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Comments

Caroline

How funny, my book is called The Auschwitz Violin and yours THe Violin of Auschwitz, The cover is totally different as well.
I really don't know what it was, I liked reading it but it was a light-weigth and I'm not so sure that's just because of the number of pages.
I didn't feel Daniel at all. I wouldn't always mind but here, the story telling is inbetween, I think it wants to move us but fails...
Anna will review it too in a little while. I'm very curious to see what she thought.
Not a book I did mind reading but not one that will go on the Best of 2012 List, I'm afraid.

Stefanie

This sounds like a beautiful book even with the flaws you note, I have never read anything by a Catalan author that I can remember. I will put this on my list, and who knows?

catharina

I read this novel a couple of months ago
and when learning that you'd read it eventually too, I've been wondering what you'd think of it.
Over the years I have read many stories about the Holocaust but not often before I experienced this strange feeling of guilt/shortcoming: because I experienced a distance I couldn't bridge,while reading. Yes the storyline is beautiful ánd harrowing yet why does it fail to reach me and is that telling something about me or about the book, I've been asking myself ever since. I probably will read it again soon, slowlier and more careful just because of this question and my wish to find an answer to it. It is helpful that now I can keep both your and Caroline's review and comment in mind.

Penny

I provocative review, Danielle. I am sometimes drawn to these story lines for reasons like yours. I wonder if the distance you feel towards Daniel are in part because it is a translation.

Danielle

I didn't even realize the title had been slightly changed! I always think it's weird when they do that! Not sure if I really like either book cover--neither captures exactly what the book is about. It did feel very light--in a way that was good since a story like this could be really draining, but I didn't feel like O really knew any of the characters either. It almost feels like it would work better as a (long) short story. I'm glad I read it as well, but like you it is not one of my favorites from the list.

Danielle

I read one other Catalan author that Peirene Press published a year or two ago. There were many things to like about this story--it was good, but maybe because of its brevity didn't feel quite as successful as other Holocaust stories I've read. Still, it is a book you can read in one sitting--do check it out--it could have been timing with me, too!

Danielle

Usually Holocaust stories are really harrowing--I fully expected for this to be a difficult read, but that was not the case. In a way I was glad, but at the same time it didn't have the weight I was expecting from a story like this either. It was certainly well written, but it lacked depth somehow, like it was just the frame of a story and not fleshed out? Not quite sure and I am not able to to put my finger on it quite. You'll have to let me know what a second reading of it is like. It could have been timing in my case, too. I wonder sometimes if I am reading so many war books that I am getting a little jaded by them.

Danielle

I hadn't thought of that, and that could certainly be the case. I wonder how hard Catalan is to translate--maybe it reads much differently in the language it was written?

Anna

Great review! I didn't really care for this book, mainly because she keeps the characters at arm's length so you don't really connect with them. I think that's important in a Holocaust novel.

Danielle

It was hard to feel like you knew Daniel--I agree. I always felt like I was only looking in on the story. Someone else mentioned that maybe it was the translation--and maybe that's the case. She had all the right elements, but it did lack something. I'll have to go see if you've also written about it--I'm curious what your thoughts on it are.

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