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Beaufort - Ron Leshem

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Ron Leshem
Harvill Secker
UK Publication Date

Beaufort, a remote and beautiful fort in southern Lebanon dating back to the Crusades, has been an outpost of the Israeli Defence Force for nearly twenty years, and now, for the teenage soldiers who live there presiding over the last moments of Israel's presence in Lebanon, it has become a world of its own, an enclave in the heart of enemy territory where boy soldiers create a state with its own rules and its own unique, outrageous, brutal language.

With a critical eye and an empathetic heart, Ron Leshem dishes up a wholly human story that takes place in conditions that are anything but. Fast-paced and brutally honest, unflinching and uproariously funny, Beaufort has been hailed - not only by critics but by the generation of soldiers who served in Lebanon during Israeli occupation - as the true voice of that sobering period.

Written as the diary of Liraz (Erez) Liberti, the head of a commando team stationed at Beaufort during the last winter of Israeli occupation, Beaufort is a revolutionary and potent look at the futility of war and death, and the courage it takes to put an end to it.This is not a story of war, but of retreat.This is a story with no enemy, only an amorphous entity that fires missiles from the surrounding mountains. And while thirteen young men propel the novel and give it life and colour, the real hero of Beaufort is fear: contagious, intoxicating, palpable fear, a word they forbid themselves from uttering. Beaufort is a devastating portrayal of a generation finding that the values and principles bestowed on them by their parents have betrayed them, and the terrifying nihilistic reality of Middle Eastern conflict.

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Ron Leshem, born in 1976, is a native of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. His novel Beaufort won the Sapir Prize - Israel's top literary award - for 2006, as well as the Yitzhak Sadeh Prize for military literature. In 2002 he became deputy editor of Maariv newspaper and in 2006 joined the Channel Two television station as deputy director in charge of programming and special projects. Beaufort is his first novel.

"Ron Leshem has succeeded in creating an entire world, simply through language"
author David Grossman

"Beaufort is that rare thing, a novel of deep moral concern in which sympathetically drawn and beautifully realized characters are allowed to speak for themselves."
LA Times

"This gripping first novel describes... a country increasingly weary of endless war and strained by differences between hawks and doves... By turns, it is tragic, funny, mordant, irate, shocking, and poignant.. A must read"
Booklist, Starred Review

"An important novel...This is a picture of war from a soldier's point of view. Its language is crude, the body count rises, and yet the tenderness of the bonds among the men is extraordinary"
library Journal, Starred Review

"scenarios unfold, funny, chilling and unrelenting ... Leshem never slackens his pace."
San Francisco Chronicle

Hardback original
Keyword Index
Soldiers - Lebanon - Fiction.|Arab-Israeli conflict - 1993- - Fiction.|Lebanon - History - Fiction.|Lebanon - Foreign relations - Israel - Fiction.
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