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January 30 @ 8:00 pm
At the January German Book Club meeting we will discuss Roman Ehrlich’s Das kalte Jahr (DuMont, ISBN: 978-3832162962, € 9,99).
A young man wanders along a highway in a country that is snowed under. Lonely fields, cess pools, rest stops, and window-less mobile homes are the stations along his journey. The destination is a village on the sea, at the edge of a former military base, where his parents’ house is located. Completely exhausted upon arrival, he nevertheless can see that his parents are missing. A secretive boy opens the door for him. A silent and stubborn boy, he spends the much of the following time withdrawn in the nursery afterward, working on a mysterious project. Little by little though, the two boys begin to approach each other. Stories are what connect them, historical stories of emigration and natural catastrophes, but also retold stories from TV shows, that enthrall both boys. In the end, a house in the middle of this icy landscape bursts into flame, and more than just the color of fire is reflected in the eyes of the villagers. Roman Ehrlich has written a novel about the loneliness of people. With enigmatic brutality, he weaves history and the present into a poetic masterpiece.
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