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I'll read anything that sharpens the line between fiction and literature. This book sounds very intriguing. But usually a book that NYRB adopts is tell-tale sign of its literary respectability.


This is exactly my experience of reading this. I'd never read Zweig before but was amazed; you're right, he is exceptional and I thought this book was stunning.


Matt--I actually was thinking of you when I was writing my post. It's a book I think you'd really appreciate. And I think you're right about the books NYRB publishes--high quality lit!
Melanie--I will admit the second half felt a little oppressive as I was reading, but really that's not a criticism considering what he was trying to convey. Did you think the ending was abrupt? It worked, but I was almost wondering if he had planned on writing a third part and didn't finish it, though I don't think that was the case. I've read some really good books this year and this one is at the top of the list I think.

Dorothy W.

I really enjoyed this book too -- Christine undergoes such amazing transformations, and yet each one is highly believable. And the ending is so powerful. The book communicates such rage at what war does to people.


I've checked two libraries and they don't have it yet.


Need to be patient.

Great review.


Definitely adding to the TBR list! This was the first of two rave reviews I saw for this book just today!


Sounds like a very rich novel (pun not intended).


Danielle I'm so glad to hear you also really liked the book. And, you know, I have a hard time reading intros (well, typically I read them after I finish the book to avoid spoilers) but I think in this case that really would have been great for me given that I'd never even heard of the author before. What a great book for this discussion. I'll pop over on the forum later today and hope to see you there!


With all of you in the wish for introductory notes, but really can't fault anything about the book right now. Simply intoxicating as the German title suggests. Danielle, on my Slaves first go round, I will be posting two days late. I am the lowliest of the lowly. But thank you sooooo much for the heads up on group and book. It is everything your excellent review claims it to be. Now to pick up some others by the author...


Dorothy--It did seem a very realistic novel to me as well. It was an interesting perspective and has left me with lots to think about.
Isabel--Keep checking your library--this is well worth reading!
Marg--If you click on over to the Slaves blog (link on my sidebar), you can read a bunch of reviews--have been too lazy to post mine there as well...).
Darlene--Rich indeed. If not for the characters, at least...certainly for the reader! :)
Iliana--I had a feeling as I finished this book that there would be lots to talk about. I know Zweig was Austrian and your husband is German, but had he heard of him? I wonder what other books he wrote that have yet to be translated into English.
Frances--The story was so well done, I didn't find any fault there. The discussion has been helpful in fleshing things out. You can post anytime you like--there is no deadline--just join in when you can! :) I'm in the middle of Beware of Pity, which is also excellent by the way!


I agree Zweig is exceptional, a brilliant writer who doesn't waste a word. I loved this book when I read it two years ago. It's haunted me ever since and remains one of my favorite NYRB Classics.


Mrs. B--This is definitely a story that sticks with you. When I read this one I was really bowled over and not many books really make me feel that way. I really should read more by him and happily NYRB has been publishing some of his other books. It is a favorite of mine as well.

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