The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid Yael Avishag and Lea grow up together in a tiny dusty Israeli village attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teena

  • Title: The People of Forever Are Not Afraid
  • Author: Shani Boianjiu
  • ISBN: 9780307955975
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to susta Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed wire fences Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever violent world just beyond view They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts In a relentlessly energetic and arresting voice marked by humor and fierce intelligence, Shani Boianjiu creates an unforgettably intense world, capturing that unique time in a young woman s life when a single moment can change everything.Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader s guide and bonus content

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    One thought on “The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

    1. Gilly

      In parts, searing, in parts bizarre, and on occasion, horrifying, this is one hard novel to review. I find myself wanting to say many things and also to qualify each of those things as "sort of."I lived some version of the lives of the characters of this novel and the author herself - I, too, served in the IDF. I could see some of my own experiences reflected in those of Yael, Avishag and Lea, and the mood, the tone, the people were fabulously accurate renderings. But at the same time, much of w [...]

    2. Julie Ehlers

      The People of Forever Are Not Afraid may be one of the most unique and unforgettable novels I’ve ever read. I think it’s first and foremost a coming-of-age tale of a few young women, but it also provides a lot of vivid details about the experience of being drafted into the Israeli army. There’s definitely a level of heightened reality to much of this, but given the circumstances these young women find themselves in, this is entirely appropriate and effective and occasionally adds some welc [...]

    3. The Book Maven

      I think my disappointment in this novel has much to do with what I enjoy in a novel, and little to do with the quality of the novel itself. I'm pretty darned intelligent, but I prefer a story which grabs and sucks you in, that is intelligible, that is smart and challenging and beautiful and interesting. I don't care for experimental, disjointed, and/or stream-of-consciousness writing, and "The People of Forever" was certainly all those things. I don't mind a story that is difficult to read, but [...]

    4. Jill

      First a big thanks to FirstReads for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this debut book. The opinions below are totally my own:I rarely start off a book review about what a book isn’t, but the blurbs on this book are so misleading that I felt compelled to do so. This book is not about teenage girls who “gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world.” Nor is it likely to be reviewed as a political statement by anyone who doesn’t have an extreme one-sided view.What i [...]

    5. Elisabeth Watson

      I can't begin to say how sad I was to watch the unity and gravitational center of this book start to crumble and then sort of whirl apart around half-way through. I'd been looking forward to this book for weeks before Editors Buzz at BEA, and it was the only ARC I walked away with.For the first few chapters, my excitement was totally justified. I should assure potential readers that that first excitement was never fully undermined. I'm not an expert on these things, but I suspect that PEOPLE OF [...]

    6. Loredana M.

      Thank God it's over! Nu a fost o carte rea, dar mă aşteptam la altceva. Mă aşteptam la un fir narativ logic, nu o amestecătură de mumbo jumbo postmodernist care să asigure lauda unui cerc restrâns de critici literari cu beţe în fund. Subiectul a fost raw, Shani putea să distrugă cititorul, să-l arunce în aer, să-l demoleze. În schimb, n-a făcut decât să-l ameţească, să-l prostească cu "uite fata, nu e fata, uite intriga, nu e intriga". Obositor, pur şi simplu obositor Ce [...]

    7. Andrew

      And They Say Russian RouletteI was on the landline the whole night talking to Avishag. All of the other girls stayed at Lea’s party. She made people stay, even after they heard something was up with Dan. I didn’t care about that. And I didn’t care that my mom could hear me or that my sister could hear me or that my dad could hear me. At first the thing that was up was that Dan hit his head so Avishag was worried, and then the thing was that he was badly injured in the head and in the hospi [...]

    8. Trish at Between My Lines

      This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]I'm making a big effort this year to read books that expose me to cultures and views that might necessarily be what I agree with.  And The People of Forever are not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu falls into that experiment.  Sadly though it's not one that paid off for me.I had a lot of issues with this book. The setting was why I wanted to read it in the first place as it was so unique and diverse. I'm interested in the Israeli-Palestinian confl [...]

    9. Meteori

      Postoji riječ koje ne volim da upotrebim kada mi se nešto ne sviđa, ali kada pomislim na ovu knjigu samo mi je ta riječ na pameti. Fuj! Ova knjiga nema veze sa zdravom pameti. Kao da je neko skupio četiri žene sa veoma velikim viškom slobodnog vremena i veoma velikim manjkom pameti i natjerao sebe da posluša baš svaku nebulozu koje imaju da kažu. Kompletna knjiga je nepovezana, nema priču. Taman čovjek pomisli da će se radnja razviti, a ona se naglo prekine i krene nekim nepovezanim [...]

