08 November 2011

The Appointment, by Herta Müller

I can't really say this was an enjoyable read. Which is not to say it isn't a good book, because it is, but it's rather relentlessly grim. Every time I put it down, I kind of had to force myself to pick it back up again. The story is of a woman on her way to a meeting with the secret police (the story is set in totalitarian Romania). As she rides the tram, she thinks back on her life. A lot of the prose is actually quite beautiful, but the overall atmosphere is pretty miserable. One has to appreciate how skillfully the author manages to put an entire life, and world, into a tram ride, but gosh, it's not much fun.

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