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14 March 2014 @ 09:25 am
[book note] Bryson, Gwisdek  
More often than not, I find myself reading two different books parallel at the same time. When I'm not on holiday and thus out of my usual rhythms,  there are daytime books, nighttime books, and only very few which fall in between. The respective categories don't seem to have anything to do with a book's genre, content or narrative complexity. King's Doctor Sleep was a nighttime book, for example, but so was also Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being. Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall? Daytime. And the way I treat non-fiction books is equally erratic.

The two books I'm reading parallel at the moment, however, couldn't be more different if they tried to.


Bill Bryson, One Summer in America: 1927

Popular history, strung together somewhat loosely, but all in all a quite intriguing account of the key events and the people which came to shape the collective consciousness of American citizens during the late 1920s.


Robert Gwisdek, Der unsichtbare Apfel (German)

Hitting bookstores (or Amazon, respectively)  on March 8th, it seemed quite unavoidable that I ended up finding this inconspicuously looking white little book on my birthday table, right? Debut novel, written by someone who, during the thirty years he has so far spent on this planet, has already been an actor, a songwriter, a dadaist performance artist. So, approach cautiously, right? Especially if you are a fan...

Eternal skeptic that I am, I opened Der unsichtbare Apfel rather hesitatingly, fearing, no almost sure that I would certainly be disappointed. Now, that I am about one hundred pages into the novel, I guess it's safe to say that I'm not. Not by any means at all. Capturing, imaginative (the more surrealist side of "imaginative"), beautiful language. Unsettling. These are the adjectives I would pick to describe it, but if I had to chose a comparison to sum up my subjective reading experience so far I would say: This one feels as if Hans Christian Andersen and Franz Kafka had collaborated to come up with a pre-dreamt version of a movie by David Lynch.

Of course, adjectives and comparisons never do anything, anyone justice. And of course, I better ought to check if my usual pair of glasses haven't been switched for a pair of rose-coloured ones... ;-)


This entry was originally posted at http://bimo.dreamwidth.org/63409.html. Comment there or here, as you like. I'd be glad to reply to your comments over on DW.
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Kathyhkathyh on March 14th, 2014 01:37 pm (UTC)
The Bill Bryson book is on my mental Sounds Interesting, Would Like To Read list. The Robert Gwisdek books sounds extraordinary, but alas, my inability to read German means that it is beyond me.