This novel tells the story of a platoon of young recruits with minor physical disabilities during their basic training at an Israeli army camp, sometime in the 1950s. The book opens as the narrator regains consciousness after fainting during a drill which teaches the recruits how to stun an enemy soldier from behind. Through his eyes the reader is introduced to the cast of characters - some born in Israel, from big cities or villages, some new immigrants from Europe or Arab countries, various types who gradually form close relationships based on friendship, rivalry or hostility. Woven into the description of basic training are the personal experiences, which distinguish the individual recruits. In this way the author reveals a complex interaction between the soldiers and their commanders, and between members of diverse ethnic communities and cultures. The basic training culminates in an arduous drill. Carried out somewhere in the desert sands of the Negev, this exercise puts every recruit through a simulated battle experience in which he must pass through a hail of bullets, crawling on his hands and knees, and take over a specified objective by stealthy flank attack. The confrontation with death becomes real when one soldier, a Holocaust survivor, collapses and doesn`t get up. Another experience with death is the suicide of kibbutz-born Allon.
The novel closes with a message delivered to the only married man in the platoon, a recruit from Romania, informing him of the birth of his son. The new father swears to his friends that he will do everything in his power to raise his son as a true sabra - not like himself, burdened by his Diaspora mentality - but rather confident, strong and free.
A beautiful novel full of strength and insight, completely imbued with Israeli society’s complexities… It is undoubtedly his combination of distance and intense closeness that grants richness to this novel... with its sharp analysis and deep insights on behavior.
Le Monde des livres
Infiltration... is now claiming its place as one of the most important novels of the last two decades.
An enthralling and exciting novel that probes, with both delicacy and strength, the inherent problems in Israeli society.
La Quinzaine littéraire
Kenaz has published a blockbuster.
Kenaz has written a book that I and my friends always wished we could write.
Critic Eli Shaltiel
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Kenaz|
|Author's First Name|| ||Yehoshua|
|Language(s)|| ||English, French, Italian|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Am Oved|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||1986|
|Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew)|| ||2006|
|No. Pages|| ||597 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Hitganvut Yechidim|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
English: South Royalton, Steerforth, 2003
French: Paris, Stock, 2003; pback: Paris, Ed. 10/18, 2006
Italian: Florence, Giuntina, 2013