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3 Nov 2018

Book Review : The Speaking Stones


The Israel you do not know has all the worth you cannot refrain from knowing. The State of Israel encompasses all the worth a beautiful and a vibrant civilization on Earth could be expected of. Blossoming with stupendous culture, the Holy Land of Israel is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Life in its fullness, beauty on its climax, intrinsic virtues full of aesthetic fragrance – Israel is just incredible and inscrutable. The lands, the waters, the airs and the skies of Israel unceasingly sing the glory of a unique civilization on Earth. 

Every stone here narrates a unique history of the Jewish civilization. Every majestic monument in Israel speaks volumes about the great history of the Jewish land and culture. The winsome smile every child, every man and every woman wears reveals the great achievements the Jewish culture has generously added to our world. With exemplary agricultural systems, state-of-the-art environmental management, giant leaps in science and technology, baffling engineering structures and architecture and extraordinary socio-cultural organizations like the Kibbutzim, and with an intensive quest of peace and living a life of dignity, the Jews of Israel are all-prepared to reach the stars.


The speaking stones is a travelogue penned down by the author when he went to Israel in 2009 for academic purposes. He has talked about his experience in Israel of visiting different places there, his interactions with the people of Israel and his training in Environmental Management in Gallilee International Management Institute.

I have always liked the concept of travelogues. As someone who hasn’t had the opportunities to visit many places and also as a reader, I feel travelogues give us a glimpse into the lives in different places . My knowledge of Israel as a country was quite limited so I was looking forward to dive into The Speaking Stones.

This book has two kinds of information, One is where it talks about Israel from a tourist’s point of view and the other, where the author has discussed the environmental aspects of the country. The author has really gone out of the way to praise Israel, especially for it’s ecological practices. The author has included snippets of informal information in the book as well. The overall feel of the book is not that of a lighthearted travelogue and the reason for that is that the book has focused on the environmental preservation aspects of Israel. So, the book ends up having an educational vibe as well. The book does give some intriguing information about Israel though. A particular piece of information about Dead Sea was so unique that I even went on youtube to see it for myself. So yes, this book had such moments for me too.

The writing in the book is easy to follow but at various places it felt a little bland. There were interesting bits in the book, but those came in parts. The overall feel of the book could have been a little more fascinating if some parts hadn’t seemed so essay-ish. But then again, since the book talks about the ecological and environmental aspects concerning Israel, I suppose the essay like feel was hard to avoid.

This brings me to the conclusion of my review. If you want to read a book that focuses on the general as well as environmental aspects of Israel, then this is the book for you. But if you are looking for a purely light hearted travelogue, then this book is definitely a bit heavy to read.

Want to read The Speaking Stones by Vir Singh ? Get it here.




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