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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you expect from a novel.
Personally, I feel that the difference in reviews is down to what you expect from a book. Initially I was a bit dumbfounded by the book, it does seem to kind of, not lead anywhere, and I was initally quite bemused by the two stories merged into one (i.e. one chapter one story, the next a different story). However, as I read the book on holiday I managed to get really...
Published on 25 May 2009 by N. Longworth

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The modern part is not up to the standard of the 'historical part'
The book deals with the aftermath of the death of a loved one and how people cope( or don't). We have on one hand the story of a young man distraught after his girlfriend is killed in a road accident in South America. This is the part I liked least.Leo's reactions seem over the top, I have been lucky so far and haven't lost anyone who hadn't reached a reasonable age but I...
Published on 4 May 2009 by H. Lacroix


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you expect from a novel., 25 May 2009
By 
N. Longworth "Nicki longworth" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
Personally, I feel that the difference in reviews is down to what you expect from a book. Initially I was a bit dumbfounded by the book, it does seem to kind of, not lead anywhere, and I was initally quite bemused by the two stories merged into one (i.e. one chapter one story, the next a different story). However, as I read the book on holiday I managed to get really stuck into it, and found it incredibly enchanting, a book that really showed insight into two quite contrasting stories. There were a few cliche's, but hey, cliches are only used because they are so good! I found the writing very honest and although a few parts of the novel were not accurate, you have to put that aside and get lost in this amazing book! read it as a person, not as a book critic - and you'll love it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The modern part is not up to the standard of the 'historical part', 4 May 2009
By 
H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
The book deals with the aftermath of the death of a loved one and how people cope( or don't). We have on one hand the story of a young man distraught after his girlfriend is killed in a road accident in South America. This is the part I liked least.Leo's reactions seem over the top, I have been lucky so far and haven't lost anyone who hadn't reached a reasonable age but I have helped friends who have lost partners and husbands to cancer and however angry they were, however much they needed to dwell on the good old times and however much they found themselves betrayed by 'fate ' they simply never acted the way he did and Leo's reactions simply failed to convince me. I was even very annoyed with him at times.
On the other hand I found the story of Moritz and his love for Lotte extraordinary and very moving. To learn that it was actually partly true seemed unbelievable.That a young man who had gone to fight the Russians during the first world war and who had been captured and sent to a camp in Siberia could actually find the strength and determination to walk back to his hometown because he wanted to be reunited to the girl he loved defies imagination. That he went on with it and that it took him three years to achieve his goal, that he never lost faith and that he survived the ordeal is stupendous.That part of the book is really worth reading. What a pity the other part spoils the book!
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227 of 240 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tell her, brief is life but love is long" - Tennyson, 16 Jan 2008
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
RANDOM ACTS OF HEROIC LOVE is a fantastic debut novel by a very talented writer. Scheinmann spent six years writing his debut, and as you read, you can certainly see how it could be viewed as a labour of love. I think this book has been a cathartic experience for Scheinmann, and it just so happens to be a tremendous piece of work.

The book esentially follows two stories - one is of Mortiz Daniecki in 1917. As a survivor of the war, he is captured and put into a POW camp. Yet this is not where his story ends, for what keeps Mortiz fighting to get through the war and back home is the young love he has left behind there, Lotte. Before Moritz heads off to be a soldier, they share a kiss together and it is this kiss that spurs Moritz on; the memory of her sustains him and gives him reason to live. Once he escapes from the camp, Moritz then faces an arduous journey walking his way home, to his love and the life he had before.
The second story is set in 1992 and follows Leo Deakin. At the age of 25, Leo wakes up in hospital having survived a crash whilst travelling in South America. Upon waking, Leo discovers that his girlfriend Eleni did not survive the crash, but he cannot remember anything about it. As he struggles to rebuild his memory of what happened, whilst coming to terms with his loss, you follow him on this journey.

Through these two stories, Scheinmann has managed to explore the many issues of bereavement, love, survival, hope and travelling on physical aswell as philosophical journies in great depth and to great effect. Even if you have never lost a loved one, or been separated from your love, I am sure that you will be able to appreciate and understand the power of the emotions behind this extraordinary novel. What makes it even more so remarkable is that the journey Moritz makes across Russia was actually undertaken by Scheinmann's grandfather. Leo's experience of losing his partner at a young age is also another experience related to Scheinmann, so this knowledge shows just how much of his soul he has exposed within these pages.

I would recommend RANDOM ACTS OF HEROIC LOVE to anyone who believes in the power of love. This is a great book, it shall stay with you long after you have closed the pages.
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Read, 14 Feb 2008
By 
P. Smith "sterlingsop" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
I loved this book from the first page right through to the last. It is essentially two stories in one novel and I was totally hooked from the first page. Each story was thoroughly absorbing and appear to be completely separate from each other (one is set in 1917 the other in 1995, one is a Russian solider and one is an English student) and the ending is absolutely fitting in their conclusion. Brilliantly written - each of the two narrative voices remain seperate throughout the book and each are thoroughly convincing.

