We are very sorry. Unfortunately, this discussion has been lost during the last big move (Paris, France Q Ottawa, Canada). Some of us (Lale, Anna, Howard, Moana) had liked this book to varied degrees, but Guillermo had absolutely hated it. Here, we re-print Guillermo's review for amazon.com :
Reviewer: Guillermo Maynez from Mexico, Distrito Federal Mexico
I am usually not mean-spirited to books I read. I always try to find something of value, but it is sometimes simply impossible. This is the case with "The Same Sea". I found it lacking in character development and plot, which leaves us only with language as the possible source of aesthetic achievement. I admit some of the poetic passages were beautiful in a subtle way, but that wasn't enough to win my attention. If Mr. Oz wanted to write a poem, he should have done so explicitly, without disguising it as a novel. The "plot" is simple yet unappealing: an old Israeli man loses his wife to death; his son becomes depressed and travels to Tibet, Bangladesh and other lands to meditate and overcome his grief. His girlfriend is cheated by a film producer, loses her money and moves in with Albert, his boyfriend's father. Then she sleeps with her botfriend's best friend. That's it.
I didn't find any of the characters interesting, whether good or bad. They just ruminate about their problems, but there's not really a plot or some interaction that becomes appealing, at least for this reader. I'm not a prude at all, but a story that centers on the sexual lust of an old widow for his son's girlfriend is not terribly interesting (maybe Nabokov could have made it so). She's kind of cruel walking around the house with a towel for all clothes, as well as giving him glimpses of young flesh. Naughty girl and dirty old man. The son's reflections on his travels weren't much illuminating either. He made me remember the main character in Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge", but without the vitality and passion for knowledge that characterized him. All in all, a disappointment of a book.
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