“Someone to Run With ” by David Grossman

This article is also available in: Italiano

We conclude our 3 days dedicated to Hanukkah with the novel by the Israeli writer David Grossman “Someone to Run With”, a note of tenderness in Jerusalem.

Someone to Run With

Assaf is a shy and clumsy sixteen year old who is entrusted with a singular task: to find the owner of an abandoned dog by following him through the streets of Jerusalem. Running after the animal, Assaf is led in front of disturbing characters, through which he recomposes the pieces of a dramatic puzzle: the story of Tamar, a lonely and rebellious girl, who ran away from home to go to save her brother, a young drug addict in the network of a gang of criminals.

Tenderness in chaos

I must confess that I read this novel many years ago. At the time of middle school my Italian teacher had decided to assign it to us as a class reading. I still vividly remember Assaf’s tenderness in slowly falling in love with his beloved Tamar, who like a ghost takes on more and more body. Both protagonists are on the lookout but the former will find out what is going on over time.

David Grossman
David Grossman

Immersed in the notes of Leonard Cohen, the two will chase each other in a Jerusalem more alive than ever, definitely far from the classic imaginary of “holy city”. In fact, Grossman doesn’t mind showing us the crime of the disputed city and scenes with a strong impact such as those of the detoxification of Shay, Tamar’s brother. In all this evil, Assaf’s blind love will bring light to where it seemed to have long since disappeared.

A portal to innocence

The novel stands as one of David Grossman’s sweetest and most tender notes and is a portal to return to an innocence that has now passed for most.

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David Grossman
A scene from the film based on the book

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