My life, fate and Vasily Grossman’s ‘Life and Fate’

September 20th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

Vasily Grossman’s novel with the all-encompassing title Life and Fate is number 1 and 5 on the Guardian bestseller list this week, if I can believe the pop-up that appeared on my screen as I was web surfing. Apart from the oddity of the book appearing twice, what intrigues me is: why now? I’ve had the book on my shelf for 25 years.*

Back in the 1980s, I had a deep love of fat Russian books, along with a curious infatuation » Read the rest of this entry «

Reading ‘The Roots of Heaven’ and discovering… the roots of heaven

September 11th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

The book trade seems to be driven by the concept of the bestseller – that at a given time, a given book will connect with a wide audience. What interests me more is the phenomenon where a specific book connects with an individual in a way that perhaps no other book will. These are the moments when a book enters your life like divine intervention, where it speaks to you in a profound way.

It is even stranger when a book does so at a particular time, when that same book at another time did not. » Read the rest of this entry «

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