Mar. 11th, 2015

Books 7-12

Mar. 11th, 2015 10:40 am
lizzardgirl: (books)
Book 7: Spur 24, by Wolfgang Kaes

This was pretty much a run-of-the-mill German crime story, rather decently done.

Book 8: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Just needed to add one more to my LPW re-read ;-) This was my first LPW ages and eons ago, and I love that I am still discovering new things even after all those years. This time it really struck me that Ann Dorland seems like a very early version of Harriet - did anyone else feel that way?

Book 9: Sternstunden der Menschheit, by Stefan Zweig

This book. Oh this book. It's a set of fourteen historical miniatures, but this is really not that important. I fell in love with the language. It's German at its most powerful, most beautiful imaginable. It's forceful, dreamy, poetic, just slightly antiquated - it's just aweful, in the original sense of that word. Google-fu tells me it's been published in English as Decisive Moments in History or Tides of Fortune, but I'm not sure if a translator could fully do that language justice. I know I couldn't, but then I'm not a native speaker of English.

Book 10: 1913: Der Sommer des Jahrhunderts, by Florian Illies

This book had the great misfortune that I read it back-to-back with the Stefan Zweig and it just ... fell short. It's a pleasant enough read, even witty - it's basically a collection of anecdotes of things that happened throughout the year 1913, and how some of them were a cultural climax of the 20th century. It's a very intriguing premise, and it was decently enough executed - but after the Zweig, the language just felt flat and the tone too familiar and chummy. But I think I'd have liked it better if I'd read it at another time. (The English title, apparently, is 1913: The Year Before The Storm, if anyone is interested.)

Book 11: Märzgefallene, by Volker Kutscher

Another German crime story, this time the fifth in a series set in 1920s/30s Berlin. This one takes place just after the Nazis came into power, and though the murder mystery was a bit confusing and there were some historical details I side-eyed, the description of the atmosphere of suspicion and dread was well done, very chilling and eery. I don't think there's an English version though.

Book 12: Der Schieber, by Cay Rademacher

Another German historical crime story, this one set in 1947 Hamburg, second in a series I started last year. I'm not too keen on the narrative voice, but the story is pretty interesting and I like the amount of details, so I'm going to get the third one from the library as well.

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