In the High Peaks

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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