Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Simon Mawer’s The Glass Room brilliantly evokes six decades of Eastern European history, beginning in 1930s Czechoslovakia. Jewish newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer build their dream home, and despite the low hum of the German war machine reverberating through the land, the two look forward to a life of promise. But as war becomes inevitable, their lives are transformed in profound ways.
©2009 Simon Mawer (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry... a novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterised by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance." (The Guardian, UK)
I thought this story would be focused on the impact the war had on people but this story was more about the flings that happened between the various men and women that lived in or worked in the glass room. The author pulls you into the story by intricately describing thoughts, emotions, and scenes with flourishing vocabulary. By the last third of the book I found myself listening at more than 1x speed to get through some of the tedium.
There are some parts of the book that had me rewinding and copying a quote to my Facebook status because it was such a noteworthy phrase, like: "When they had first met she was a girl becoming a woman, now she is a woman become a mother. The fulcrum of her life has shifted."
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I liked visualizing what the Landauer's house would have looked like. But the characters were cold and not likeable. I found the quality of the relationships distant and aloof, and had trouble relating to anyone in the book. It was gratifying at the end when a reunion took place that I will not reveal so as not to ruin it for readers.
Not sure. I didn't like the overall feel of this book.
I can't say this book inspired me to do anything.
This was not my favourite book. I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen, but I would not recommend the book.
Clever plot sequencing
The room itself- it contained the whole story
Reader brought the story to life.
The author has an exceptional grasp on the human condition.
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