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The Brummstein other formats – July 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 86 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (July 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611090288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611090284
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,640,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thought-provoking, this is a gem of a little book."--Historical Novel Society

About the Author

Peter Adolphsen was born in 1972 and attended the Danish Writers School from 1993-95. At 25, he made his debut as an author with a collection of short prose entitled Small Stories, followed in 2000 by Small Stories 2. His novel Machine was published in English in 2008.

Charlotte Barslund is a Danish to English translator.

More About the Author

Peter Adolphsen was born in 1972 and attended the Danish Writers School from 1993-95. At 25, he made his debut as an author with a collection of short prose entitled SMALL STORIES, followed in 2000 by SMALL STORIES 2. His novel MACHINE was published in English in 2008.

Customer Reviews

Maybe the reader won't much care.
Ursiform
In addition, his language (it couldn't be just the translation) is often amateurish, laden with irrelevant adjectives.
Tracy M
The little book lacks so much character development and depth.
James L. Woolridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tracy M VINE VOICE on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If THE BRUMMSTEIN weren't only 78 pages long, I would not have read past the first few pages, which begin with the words, "The constant orogeny of the Alps is caused by the breakup of the micro-continent Adria from Africa in the Jurassic, its subsequent rotation of the then existing Tethys Sea, and its collision with Eurasia...."

The novella continues with six pages of historical geological information, and occasional references to characters as "the journalist with the toothbrush moustache" and "the philosopher with the walrus moustache." This is not an opening guaranteed to hook the reader.

It doesn't get much better. Characters are briefly introduced, barely described if at all, and disappear or die as we travel quickly across the twentieth century. The focus is: What is this strange rock which quivers and hums, and which was found in a cave that has inexplicable roaring sounds? Who will possess it next? What is the nature of the cave?

Adolphsen presents more geological details than is necessary, and pads the story with irrelevant details that neither develop character nor further the plotline. In addition, his language (it couldn't be just the translation) is often amateurish, laden with irrelevant adjectives. He appears to believe in "tell, don't show," as demonstrated by such sentences as, "His last words were delivered in a somber tone and accompanied by a dramatic pointing to the ceiling of the cave. Andrea shuddered theatrically."

In short, this is BAD writing. Most of the time I was reading this novella, I wondered if it was intended as a spoof of contemporary bad novel writing, since the author managed to so effectively flaunt the generally accepted guidelines for writing fiction. From the start, I kept saying to myself, "Who cares?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By HeavyMetalMonty on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
This little novella took me quite by surprise. Peter Adolphsen has created characters who are archetypal, original and utterly believable. I enjoyed the gorgeously geographic description of how subterranean caves are formed. I loved the cyclical nature of the story, which goes full circle over the course of a century.

In 1907, Josef Siedler descends into the Hölloch Caves in Switzerland, searching for an opening to the subterranean world which he believes is home to a race far more advanced than humans. Local folklore states that deep in the Hölloch is the gate to Hell, but Siedler's obsession overcomes his fear. Josef doesn't find the opening he seeks, but at the nadir of the caves discovers a humming rock that deafens him for ten minutes when he presses his ear to it. He chisels off a piece of this mysterious stone and takes it back to the surface. The rest of the novella follows the rock's journey from keeper to keeper, decade to decade, through two World Wars and communist regimes, until it is eventually returned to the cave from whence it came.

Very satisfying. Beautifully written. A little eccentric. I recommend it as a good way of spending an hour or two.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Howard C. Batt on October 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The teaser for this "story" is that "Siedler believes there is an entire world and race of beings living beneath the earth's crust ....." So Siedler goes to Switzerland, descends deep into the earth, finds the mysterious, humming rock, takes a piece and leaves. The balance of the book is the rock's travels over the next 60 or 70 years including how it became "art." There's not another word about the underworld.

It's not a story. There's a lot - a LOT - of description but I kept waiting for the "entire world and race of beings ...." And, although the tease goes on with the idea the rock is "collecting" the experiences of its sequential owners, I missed that part. A couple of them left notes in the little box that holds the little piece of rock but the rock just kept humming.

At the end of the tease is this: "Spare yet compelling, this slender novella spins a mystical and memorable exploration of the meaning of life." To which I respond, "huh?" I'm glad the book is "spare."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By logosapiens VINE VOICE on November 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A humming stone is found in the Alps around the turn of the century and takes a voyage far away from its alpine home to tell of the drama either caused by or incidental to its ownership.

The history of the tumultuous twentieth century in central Europe unfolds as defeated Germany teeters on the brink of communist revolution...the rock is safeguarded.

A Jewish family flees the Holocaust and leaves the buzzing stone in the unclaimed baggage section of the Nazi railway system... the rock survives.

The RAF incendiary bombs of Operation Gomorrah just miss the mysterious rock in the Hamburg train station. The stone seems to possess its owners on a fated journey...the buzzing rock escapes the smouldering ruins of wartime Hamburg.

The stone finds itself in the Soviet Occupation Zone only to escape the building of the Antifascist Wall in 1961. Another war is averted by the Wall and the fated rock finds a new home in the West.

The post war prosperity of the sixties makes the humble rock a counter culture talisman praised by newly rich poseurs in West Germany. The rock ends up in an estate sale analyzed by a museum curator who has fled the grey stone-like world of the East German Democratic Republic (DDR) only to find boredom in the West.

The stone is a humming oddity that seems to bring prosperity to some and random doom to others much like the divided post war state and destruction that the rock survives.

The plot device of using an object to tell a tale is familiar to those who remember the old TV series NIGHT GALLERY or Robert Arthur's story THE ROSE CRYSTAL BELL. In this case though the plot seems circuitous as we are lead past a detailed description of geology, falling pianos and quick mention of a DDR youth group.
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