Megan Harlan
November 28, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Panther in the Basement

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Amos Oz
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Set during the war-torn year when British-mandated Palestine became the State of Israel, Amos Oz’s nostalgic novel traces an equally important watershed in the life of his 12-year-old narrator. Proffy calls himself an Underground fighter in his friend’s make-believe anti-British spy organization. But by befriending the ”enemy” — a well-meaning English soldier — he’s labeled a traitor by his peers. Meanwhile, Proffy discovers that his parents belong to a very real, very dangerous underground movement. Panther in the Basement‘s explosive elements ultimately defuse, a touch anticlimactically, into a thoughtful meditation on love and loyalty. B+

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