Library Journal - December 1, 1982
Edward : Nile Shadows
Holt. Jan 1983 c360p LC 82-2915.ISBN 0-03-018531-9 $15.45
The third novel
of the "Jerusalem Quartet" (Sinai Tapestry
LJ 2/1/77 Jerusalem Poker LJ 5/15/78) sinks deeper into
the haze that tainted the first two installments. The
plot centers on Stern, a Middle Eastern gun-runner,
who is killed in Cairo in 1942, probably by an exotic
branch of British Intelligence. The of the book is a
tedious exploration by an old friend, retrieved from
America and the previous book, of the reason of his
murder. Names and characters are altered from one book
to the next, appropriately enough for Whittemore's surreal
world. This time, though, it's just too philosophical
and wordy. Not recommended, even to complete the set.
W. Keith McCoy, Plainfield
From Library Journal
- February 1, 1987
Edward: Jericho Mosaic
1987 389p ISBN 0-393-02395-8, $16.95.
This fourth volume
of Whittemore's "Jerusalem Quartet" contains
some excellent writing but is beset with problems. Given
the natrure of his subject - a Jew, born near Baghdad
whose life working for Israeli intelligence and then
as a spy, in Lebanon (finally as a double agent) coincides
with Israel's entire history - this is not surprising.
Whittemore appears uncertain whether he: is writing
fiction or political commentary, and the nonchronological
narrative only adds to the confusion. There are too
many characters even if they are well drawn And at times
their intertwined relationships seem too pat even for
espionage novels. Perhaps the most nteresting feature
:is Whittemore's beautifully lyric descriptions, particularly
when landscape is used to give fascinating insight into
character For larger collections.
Rochelle Ratnor, formerly poetry editor "Soho
Weekly News" New York
From UPI Arts & Entertainment - Book Reviews - March 27, 1987
by Edward Whittemore (Norton, 374 pp., $16.95)
Edward Whittemore's ''Jericho Mosaic'' is a spy novel
for readers who consider the form beneath them. It's
a spy novel in which the spying takes place offstage;
except for two or three brief battle scenes early on,
there is virtually no ''action'' in this novel.
draws on the history of Palestine to create a psychological
drama in which the characters embody the range of passions
that have shaped Middle Eastern history in this century.
It is a novel of
beauty and remorse rather than conflict, however, cast
alternately in the harsh light of the desert and the
lush, surreal green of the oasis at Jericho, ''the lowest
and oldest village on earth.''
It follows the
career of Yossi, an Oriental Jew from a village in Iraq
who becomes a hero of the 1948 Israeli war of independence
and later a spy who penetrates the heart of Syrian military
intelligence over the next three decades.
But the reader
never sees Halim, the spy Yossi becomes, at work. His
spying is described only in passing. The book's real
concern is the effect on each other -- and perception
thereof -- of people of different but overlapping cultures,
thrust together in an atmosphere where the stakes are
high and the outcome uncertain.
The book should
interest fans of psychological drama, but also readers
who want to learn more about the Middle East.
with authority not only of the region's changing geography,
both spiritual and physical, but of its many religions
He is comfortable
with the mystics and seers wandering the desert and
the streets of Damascus and Jerusalem, and takes the
reader on an interesting tour.