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House of Day, House of Night Paperback – 23 Jul 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (23 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186207514X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862075146
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 427,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A delight to read - wonderfully inventive and by turns comic, tragic and wise…a very fresh and vibrant Polish talent’ -- Philip Marsden, Observer

'A grounded but magical novel which is funny and intelligent’ -- Big Issue

‘This book, like an unusual dream, stays with you long after you have read it’ -- Highland News

About the Author

Olga Tokarczuk was born in 1962 and lives and works in the countryside near Nowa Ruda, south-western Poland. Originally published in 1998, House for the Day, House for the Night is her first work to appear in English. Antonia Lloyd-Jones's translations from Polish include Who was David Weiser? (1991) and Moving House and Other Stories (1994), both by Pawel Huelle, and most recently The Birch Grove and Other Stories by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz (2002).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk on 28 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have noticed, over the years, that many Post-War Polish writers tend to write in short chapters, even short stories, that appear (often) unrelated yet acquire a relationship as the book progresses because of the interrelationships and accidental coincidences that occur. This appears to be largely true with "House of Day, House of Night". It becomes quite obvious, very quickly, that the book consists of a series of short stories (sometimes VERY short) that remind one of random(ish) notes one might make when researching a topic; recipes, descriptions of places and flora, conversations one has had. Dysfunctional characters appear; an alcoholic who watches his world disintegrate, a bank clerk who falls in love with the man in her dreams only to find reality harsh and disappointing, a survivor of the Gulags who finds himself condemned in a chance statement he reads in Plato.
My early impression of the book was of a portrait being painted with dabs of colour and shade here and there. In fact it began to remind me very much of a Swiss cheese full of holes except that it is the holes that are solid and the cheese that is empty space. The solid holes, at times, exude a sort of energy, an electricity that charges the empty space between them and begins to create something shadowy but still unreal.
There were times I found the book too disjointed. It is well-written and quite interesting at times but it didn't always grip my attention wholeheartedly. I would go off and do other things (draw, write, walk) so that my reading experience became even more disjointed. When I used to work I used to read a chapter of a book before I set off... this book would have been ideal for those days. Now, in my retirement, I don't enjoy "clever" books, I yearn for a gripping read, an interesting story.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
She is one of the most intriguing writers I had the pleasure to read: witty and somehow hermetic. Make you dream to live in the Sudety mountains !
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BookBookBook on 5 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
A very nice read focusing on the lives of people from a village in Poland. I found it very easy to pick up and read. It's broken down into chapters telling the tales of different characters, leaving them - and picking them up again - as you go through the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Incomplete portrait 28 Nov 2011
By Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have noticed, over the years, that many Post-War Polish writers tend to write in short chapters, even short stories, that appear (often) unrelated yet acquire a relationship as the book progresses because of the interrelationships and accidental coincidences that occur. This appears to be largely true with "House of Day, House of Night". It becomes quite obvious, very quickly, that the book consists of a series of short stories (sometimes VERY short) that remind one of random(ish) notes one might make when researching a topic; recipes, descriptions of places and flora, conversations one has had. Dysfunctional characters appear; an alcoholic who watches his world disintegrate, a bank clerk who falls in love with the man in her dreams only to find reality harsh and disappointing, a survivor of the Gulags who finds himself condemned in a chance statement he reads in Plato.
My early impression of the book was of a portrait being painted with dabs of colour and shade here and there. In fact it began to remind me very much of a Swiss cheese full of holes except that it is the holes that are solid and the cheese that is empty space. The solid holes, at times, exude a sort of energy, an electricity that charges the empty space between them and begins to create something shadowy but still unreal.
There were times I found the book too disjointed. It is well-written and quite interesting at times but it didn't always grip my attention wholeheartedly. I would go off and do other things (draw, write, walk) so that my reading experience became even more disjointed. When I used to work I used to read a chapter of a book before I set off... this book would have been ideal for those days. Now, in my retirement, I don't enjoy "clever" books, I yearn for a gripping read, an interesting story.
And yet I do not feel I am doing the book justice. It IS well-written, some of the stories ARE interesting, poignant, even tragic. Every now and then some fascinating thread is developed or some character pulls at you... I feel there was a really good book here but it was left among the notes and jottings and never got written.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
collector of dreams 1 Mar 2009
By Mary Beth Jaynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at the wonderful Massolit book store in Krakow Poland this summer. It is a very relaxing read, I got lost in the stories and loved the idea of collecting peoples dreams. This is a wonderful book full of short stories wrapped up in a novel.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Silesian mysteries between the covers 3 May 2007
By Thomas Minney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Its an unusual novel (a novel novel?) set in a small town in Silesia (south west Poland) structured around a narrator's diary with lots of stories about the present and the past told by the mysterious old lady who lives/hibernates next door. Highly recommended for people interested in modern classics of Polish and central European story-telling.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Novel 1 Feb 2009
By Elvis C. K. Yeung - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
''House of Day, House of Night '' is a greatest novel. Everyone should read this novel if he loves polish literature, loves culture, loves reading and loves life.
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