Posts In: History novel

Dog Years

July 27, 2018 Drama, History novel, Novel, War novel

Every book by Gunter Grass is a challenge. This fight is a cruel and uncompromising battle with oneself, not for life, but for death. The book is divided into three parts, and the narrative is conducted on behalf of three different characters. This pre-war, military and post-war years – formally different, but in fact – the same dog years. In addition to the chronology, one can also assume another principle of dividing the novel into parts. In the final, one of the main characters – Eduard Amzel – demonstrates to the friend three “primary emotions”. They are cry, laughter and teeth gnashing. To some extent, they relate to the three parts of the novel. The theme of the work is how human thoughts could be filled with a nonhuman idea and ideology – fascism. But the author does not directly point to the evil, he points to the guilty. Author, gradually allows the reader to trace the birth of Nazism in people’s heads, in fleeting shades of speech, in the behavior of this collective madness. The text of the novel abounds with a subtle irony, both light and sad. Grass conveys a truthful picture of the life of Germany in...

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The German Boy

April 13, 2017 History novel, Novel

It is a rainy day of 1947, at the railway station in the English wilderness red-haired Elisabeth Mander meets her nephew, a German boy, whose mother died. Elisabeth is confused. What to expect from this teenager, who certainly hates the enemies of his country. But the reality is much more complicated. That evening a German boy gives Elizabeth a picture of a girl with long copper hair going through the sun, under the trees there is a cafe, and at the table a man sits and watches the girl. Elizabeth recognizes herself. But who is this man in the picture? And what does her German nephe, whose mental state is disrupted by Nazism and war, have to do with the painting of a Jewish artist? So, this way begins the story of two families in the background of historical events that were in Europe in the twentieth century. It is a slow, but powerful story about family secrets, betrayal and love with lyrically and precisely written out details of that era. It is a story not about the boy. Or rather about the boy too, but more about his mother Karen and her sister Elizabeth, their friend Rachel and her brother Michael… About how young people loved, suffered, betrayed, loved again and...

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