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5.0 out of 5 stars
Language and Control, 28 Jan. 2012
A book of stunning description, metaphor and a study how language can be and is used to control individuals and populations. The author takes us to darkest Romania where to speak "truth"becomes "unbearable". Fear and hate consumes Romanians and the power of this is illustrated in the words of the central character when she speaks of her father (ex. Nazi SS) keeping his knowledge "deep in his throat between his collar and his chin". This deeply pessimistic world destroys so much human contact that individuals become psychological exiles, culminating in characters literally seeking exile in the West. But even their the scars of dictatorship remain. As I say it is a profoundly depressing portrayal of dictatorship but such is the strength of the language and the intricate elucidation of characters-institutions that the novel grips the reader. It does take work to stay with it but in the end it is well worth it. A book of insight and literary force.