Waking Lions is an Israeli novel which is very hard hitting. Israeli society isn’t normally thought of as racist but they too have an illegal immigrant ‘problem’. In this case it’s Africans and especially Eritreans who walk to Israel.
Neurosurgeon Eitan Green represents the best of Israeli society. Clever, moral, skilful, happily married with two children, very pleasant house and about to find that he too is flawed. Exhausted after a long shift, he goes for a drive in the desert outside Beersheba, kills an illegal immigrant, panics and turns it into a ‘hit and run’. His wife is a police officer who is investigating the hit and run. Her commander is uninterested showing zero interest in solving the hit and run, “… The police report entitled ‘Hit and run. Illegal immigrant. Case closed due to lack of suspects’….” [Liat said] “If it was a girl from the kibbutz…. would the investigation be pointless then?” The immigrant’s wife witnessed the accident using it to extort Eitan into creating an informal hospital. Eitan hates his situation but is trapped and becoming ensnared steals from his hospital, threatens a co-doctor, lies about absences, misses shifts and becomes despicable.
Sirkit, the wife of the dead immigrant, is corrupt, manipulative, ruthless and ultimately a murderer. There is no sentimental noble savage character here. Through a series of plausible events the criminal underworld of the illegal network of corrupt Israelis, Arabs, Bedouin and Eritreans engulfs Eitan. The denouement is shocking.
Why you should buy this book: It is wonderful story which never drops into sentimentality.
Why you shouldn’t buy this book: Absolutely no-one comes out of it unscathed
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