Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2016 EUROPEAN READING CHALLENGE: REVIEW PAGE

The European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017



THIS IS THE PAGE TO LIST YOUR REVIEWS.

IF YOU HAVE FINISHED, WRAP UP POSTS GO HERE.

TO SIGN UP, GO TO THE MAIN CHALLENGE PAGE, HERE,
OR CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE.

When you review a book for the 2016 European Reading Challenge, please add it to this list using the linky widget below.  Please link to your review post, NOT the main page of your blog.

If you don't have a blog or other place where you post reviews, so don't have a way to link your review below, just post your review in a comment on this page.

NOTE: There is overlap in January 2016 between the last month of the 2015 challenge and the first month of the 2016 challenge. If you participated both years, only count books read in January in one of the years, not both.

Please put your name or the name of your blog, the name of the book you reviewed, and the country of the book or author. For example: Rose City Reader, Doctor Zhivago, Russia.

LIST YOUR REVIEW HERE:




13 comments :

Carol said...

Hi Gilion, I just linked my first Europe book - set in Greece.

North Laurel said...

I posted a review for a book set in Russia (Leningrad/St. Petersburg)- well the story within the story is set in Russia. At first I was thinking it didn't count but I think it does as most of the book is the Russian setting, although the person telling the tale is in Washington... :)

Carol said...

Hi Gilion, forgot to add that The Third Man is my Austria entry.

James Casterline said...

Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils, 1986
An author who wrote many books outdid himself late in life with this book which is set in Wales. I am not a professional reviewer but the book said something to me, in part from the age and lifestyle of the central characters. Although there are several other memorable characters, the novel is about three couples, all Welsh, one of whom made a career on television as a "professional Welshman." He returns to his roots with his wife and they reconnect with two other couples. The book approaches each major character in turn: memories, infidelity, business relationships, socialization, and so on. There is quite a bit of social satire which was noticeable but not of great meaning because I have not lived in the British Isles. Some is still quite amusing. What struck me about the book as an aging reader is the nature of the friendship among the three couples who have known each other for many years. As we age, we learn a lot about our friends and something of ourselves. What I really enjoyed about the book was the way it connected the individuals as couples and by gender and the way it reconnected them to their youth. I was struck by the return to places of youth and the reaction of the characters. I can't say how a reader in their 20's or 30's will respond to this book but as someone who left middle age and became old without noticing, the book said a lot.

James Casterline said...

Sandor Marai, Embers, 1942 (English translation published 2001)
This book by a Hungarian author is set in 1940s Hungary but develops out of relationships that began in the late years of the Austro-Hungarian empire. This book was published during World War II but not known to the rest of the world until its translation into English. Unfortunately, the author had fled Hungary and ended up in exile in the U.S. where he committed suicide in 1989. The central character is a retired general who was commissioned in 1886, served in WWI, eventually retired and lives a solitary life, surrounded by memory, suspicion, and ultimately regret. Although other characters are introduced, particularly a friend of more than sixty years from military school, the book is one of brief scene setting, dropping of clues, then reminiscence. All of this is about the nature of friendship and, more briefly, the nature of marriage and the effect of infidelity on the friendship and the marriage then the life the general leads for his last 41 years. About halfway through the general meets again the friend of long ago and from there is mostly soliloquy with occasional, very slight, dialogue The book is a quick read. The author kept it interesting. When you expect you understand the complete story, more detail is added or other testimony arrives from another source. Although this is about friendship of two boys as they move from youth to old age, I found it dissatisfying and unrealistic. In the end, I felt that none of the parties understood the implications of their actions or the results that came from them. I am not sure the author intended that this be wrapped up into a neat package.

Susan said...

The country for #20 The Serpent Pool is UK (sorry, I forgot to type it)

Gilion Dumas said...

James -- The Old Devils is one of my favorites! I'm a huge KA fan and TOD, his only Booker winner, is one of his very best. Thanks for sharing your review.

Carol said...

I just added a link to 'All Quiet on the Western Front.' German author & set partly in Germany. Thanks!

Carol said...

Linked to 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' - Netherlands. Thanks, Gilion.

Carol said...

Hi Gilion, would you please change the country from Armenia to Turkey on The Road From Home. It's about an Armenia girl but set in Turkey, written by her son who was born in the US.

Gilion Dumas said...

Carol: Done!

Carol said...

The Metamorphosis was written by Frank Kafka, a Czech.

Gilion Dumas said...

Carol: Noted! You are on a roll with your reviews!

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