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Comments

Caroline

I'm glad you liked it as much as I did.
In a way it reminded me of Tim O'Brien because of the way he combines the story of his war years with the parts on how he became a writer, how to find the right words. In his case this has another dimension as he also had to find a new language. I'm glad we fread this and I will try and pick up another one. Badenheim seems to be very good.
I know that many people are put off by war memories or accounts of WWII but this book is so much more. And it's beautifully written. thanks for joining and this wonderful review.

scriptorsenex

Sounds well worth reading. Have you read any Viktor Frankl? I think his 'Man's Search for Meaning' (published under a different title in 1959 - From Death-Camp to Existentialism), is most impressive in terms of making one realise what life was like for concentration camp inmates. It led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living.

Stefanie

Oh this sounds good1 You had me at the start by saying it was about identity and memory and finding a language. I'll have to see if my library has it. I hope it does!

litlove

This beautiful review gives me much encouragement. I've wanted to read Appelfeld, but as you know, Holocaust literature is not my favourite thing. But it sounds as if he treats the subject with great sensitivity and that I am not going to be forced to witness the sort of excruciatingly painful scenes that stay with you long after the book is closed.

catharina

What a beautiful review Danielle and what an interesting author. My library has a copy in translation (and three more books by him)I will pick that up next time we go there.

Danielle

I'd love to read another book by him. I don't own any of his books, but my library has a couple by him. I hadn't thought of the comparison to Tim O'Brien but they are quite similar in that aspect of telling a story about war and their experiences during the way, and also finding their voices as writers (and as you say a new language for Appelfeld). This was a very gentle sort of read for the subject it covered. I was pleasantly surprised. I'd not read anything quite like it, so it felt unique in a way--so many different ways to tell a story!

Danielle

I have not read Frankl, but I must add him to my list--others have mentioned him as well. I wonder if it is like the Primo Levi book I read last year--also about surviving a concentration camp--quite dark and heavy but very good as well. They might make good companion reads. So many books like these are about finding meaning in life under the most difficult of circumstances--amazing really to think of the resiliency of humans sometimes.

Danielle

I hope your library has it--it is most definitely worth seeking out and I think it is a book you'd really like.

Danielle

I was actually thinking of you when I was reading this. Not just because he takes such a difficult subject and presents it in a way that is not awfully disturbing, but also for his education as a writer and finding a voice. It's not excruciating at all--and the images ultimately are really very positive. Do give him a try--I'm curious now to read his fiction, too.

Danielle

I'm so glad you have access to a copy and I hope you like it as much as I did. Do please let me know what you think when you get to it! :) Hooray for libraries (well stocked ones especially).

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