land is a book of this magnitude. David Grossman may be the most gifted writer I've ever read. To read it is to have yourself taken apart, undone, touched at the place of your own essence; it is to be turned back, as if after a long absence, into a human being”

Nicole Krauss

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