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Death in the Rain

In this novel of diaries, letters and memoirs, the actual plot is secondary. The story of Death in the Rain is revealed not through external circumstances but by the delicate, sensitively drawn inner processes of five characters. The book portrays an intricate relationship between three men and two women. Two of the men, Alexander and Yanis, were in love with the same woman, Henrietta. Alexander, who married her, was a crazy young genius who caused her death in a car accident. He is hospitalized in an asylum, from which he sends letters to his friend, Yanis. The latter is the son of a Greek freedom-fighter who grew up in Jaffa; Henrietta did not return his love because he was a foreigner. Yanis contacts Elisheva and at the end of the story, when he is dying, asks her to come and sit by his bedside. Elisheva herself is involved in a very complex relationship with Professor Avigdor Licht, who is the narrator of this novel. He receives intimate diaries and letters from Elisheva and publishes them with his own preface, comments and conclusion. Licht reveals the lives and relationships of these five characters in his own order, without necessarily following the sequence of events.

“It has been quite a long time since I came across such a fine, sensitive and humane book,” wrote Gershon Shaked in his review of Death in the Rain, and added, “It offers a new interpretation of the human condition and casts new light on life, suffering and death. The tension between intense living and the yearning for death, between the various periods of time, and between truth and fiction, give Ruth Almog’s novel a very special quality.” Nilli Sadan-Luvenstein discussed the landscapes in the book – the Mediterranean shores of Israel and Greece – but emphasized that “…the landscapes of the soul are the real scenery of the novel in which we find two basic experiences: love and death. Ruth Almog’s book is more poetry than prose, more personal lyricism than regular fiction. The fragmented portrayal, the jumps in time and absence of linear sequence, the hallucination and memory, all contribute to a truly lyrical voice which marks Almog’s work as poetry.”

Chinese, English
Title Death in the Rain
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 200pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Mavet Ba-Geshem