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The Story of Mr Sommer Paperback – 3 Nov 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition (3 Nov. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747566755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747566755
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Sempé’s illustrations and Michael Hofmann’s crystalline translation are both perfectly judged' -- Sunday Telegraph

From the Publisher

From the author of PERFUME comes an enchanting story about growing up - but not a children's story. With charming illustrations by Sempe, this book has been beautifully rejacketed and is now available in B-format paperback for the first time

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Antal, Daniel on 29 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
I received this booklet as a birthday present from a friend and read it in Hungarian. This is a beautiful short story, a middle aged man's recollections to his childhood with the omnipresence of Mr Sommer, a restless wanderer of the countryside and a ghost of passing away. I cannot rate the English translation, but the book itself is beautiful, touching, and given the story's contrast with Mr Sommer's light but irresistable presence, a perfect book for such an occasion that put it into my hands. Sampé's illustrations are beautiful. (I am sure that the German original's language gives a perfect rhytm to the story. Dezso Tandori, the translator is one of the greatest living Hungarian poets, so I just hope that the English version is as good as mine.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Valentina Auriault on 6 Oct. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is really a little pearl because of the illustrations and because of the story. Its again about being different and being lonely. Suskind treats solitude like no one else, I think. Through the child eyes, you feel your own innocence, or indiference. Who never met Mr Sommer?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I liked the picture on the cover. It's a lovely little book about the simple life of a boy. You can read it in one afternoon.
The best part is definitelly the chapter about the piano lessons and the music teacher. Genius writing.
Go for it!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Story of Mr. Sommer is a quite wonderful novella! It perfectly captures the fundamental senses of childhood - excitement and wonder (tree climbing and belief in flying), despair (the failed walk home with Carolina) and betrayal (feeling that the whole world, particularly that of adults, is against you...), There are some genuinely funny scenes (the snot on the F# piano key +the imagining of one's own funeral and how sad everyone would be...and what kid has not done that?) - but an underlying melancholy pervades the work. The narrator position is particularly clever - an older persona reminiscing, but by adopting the feelings and style of expression of a younger self. The viewpoint of the child is captured especially through the lengthy passages without full stops - reflecting a kid's way of expressing extreme emotions (both positive and negative) with a verbal outburst of passion without pause to draw breath...In many ways the setting is a universal one, with the parallels to the tales of the Brothers Grimm giving the book a mythical, timeless base, expressing truths for all eras and places. The allusions to scientific formulae, however, ground the story in reality - and the few references to the Second World War place it in a definite context of locale and time. I wonder whether it is those occasional allusions to the war that provide an unstated clue to the central mystery of Mr. Sommer himself. While most of the characters simply dismiss him as an eccentric, claustrophobic oddity, the child narrator (although too young for full understanding) witnesses Sommer in three crucial moments of agony and despair - after the hail storm, inwardly tormented under the spruce tree and and finally walking into the lake.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a glorious book. I read it every year and it still is the most beautiful bit of writing. Sad and uplifting at the same time.
Discover it for yourself
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