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It's interesting, but the best thing is that Böll wrote many better ones for you to enjoy :)


Tony--It was an interesting book, but it sounds like it was a precursor to the bigger things that came later. Any recommendations for which other books to read? I do have The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum on hand.


Danielle, as good as the Lost Honor is, it's not for everyone, it did put off some people, I'd keep it for later. On the other hand some liked it best. And Didn't Say Word and The Clown are some of the best but let's see what Tony suggests. I do love this book despite it's flaws in the construction and I like that unlike mny other Nobel Prize winners his humanity transpires in his style, he wanted to be accessible for everyone. He isn't a complicated writer but very profound. This isn't a case of style over content.
I hope you will read others of his books.


I really enjoyed The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum; in fact it's a book that has stayed with me for years because I thought it was amazing. If that's any encouragement! I have read other Bolls, but we are talking years ago and my memory of them is very hazy. But I like Boll best when he's really doing something with his writing, when he's chasing down a target, or making a difficult case. He is always a bit dark, but knowing your reading tastes, I don't think you would mind that. I think you did amazingly well on the German literature month - it seems to me you got loads read!


It does sound like an interesting book even though it seems so grim in many ways. But I wouldn't want books to be all sunshine and rainbows. It sounds like you liked it enough to want to read more Boll at some other time. I'd like to read him eventually so I enjoyed reading of your experience.


Caroline--I'll have to see which books my library has and read what they are about. I'm sure I can find something good to try next, though I probably won't get to any of his other books until next year now. Although it was a bleak story you are right about it being infused with a sense of humanity--not all writers could have done that I think. And it was very accessible, too. What I liked was that he lived through the war and wrote from his own experiences--it was a very interesting book!

Litlove--It was your post about The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum that made me buy the book! I have always meant to get to it sooner than later but you know how that goes sometimes. I'm sure I'll read more and will read The Lost Honor at some point as well and will be curious to see what his more mature works are like. You're right I don't mind dark at all, especially when it is done like this book was. And I did do very well with my German books--I read five and am still reading one more--maybe will finish this weekend. And both crime novels inspired me to request other books by the authors so I will have those to read this month, too!

Stefanie--I think you would really appreciate Boll. It was interesting to get a look at Germany after the war--I don't think I've ever read anything about this period there from that perspective. I like happy books but I also like serious books like this as well--and no matter how heavy the subject it still had a love story to it--so there was hope, too.


Thank you for pointing me towards earlier books by Böll! I was more familiar with his 60s-70s works but not of his postwar writings.


Smithereens--Only too happy to help! :) This was my first work by Boll, but I will certainly be reading more. If you've read some of his other books you might like this--to go back and see where it all started!

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