A Novel

Book - 2009
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Forced into a brutal concentration camp during a great war, Brodeck returns to his village at the war's end and takes up his old job of writing reports for a governmental bureau. One day a stranger comes to live in the village. His odd manner and habits arouse suspicions: His speech is formal, he takes long, solitary walks, and although he is unfailingly friendly and polite, he reveals nothing about himself. When the stranger produces drawings of the village and its inhabitants that are both unflattering and insightful, the villagers murder him. The authorities who witnessed the killing tell Brodeck to write a report that is essentially a whitewash of the incident.
As Brodeck writes the official account, he sets down his version of the truth in a separate, parallel narrative. In measured, evocative prose, he weaves into the story of the stranger his own painful history and the dark secrets the villagers have fiercely kept hidden.
Set in an unnamed time and place, Brodeck blends the familiar and unfamiliar, myth and history into a work of extraordinary power and resonance. Readers of J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace , Bernhard Schlink's The Reade,r and Kafka will be captivated by Brodeck .
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, c2009
Edition: 1st ed. in the U.S.A
ISBN: 9780385527248
Characteristics: 313 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Cullen, John - Translator
Alternative Title: Rapport de Brodeck. English


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gabrielo May 16, 2014

A masterpiece!

librarylizzard Jan 14, 2014

I picked this book up after liking the quirky mystery of the author's most recent novel, "The Investigation". This was not quite as offbeat; instead it was much darker in tone and theme. The main character, Brodeck, is entrusted with writing the account of a town tragedy of which he was not a part, and there is much more at stake than he realizes. He looks back on his experience in a WW2 camp as the story progresses, and so the book swiches between depressing past and depressing present. Not a feel-good book, but not bad if you're looking for something different.

Oct 02, 2012

With characters that are familiar to anyone who has ever flipped through an Asterix comic book, and a degree of contagious self-righteousness that is so seemingly casual, and therefore ultimately horrifying, this is a book that stays with you long after you put it down. The scary thing is, you can watch the news and see traces of the same kind of evil xenophobic justification every day.

alleycat Feb 18, 2011

Rarely does a novel reach such a level of excellence as this - I do believe it's the closest a novel can come to perfection! Wonderful, wonderful read!

smc01 Feb 16, 2011

This is a disturbing and powerfully written novel about the cruelty of mankind, the horrors of war, and the ability of groups to justify their inhumanity.

Mar 13, 2010

powerful adult fairy-tale about man's inhumanity to man. fabulous piece of writing.


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