    10. Michael

      Lea, Avishag and Yael grow up in a small town on the Israel/Lebanon border leaving normal teenage lives. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid tells the story of these three normal Israeli girls from passing notes in school, talking about boys to turning eighteen and being conscripted into the army. Winner of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” authors to watch list in 2011, Shani Boianjiu’s debut novel is a coming of age novel unlike any before. Growing up in this intense war tor [...]

    11. Brittany

      I won this book for free from the Goodread's First Reads giveaway. I am very thankful that I won this book and received the opportunity to read something that I normally wouldn't.This book involves 3 Israeli teenage girls. They were drafted into the army and all worked at different postings. The first chapter intrigued me; it involved violence, a suicide, and a mother leaving her family. The next few chapters after that were not as interesting and it took awhile for me to get through. Once I got [...]

    12. Augusta

      It's not very often you get a female's perspective on war in literature but this is probably one of the best books I read this year. THE PEOPLE OF FOREVER ARE NOT AFRAID follows 3 friends through their final year of high school and their time spent in the Israeli military. Powerful imagery, beautiful language, thought-provoking. There are repetitious bits and some changing perspectives that might throw some people off but I thought it helped add depth to the story. Don't miss this one.

    13. Yvonne

      There's an interesting story somewhere in this book but it's buried under a lot of poor, confusing writing. No surprise then this is an award winner as difficult to read books seems to equal brilliant in some people's minds. But for me it's just a shame since I was interested in reading about what it's like for those Israeli women conscripted into the army at an early age and I wanted to come away from this book with more than one word, miserable. It did start off promising enough. We meet the t [...]

    14. Joe

      Stories about the army generally tend to fall into one of two categories: Either farcical MASH-style parodies, or dark, serious “war is hell,” types.Budding Israeli writer Shani Boianjiu’s disjointed debut novel about three female IDF soldiers, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid (Hogarth), out next month, definitely leans towards the latter.At the start of the book, Yael, Avishag and Lea are three friends graduating high school and anxious about their upcoming compulsory stint in the Isr [...]

    15. Julie

      This was the one book I was so eagerly anticipating this summer, especially after hearing the editor sing its praises at the Book Expo America Editor’s Buzz Panel. Considering my enthusiasm of Israeli history, I was excited about the premise of three girls’ experiences during their compulsory military service. Instead of a well-crafted, engaging narrative, what I found was unstructured stream-of-consciousness anecdotes, constantly changing perspectives, and disjointed prose. Very disappointi [...]

    16. Roger DeBlanck

      Shani Boianjiu’s outstanding debut novel entrances you with its vision and understanding of modern war. The central story chronicles the lives of three teenage Israeli girls—Yael, Avishag, and Lea—all of them seniors in high school and soon to be conscripted into the army. Brilliantly paced and structured, the novel allows for each of the girl’s distinctive perspectives to emerge. Oftentimes transitioning between the visceral and the surreal, the layering of stories within stories and th [...]

    17. Lauren

      This was a grim read but one I'd still recommend. I appreciated rather than enjoyed the story, the relationships between the three girls, the utter boredom and despair of the town they lived in by the Lebanese border (to Jewify the Galilee in the words of one of the girls), the almost casual violence of their time in the army, the checkpoints, the border patrols, the hostility towards Mizrahi Jews in Israel, and the rampant sexism expressed in so much of their culture. It kind of falls apart tow [...]

    18. Cheryl

      Yael, Lea, and Avishag are friends. As the years passed Lea became the outcast. Yael and Avishag survived the death of Avishag’s brother. Although nothing will compare for these three woman than spending time serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. This book will have you thankful that you are alive and are not a female living in Israel. I did have the idea that I was going to join the Air Force and become a pilot and stay for ten years and then retire. I would have been in my mid thirties and [...]

    19. Jeremy

      I'm not sure what to think of a book whose author published it in a second language when she was only 25. Boianjiu's prose has a weirdly flat quality to it, though its obvious that she often tries to translate Hebrew idioms directly into English. If the prose is clunky and feels a bit off, it is in an entirely intentional way. Yet is works more often than not, she gets into the heads of her three protagonists and manages to convey the dual currents of sheer anxiety and total boredom which animat [...]

