Panther in the Basement Paperback
by Amos Oz
Jerusalem 1947. British soldiers patrol the streets, and bullets and bombs are a nightly occurrence.
Caught up in the fervour and unrest against the occupying forces, 12-year old Proffy dreams of being an underground fighter.
But some of his dreams are less heroic. Temptation lurks everywhere for the youth who wants to be a man - and betrayal not far behind.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 128 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 07/08/1997
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099754015
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Review by schatzi
This is an interesting story about a young boy living in Jerusalem who "befriends" a soldier, part of the British occupying force before Israel became a recognized country. I put befriends in quotation marks because Proffi, the boy, really wants to ferret out information from the soldier, which might be useful to his little "resistance" group (which has nothing to do with the real Underground). But the other members of his group find him out and brand him a traitor.The story has no ending, at least not a definitive one. And the views of the child narrator are limiting; for example, we never learn what the child's true name is - he's only called "Proffi," which is a nickname he's earned because of his bookish nature (he's like a professor). Still, it's an interesting read, and some of the themes contained within the novel (what "traitor" means, the use of animals as metaphors, etc) are thought-provoking.