Monday, 29 September 2008

Shortlist Translations now has English excerpts from all six books shortlisted for the German Book Prize online. Except there are only five - the Rolf Lappert title isn't there. Either a broken link or coming soon, I suspect. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Ingo Schulze extract, you'll see (one reason) why I was too busy to blog last week.

I was surprised to find myself really enjoying the book when I read it. It's actually much faster-paced than the extract itself, and very heavy on the dialogue. Which makes it light reading, but not the fluffy kind that leaves you feeling cheated. Lots of fun spotting the biblical motifs, lots of plain food and fine cuisine, hugely atmospheric - summer holidays, East Germany and Hungary in the summer of 89, musical beds and border crossings. But still a number of serious points to be made, including the idea that the GDR was a paradise, at least for Adam, the book's protagonist. Quite a contentious point really.


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