Monday, January 3, 2011

News! Got My Teeth into Book!

I'm in the early pages of the German writer Bernhard Schlink's Homecoming, which was his second novel published in English, I believe. I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm interested in contemporary German lit. But, as far as Schlink is concerned, his most popular novel, The Reader, turned my thumbs way down. Of course, I may have overreacted. I read it when it was first published, years and years before the movie came out.

I was viciously disappointed in it because the plot was too obvious. I knew immediately that the lover of the young, teenaged protagonist was a former Nazi worker in a concentration camp. I don't think I read more than 20 pages and I knew. And I remember tossing the book across the bedroom in rage at Schlink. I was so mad! He could've been more nuanced about it, but, for me, a life-long student of the Holocaust, he made the whole plotline evident before I even got to know the characters! Grrr.... I immediately threw it into Ken's pile, and my husband, not being the historian, loved it! At least the money was not wasted, I concluded.

Ken and I watched the movie this past year, years later, and I think Kate Winslet was wonderful, as was the teenaged narrator. I've simmered down quite a bit. I've even allowed the possibility to cross my mind that I may pick up The Reader again. But, for now I'm mystified by Homecoming. I'm reading Chapter 11and am so involved. Good!

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