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Silence of the Sea / Le Silence de la Mer: A Novel of French Resistance during the Second World War by 'Vercors' Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854963782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854963782
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Not only a distinguished piece of fiction but also a brilliant piece of reporting on French resistance." --Life

"Saying something new about such a work was the central challenge faced by Brown and Stokes. To my surprise, they have succeeded in meeting this challenge." --French Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Instead of good guys versus bad guys, this shows the individual behind the enemy uniform.
Babs C
This book can at times be a bit overdone in the melordramatics dept., but it's worth plowing through (cliff notes might help), even "en français"!
A fan
I recommend this version, especially if you are not confident in your French because the English translation is right there.
Sara la belle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A fan on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I too read this book for a French class, but with a teacher who had read it dozens of times and was able to point out the subtle intracies of the author's words. This is a powerful novel of a German soldier who loves France, French culture, and anything passionate or beautiful. Ironically, he is in France as its conqueror, occupying the home of an uncle and his niece. The uncle and niece are kept nameless and faceless, but representing the masses of France. The solider is nameless, representing the Nazis and Germany. The soldier believes that Germany and France will marry each other, uniting two magnificent and rich cultures. Through Vercors' stunning work, we are able to see a human light in the WWII Nazis who have been portrayed throughout history as only monsters. We are able to witness France's WWII occupation through the eyes of one. This book will make you rethink your own views and prejudices. This is a book that will make you see WWII, Germany, and France through a different perspective. It will also make you look at love in a different way--romantic, parental, patriotic, and so fourth. Which is strongest, that is what the book skillfully explores. This book can at times be a bit overdone in the melordramatics dept., but it's worth plowing through (cliff notes might help), even "en français"!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sara la belle on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Mais c'est la dernière! Nous ne nous batterons plus: nous nous marierons!"

But it's the last [war]. We will no longer fight each other; We will marry each other!

So says Werner von Ebrennac in this subtly moving novel. Werner is a Nazi soldier living with a Frenchman and his niece who voice their resistance to the occupation with silence. Werner loves France and all things French and harbors the belief that Germany has not come to harm France, but to "marry her." This was by far my favorite piece of literature I ever had to read in college. I have read it several times since, and each time I appreciate more and more the elegance and economy of the words, that beautiful sublety for which the French language is so famous. This book puts a human face on the Nazis and one ends up feeling very sorry for the francophile Werner. In comparing France and Germany (and perhaps himself and the niece) to Beauty and the Beast he says, "J'aimais surtout la Bête parce que je comprenais sa peine." I loved especially the Beast because I understood his pain." Every time I read it, I feel differently at the end. That's the beauty of this work, the silence that hides something, like the silence of the sea.

I recommend this version, especially if you are not confident in your French because the English translation is right there. Also, obscure words are translated at the bottom, words. Try it in French though because that language is so suited to a story such as this.
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By Andi on March 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a copy with the French and English, and knowing a little French, I liked to go back and forth, learning more French. Love that it was written during the occupation.
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By Vera Melchert on March 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a superb book. Very wonderful translation from French. The introduction is very important for the understanding of the story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just have to say how much I love this book -- especially this edition which includes both the original French text, an English translation, a historical introduction, and a literary introduction. The original text is so poignant, with such simple words Vercors/Bruller was able to invoke such poignant themes of silence and resistance. The relationship between the niece and the soldier is one of such silent conflict, and the narration is an example of amazing storytelling. I do love both the 1949 and 2004 film versions, but for me the book is truly the best.
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By DJ on July 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a classic - if you love WW2 history this is what you have to read
It's a short story but I enjoyed every word
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By Babs C on July 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've bought hundreds of books through Amazon, but this is the first time I've been moved to write a review. I was deeply touched by this seemingly simple, small story. Instead of good guys versus bad guys, this shows the individual behind the enemy uniform. Each person in a uniform, whatever side he or she is on, is an individual, a human being. How beautiful that the author, in the midst of the German invasion of his country, could write about the enemy in a tender and sympathetic way. Kudos for such a truly extraordinary work. It continues to fill my thoughts.
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