22 June 2008

First ARC Review

So as you can tell by my sidebar, i have my books catalogued on LibraryThing. I've only been in the Early Reviewer group for about 4 months but in May i scored an ARC for On a Day Like This by Peter Stamm. This one is going to come out in July. I feel like I need to do a great job on the review since I got it free. It is the story of a Swiss man, Andreas, teaching German in a Paris school. He seems to be in his late 40's, is unmarried, and has an orderly, if pretty boring, life. He sleeps with a couple of women regularly, not in a relationship sense. He's drifting through everything without really feeling anything. Then he goes to the doctor for a cough, which leads to an x-ray, which leads to a biopsy. He freaks at the idea of knowing the outcome. At that point, Andreas basically jettisons his life. He seems, even early in the novel, to be fixated on a woman he knew when he was young, who he only kissed once and who ended up marrying a friend of his. So he returns to his hometown for closure with her.

Peter Stamm is Swiss and this novel was originally in German. I don't know if all German translations end up so beautiful but now I want to read more to see. Here's a quote:
Fear, fear wasn't a thought. Fear seemed to come from outside. When Andreas thought of being sick he didn't feel fear. He was desperate, confused, he struggled with himself, he reproached himself. Whereas fear came suddenly, without warning. It was like a darkening of his thoughts. Fear made it impossible to breathe, crushed his body until he felt ready to explode and break apart into a fine spray consisting of billions and billions of tiny droplets, spinning into the void.

Wow. Lovely lovely writing. I've only had a couple panic attacks ever, but that is exactly how it felt. I also really identified with the whole starting over theme. I really liked this one and i think it is a 6.

2 comments:

  1. I am jealous! I have never had any luck with LibraryThing's Early Reviewers.

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  2. I was extremely surprised that i got one. I don't try to request all the books, just the ones i really think I'll like. I've written a few reviews for some of my own books that are posted so I don't know if that helps.

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