Review by Margie
Monday 13th February the group discussed All The Lights by German writer Clemens Meyer.
Winner of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2008. The book is a collection of short stories putting society’s misfits centre stage, set in what was former East Germany – described as the “unforgiving backdrop of post-unification East Germany”.
The group was quite polarized in their review of this book. Some found the pathos burdensome, and too much repetition of theme in each of the stories. A member thought that they had to work hard to get in to the stories due to their dullness, and only managed to read the book after reading the informative introduction by Stuart Evers. They said that writing was good, but the limited scope of the stories greatly diminished the interest of the book.
Meyers writing style is minimalistic, stripped bare, even plain language – which on the surface appears simple, however it contains a subtlety and complexity that places demands on the readers. One of the group said “you have to bring your own emotion to the story and characters”.
Some found themselves skimming pages and losing interest, whilst another thought the extreme simplicity of the writing revealed so much about the story, it was an extraordinary work.
Meyers certainly challenges his readers and one reviewer described it as “razor blade slices of life that neither glamorize or celebrates its cast of lost lonely characters”.
Ratings: Alexa 2.5, Claudia 3, Denise 3.5, Di 3, Gail 2, Janet 2, Margie 3, Nic 4.5, Penny 3.5 and Viv 3.
Next month we get together on the 13/02/17 at 6:30pm at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to discuss The Year of The Hare by Finnish writer Arto Paasilinna.
Hope to see you there and Happy Reading!
We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.
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