When I did the wrap up for the first week I was amazed about the contributions and thought that the enthusiasm might die down further into the month. I’m glad I was wrong with this assumption. The number of reviews and the variety of authors and books that have been chosen is as great as during week I and II. I would really like to thank all of you who contributed and help making this event a huge success.
The complete links and participants list can be found HERE.
Lizzy contributed two posts, one in which Publisher’s and Authors recommend their favourite German books and the other is a review of Julya Rabinowich’s Splithead which sounds like a most unusual book.
The Magic Mountain of German Literature 3 (Publisher and Author Recommendations)
Splithead by Julya Rabinowich
I reviewed a short story collection by Peter Stamm that I liked a lot and also reviewed Vicki Baum’s classic bestseller Grand Hôtel. While it isn’t as refined as Joseph Roth’s Hotel Savoy it is still a surprisingly interesting and character driven book.
In Strange Gardens and Other Stories by Peter Stamm
Grand Hôtel – Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum
Danielle (A Work in Progress) reviewed The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel which she found a fascinating and unusual crime story in the vein of Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Emma (Book Around the Corner) read Short Stories by Stefan Zweig. The stories had all a historical theme. She did enjoy it but maybe not as much as his non-historical stories.
Ted (BookeyWookey) read The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun and liked it a lot. The review captures the frothy playful tone that covers a dark undercurrent very well. The many quotes included in the review give a good impression of the novel (a favourite of mine).
Grace (Books Without Any Pictures) re-read The Trial by Kafka which she thinks a most unusual and absolute must-read book. She likes it better than most of his short stories.
Richard (Caravana de Recuerdos) read Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann after having been urged by a few people. He appreciated it a lot but liked it more for its ideas than its style. His review gives an excellent impression of the many interwoven themes of this complex book.
Jackie (Farm Lane Books) came to the conclusion that neither Jelinek’s Piano Teacher nor Grass’ The Tin Drum are to her liking. On Jelinek’s the Piano Teacher and Grass’ The Tin Drum. Judging from the comments, she is far from alone.
Guy (His Futile Preoccupations) read and reviewed Where Do We Go From Here? by Doris Dörrie which seems to have been a very good read, in typical Dörrie style “With piercing wit and a generous view of human nature.” Guy also read and reviewed The Snowman by Jörg Fauser. A cult classic of gritty German crime which – to quote Guy – “is strongest in its depiction of the seedy underbelly of life –the cheap hotels, the filthy toilets (…). There’s an intense authenticity to these scenes, and a sour truth to Fred’s realization that he’s small-time for a reason.”
Rise (in lieu of a field guide ) underlined in his review of Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter how crystal clear Stifter’s prose is. A captivating story written in a flawless style, concrete and precise like poetry, as he writes.
Fay (Read, Ramble) read Poems by Rilke which impressed her or in her own words “One reading of selected poems gives a sense of striking imagery and intense artistic purpose but not enough mastery of Rilke’s art to make further commentary worthwhile. Rilke is a poet who deserves several careful readings. All I know is that the more I came to know Rilke’s voice, the better I liked him, after a hesitant start. It is a voice to listen to again.”
Rikki (Rikki’s Teleidoscope) read Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig in German. She writes “I read this is German and I don’t think I have ever come across a writer who writes in such a precise way and who conjured such a clear picture of what is going on.”
Scott W. (seraillon) reviewed Beautiful Days – Schöne Tage by Franz Innerhofer. In his in-depth review he writes about the unusual combination of a seemingly cheerful title with the topic of child abuse. The book seems to be well worth reading, complex and arresting.
Priya (Tabula Rasa) liked Hotel Savoy by Joseph Roth a lot and recommends it highly.
Alex (The Children’s War) rediscovered and reviewed an old children’s classic Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner and reviewed A Song For Summer by Eva Ibbotson. Ibbotson’s book offers a wide variety of unusual, typical Ibbotoson characters and despite a WWII topic stays light and hopeful.
Parrish (The Parrish Lantern) introduced a great book on German poetry, including authors like Else Lasker-Schüler as well as Jan Wagner. The Faber Book of 20th Century German Poems. He included the whole list of poets, a poem by Elke Erb and a lot of other information.
Anthony (Time’s Flow Stemmed) calls Old Masters by Thomas Bernhard a flawless book. It seems also a very interesting book and one that was echoed by two other reviews (in lieu of a filed guide and seraillon). Bernard’s character criticizes Austrian art and artists, among them Stifter. The book could be called a rant but Anthony chooses to call it a tirade.
Tony (Tony’s Reading List) What happens when someone reads Kafka’s The Castle and participates in German Literature Month? Given he is an imaginative person it might look a little bit like this Das Schloss – The Play Act One – Das Schloss – The Play Act Two – Das Schloss – The Play Act Three Das Schloss – The Play (Director’s Cut). Tony writes his own “Castle Play ” and adds a review of Kafka’s book.
Liz (Tortoisebook) liked the sad but beautiful The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. She says “This book is a lovely read, beautifully told and achingly heartbreaking.”
Vishy (Vishy’s Blog) reviewed the original sheep crime novel Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann which read as if “Agatha Christie had rewritten The Wind in the Willows“.
Poor Daryl (Who Killed Lemmy Caution?) was ill but is recovering. Soon we will read her review of Klausen by Andreas Meier. Review on Its Way
Week three gives us a slightly puzzled Tom (Wuthering Expectations ) who after having read Wedekind’s Spring Awakening during week II thought he had seen the height of Austrian treatment of sexuality in plays but no – he hadn’t read the La Ronde/Der Reigen by Arthur Schnitzler yet. He was quite amused by the use of … to cover up the ongoing activities and wonders how they handled this during the play.
Effi Briest Readalong
And here are the winners of the Friedrich Glauser giveaway courtesy of Bitter Lemon Press.
One copy each of In Matto’s Realm goes to
Neer from A Hot Cup of Pleasure and
Richard from Caravana de Recuerdos
Happy reading Neer and Richard!
Please send me your address via beautyisasleepingcat at gmail dot com.
The giveaway is part of German Literature Month.
The next giveaway will take place on Wednesday 23 November 2011.