    20. Sharon

      Gorgeous and raw. I hardly can write this review without hyperbole. Interlocking perspectives that are as distinct as possible for characters going through the process of getting to know themselves in the midst of an inexplicable war that severs them from their hopes and humanity. Yet the perspectives also blend into the beautiful commons of characters who grew up together and are now facing the same puzzling and perverse military duties. And when you think the characters - these women, brave an [...]

    21. Esil

      I think I echo other readers in my reaction to this book. The idea of writing a novel based on the experience of being a female soldier in Israel is a great one. So I was really looking forward to reading this book. So I couldn't help being a bit disappointed with the actual book. But much of my reaction is based on what I anticipated the book would or should be. On its own, leaving anticipation aside, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid is a quirky and at times powerful depiction of late adole [...]

    22. Quanti

      Rovnou podotknu, že to jsou lepší 3* - 3,5 zaokrouhleno dolů. A to jen z důvodu, že myslím, že si na tu knížku po čase už moc nevzpomenu, ale vlastně se mi líbila nad očekávání. Nemůžu posoudit, jak moc je děj realistický - pro mě to bylo všechno jako pohádky tisíce a jedné noci, a asi proto se mi to tak líbilo. Totální exotika, holky v armádě, život v Izraeli. Trochu horší bylo vyprávění, kdy se mi hlavně ze začátku všechny tři hrdinky pletly a splýva [...]

    23. Corey

      This is the story of three young women from a small northern town in Israel. The story follows them from the end of high school, through their army service and into the beginning of their young adult life. I wanted to love this book but, unfortunately, that just didn’t happen. When I look back on my own time serving as an 18-20 year old young female in the Israeli military, I can identify what a unique cultural experience it was, and how much of it was really funny, absurdist, interesting and/ [...]

    24. Jeff Scott

      The People of Forever are not afraid follow the lives of Yael, Avishag, and Lea growing up as part of the Israeli Defense Force. It's a very surreal experience to someone who doesn't have enemies at the borders using everything in their power to kill you, even children carrying RPGs. Even though this book is a novel, it reads like a series of short stories. It really heightens the experience and the author knows how to take each story and weave it wonderfully together. She has excellent command [...]

    25. AH

      2.5 starsI was excited to get a copy of this book from the BEA selection on NetGalley. I don’t usually read this genre of books, but I had a personal interest in the subject matter. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid is the story of three childhood friends from a small village in the north of Israel. Avishag, Yael, and Lea are finishing high school and about to be drafted into obligatory service in the Israeli army, a rite of passage for all Israeli young adults. Told from differing points o [...]

    26. Oriana

      If it takes me more than a week to read a book, that book is either super long or super un-compelling. People of Forever is just over 200 pgs, so sadly, this is the latter. I grabbed this proof for $1 at the Strand on the strength of the title alone. The premise is unusual: teenage girls in bootcamp in Israel. And at first I was into it; it was pretty fascinating to see stories of teenagers doing teenagey things—getting and giving blowjobs, worrying about their zits, falling in love, feeling m [...]

    27. Kruip

      "The People of Forever are Not Afraid", titel van de Nederlandse editie: "Het eeuwige volk kent geen angst", wat wellicht letterlijk vertaald correct is, maar zeker niet de lading dekt van de originele boektitel. Aangevangen in een taal die je mee naar binnen sleept, de wereld, gedachten, het dagelijks leven, van een drietal Israëlische meiden die na hun eindexamen linea recta de dienstplicht gaan vervullen.De barmhartigheid in dit boek, de zelfspot, de taal, dit boek gaat niet over angst, maar [...]

    28. Annie Staples

      Parts of the book are extremely beautifully and well written, in particular, the chapters that were excerpted as short stories in Vice and the New Yorker. They have a pacing, a structure, and an exquisite beauty and inner violence about them that is breathtaking. These stories excited me like no new voice in fiction has for many years. But I felt like these were pieces Boianjui polished to perfection, and the novel as a whole could have used that polishing. For example, she often repeats exact s [...]

    29. Judy

      The book tells the story of three young Israeli girls who have graduated from high school and are preparing to enter their two-year military service in the Israel Defense Force. The remote Israel-Palestine border town where they live hasn't prepared them for the surreal and often bizarre experience of modern military life, especially when men and women train and serve together. The book switches between all three girls as narrators of their experience, making the book into a character study of e [...]

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