Category: Fabulous Ones

Feb 12 2007

Five Germanys I Have Known by Fritz Stern

Fritz Stern was born in what was then Breslau, Germany, grandson of Jews who converted to Christianity, son and grandson of physicians and researchers, at a time when medicine was truly becoming a science and Germany was leading the way. His godfather and namesake was Fritz Haber, who discovered how to fix atmospheric nitrogen, won …

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Feb 11 2007

The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

Ali and Nino, the closest thing that modern Azerbaijan has to a national novel, was first published in German in 1937, sold in various translations, hit US bestseller lists in the early 1970s and bears the name Kurban Said as its author. But the question of the author’s identity had never been resolved. All anyone …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/11/the-orientalist-by-tom-reiss/

Nov 28 2006

Stephen Maturin, Drug Fiend

From The Commodore, pp. 187-88 Yet [Maturin] had some faults [as a physician], and one was a habit of dosing himself, generally from a spirit of inquiry, as in his period of inhaling large quantities of the nitrous oxide and of the vapour of hemp, to say nothing of tobacco, bhang in all its charming …

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Oct 23 2006

Under the Frog

Novermber 1955: Tired of trying to crack the problem of the informer, Gyuri settled down to think about being a streetsweeper while he gazed out of the window at the countryside that went past quite lazily despite the train’s billing as an express. The streetsweeper was a sort of cerebral chewing gum that Gyuri popped …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/10/23/under-the-frog/

Oct 13 2006

A Pocketful of Pamuk

The definitive(ish) review I’ve been meaning to write for months will obviously have to wait now that Orhan Pamuk has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here are the AFOE talking points on Pamuk: Snow is the one book to read if you only have time to read one. Ka, the protagonist, is a Turkish …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/10/13/a-pocketful-of-pamuk/

Jul 20 2005

Stasiland

Don’t pick of a copy of Stasiland, by Anna Funder, if you have work to do. I did the first time, and I nearly missed a deadline. I did it again this morning, intending to write a review, and my productivity dropped like a rock again. Consider yourselves warned. It’s not exactly the kind of …

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Jun 24 2005

Joseph Vissarionovich and the People Who Loved Him

Because some of them undoubtedly did, even people who knew him quite well. In his heyday, millions professed their love, sang his praises. Even those he had condemned in show trials, or in no trials, wrote to him of their devotion, wrote of their faithfulness, wrote of their belief. Perhaps they meant it, perhaps it …

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Apr 22 2005

Catching up with Greatness

Not mine, of course, the 50 novels from the Sueddeutsche Zeitung‘s list. Since several of my recent book reviews have been negative or lukewarm, I’ll say here above the fold that the latest batch has indeed brought me in touch with literary greatness. In the order I have read them, not of publication or anything …

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Feb 28 2005

If On a Winter’s Night a Publisher

Brings forth the fiftieth and last of its great novels of the twentieth century, a resolutely head-spinning inquisition of a book by Italo Calvino, one that keeps introducing a novel titled If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. In this, the coldest week in Munich in twenty years, the series not only takes notice of …

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Feb 11 2005

Ray Bradbury

Through a series of stupidities, when I moved from Washington to Germany, I lost a fair number of books. Several hundred, I think, but it’s a little too sad to count them up. There was, and still may be, a list I made when packing. An indulgent winter evening’s thought is which one I would …

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