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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 7 reviews
on August 3, 2012
Really enjoyed this book. It's a gentle, subtle read - unsensational but compelling. I kept turning then pages to see how it was all going to turn out. The author uses language beautifully and the story has been informed by his wife's memories of actually living in the GDR before the Berlin Wall came down. Definitely worth reading.
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on December 28, 2012
Yet a manuscript comes to Bruno Kruger, a novelist whose best work is years behind him. In this novel of the claustrophobic world of East Berlin, Bruno struggles from day to day to maintain what little identity he has developed for himself. Declared a hero of the state, he is still jealous of young Schilling and his work. He believes that schilling mocks him and comes to true jealousy when he believes that Schilling has the love of his crush, Theresa. He also has a thrilling new manuscript he believes. Elongs to Schilling. What will he do to preserve his sense of worth.

This novel is aslog through the "actual world" of Socialist living. It is heavy going at times. This density, I believe is meant to reflect the smog ridden days of socialist life. The writing has some moments of dark humor as our narrator attempts to square his sometimes oafish behavior to himself. We get some foreshadowing of his solution in the forward that notes that his memory was scorned at the time of his death. This glimpse into the world of the artist in the communist state transfers us to a grey world that once lived at the other side of one of the most celebrated walls in history.
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on January 19, 2013
I'd like to give this book 5 stars because it is beautifully written, the threads of the plot woven tightly, and the attention to detail enhancing the setting, but the end result of reading was a hollow feeling. Why?

The story is told from Bruno's point of view. He comes across as a self-centered and weak individual. We see all the others around him through his eyes and his thoughts. He makes assumptions and jumps to conclusions that seem to be far from the truth. I kept wanting him to talk to the others, to ask them questions and find out what they were really thinking and feeling. And, he gets off too easily while the others suffer. As a result, I didn't care what happened to him.

Ultimately Bruno's story seems to be little more than one man's soliloquy.
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on February 21, 2013
too much blather about the "author's" dreary life, Michael Rickter might have been a more interesting story. Not a recommend.
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