If you are a romantic person, or you are looking for some validation of your own love for someone or if you are just a plain old believer in the power of love this is the book for you. It is a love story that isn't a sex story and is passionate without being slushy. I would recommend it to romantics and hard-hearts alike.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the hype, 30 Mar 2008
By 
DW (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
Having read the rave reviews on this site, I've come to the conclusion that I must have missed something. The description of Moritz's trek across Siberia is admittedly pretty gripping, but unfortunately is relegated to second place by the modern day exploration of Leo's grief following the sudden death of his girlfriend. I'm sure there is something of value in terms of exploring the difficult subject of bereavement within the pages of this book, but it is buried beneath clumsy prose and a cast of paper thin supporting characters that it is impossible to care about. The 'physicist' spouting cod philosophy is particularly cringeworthy, and the renewal of the relationship between Leo's parents came a close second.

Incidentally, I'm quite confused as to how Leo gained the ability to understand Polish and read the letters in the space of a few days. I kept expecting this new found skill to be explained in the last few pages, but was left scratching my head at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the presence and power of love even after it is lost, 14 Oct 2008
By 
Louise Amkaer (Greenland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
The memory of love can at times be more present and more devestating than a human being can phanthom. "Random Acts of Heroic Love" is the story of Leo, who loses the love of his life in a bus-crash while backpacking in South America and the story of Moritz, who flees a POW camp in Siberia under WW1 and journeys back to Europe on foot, hoping to find the love of his life waiting for him.

The two men are alike in so many ways, but Leo goes under with grief after Eleni's death, while Moritz is strong with hope and determination after only a single kiss from Lotte. However, when the title calls "Randoms Acts of Heroic Love" into focus, I do not believe that it is the two main characters' love, but the love from the characters around Leo and Moritz.

"Random Acts of Heroic Love" has a certain novelty as the main characters are men, and it certainly aspires the reader to thoughts of love, loss, and life. It is atmospheric, beautifully written, and maintains a softness despite rough scenes in both the Leo and Moritz plotlines. However, it is a bit mushy, a little overly romantic despite the author's attempt to add a scientific approach to love with an university professor and a ph.d. in the mating rituals of ants.

I would recommend "Random Acts of Heroic Love" to someone, who loves romantic films and who - with a glass of red wine in hand - willingly discusses the notion of love.

Louise
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History, love, family values .., 25 May 2009
By 
Ms. F. Hector "Fab a book" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
A long journey home ... which take us back in time, and a love story which saved a man and his family, strong bonds, difficult at times. Once you have started this book, it is difficult to put it down. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Random Acts of Heroic Love, 9 April 2008
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
This book is difficult to rate, because even though both stories were worth telling I feel that they were not connected properly. I would rather have seen that the story of Moritz and his odessey from Siberia and back had been a book by itself. I book that could have continued with the story of his life and then about his only surviving son. Leos story is so sad and very emotional. Things like this happens and it is tragic. It is a good story as well, but it too could have been made to stand on its own. I also feel the titel does not fit to the stories in the book. They are not about any random acts of heroic love but rather of very deliberate acts of heroic love. This will not be a book I recommend I am sorry to say. The author could have made two good books with this material instead of one average book with a bad titel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but ...., 17 Sep 2008
By 
B. Richmond-O'Neill (Valencia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
This is Danny Scheinmann's debut novel. He has a terrific story to tell. Born in 1896 in Ulanov, a small village close to the Russian border, at 16 years old, Moritz Daniecki falls in love with Lotte Steinberg. He the son of a cobbler, she the daughter of a wealthy fur trader. They share one kiss and promise themselves to each other, despite knowing that their circumstances will never permit marriage. When war is declared he is sent to The Front. Finally, after many hardships and great suffering, he is abandoned in Siberia and, with Lotte's memory to sustain him, he begins the long walk home, a journey that will take years and one that will test his courage, his love and his endurance. Wonderful. BUT .... this story more than stands up for itself, why then muddy the waters with the story of Leo Deakin, a young man who loses the love of his life in a terrible accident while back-packing in South America? Leo Deakin is not a sympathetic character and I found myself unable to warm towards him. I think DS made a mistake in using a parallel story to illustrate the extraordinary events of his grandfather's life because this was the lifeblood of the book and made it worth every moment of the time spent reading it. I think Scheinmann was not best-served by his editor. A good read that could have been better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 25 April 2009
By 
Helen Simpson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Random Acts Of Heroic Love (Paperback)
This wasn't a book I would have chosen...possibly because the title had the word 'love' in it and possibly because it was a Judy and Richard recommendation (they DO review some good books, but the fact that they never seem to dislike any...whereas I do....puts me off).
However, it was picked for the reading group I belong to and... I loved it!!

Love does play a major part , but not in a soppy way. The book begins with Leo who wakes up in hospital in South America to the realisation that his girlfriend Eleni is dead...then the chapters alternate between Leo's story and that of Moritz Daniecki a young soldier caught up in WWI on the Russian Front. In between the chapters are journal pages which include factual information on the trials of love in the animal kingdom; from crabs to elephants...sounds odd but is relevant and interesting.

This book is stunningly realistic, whether it's the battle of Gnila Lipa and the graphic description of war, backpacking in South America or the fun and friendship of university.
Roberto was fascinating, I can't have been the only reader considering researching quantum physics can I? ;-)

Overall though, it makes you realise the importance of having someone to talk to who understands, the knowing that you're not the first person to have known grief and...the realisation that life does go on.

Humourous...sad, heroic, brave, inspirational...a book to cover all emotions.
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Random Acts Of Heroic Love
Random Acts Of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann (Paperback - 1 Jan 2008)
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