Most helpful critical review
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Something must have been lost in translation
on 5 August 2010
My brother, who has lived in Germany for the last 35 years, suggested that I might find this book interesting. He read it in German. I got an English translation of it and some vernacular turns of phrase jarred; they seemed too modern for the period in which it is set. I found this distanced me from the narrative.
I have read most of the first section, on the Quangles, and all the characters presented so far are so depressingly unpleasant that I cannot suspend my disbelief and get involved in the story. I expect the story to be grim, set as it is in Germany during World War II, where everyone survives as best he or she can, but for all to be so unpleasant is relentless.
Maybe I will return to the book when I have nothing else to read.