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The Breaking of Eggs Paperback – 17 Mar 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (17 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075382776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753827765
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I love this book...very funny and very sad, often on the same page... I love the cover, I love the title..."
-Nancy Pearl, "Book Lust"
"A magnificent debut novel...a haunting, quietly brilliant story...a rare and remarkable achievement: a novel that meshes storytelling potency with historical erudition."
-"The Boston Globe"
"An impressive first novel...wise and witty."
-"American Spectator"
"Dramatic change comes to the rigidly ordered, solitary life of Feliks Zhukovski. A naturalized French citizen living in Paris, the irascible 61-year- old Polish leftist is stunned by the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union. He also gets the flu, and that spurs his first conversation in 36 years with his landlady. Feliks has always valued ideas and ideology over people, but events conspire to reunite him with the brother he hasn't seen for 50 years; take him to the hated U.S. to complete a business deal with capitalists (gasp!); discover the fate of his mot

"A magnificent debut novel...a haunting, quietly brilliant story...a rare and remarkable achievement: a novel that meshes storytelling potency with historical erudition."
-"The Boston Globe"

"An impressive first novel...wise and witty."
-"American Spectator"

"Dramatic change comes to the rigidly ordered, solitary life of Feliks Zhukovski. A naturalized French citizen living in Paris, the irascible 61-year- old Polish leftist is stunned by the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union. He also gets the flu, and that spurs his first conversation in 36 years with his landlady. Feliks has always valued ideas and ideology over people, but events conspire to reunite him with the brother he hasn't seen for 50 years; take him to the hated U.S. to complete a business deal with capitalists (gasp!); discover the fate of his mother; and offer him a second chance at love. All of these events force Feliks to examine the choices he has made. Powell's delightful debut novel is by turns winsome and moving. Feliks is an indelible character, and the people who enter his life tell remarkable stories of the suffering that fascism and communism visited on Europe. "The Breaking of Eggs" is a book that thoughtful readers won't soon forget."
-Thomas Gaughan, "Booklist"

Book Description

A panoramic debut about love and loss, THE BREAKING OF EGGS announces a major new talent.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The story of this book is that of an expatriate Pole coming to terms with the end of communism. It plods along at a fairly pedestrian pace, flagging up any plot twists long before they happen, making the life-changing sequence of events that happen to the protagonist after the fall of the Berlin wall seem ridiculous and unlikely.
I found the first three quarters of the book to be a somewhat monochrome look at the protagonist's coming to terms with these changes. The characters lack distinctive voices, the narrator fails to excite, and it all plods along without really exciting the reader. In the final quarter of the book things start to come to life as the human elements collide, creating the kind of crashing, chaotic ground-shifting atmosphere and narrative that the rest of the book aspired to and would have benefited from.
The protagonist's reflections on politics, truth, love and life and how 20th century Europeans developed their perspectives on all of these things move to another level for this final quarter, elevating the book and making the trawl through the previous 200-odd pages worthwhile.
It will be of interest to anyone intrigued by the political upheavals in Europe after World War II and beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in how those who played a part in supporting now-undermined political systems came to terms with their demolition.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The choices people make and their consequences form the bedrock from which is carved this poignant and absorbing novel. Feliks Zhukovski is 61, lives in Paris, having for many years spent his time travelling in the eastern bloc and writing a guide book for those who wished and were allowed to visit there. A staunch left winger in political terms, he believes in the communist ideal and promulgates it within his guide. However, when circumstances force a sale of the rights to his publication,his past unfolds and unravels as he discovers many truths that he believed in both political and personal are hollow and empty. He is forced to confront many people who have shaped wittingly or not his adult life and in doing so his perceptions change.

This journey is both sad and uplifting by turns and proved an outstanding read. This story is fiction, but could so easily be mirrored in the real lives of countless others. I found Jim Powell a fine and distinctive voice, bringing this story to life, and I recommend it very highly indeed.
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By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What is most extraordinary about Jim Powell's novel is not just its ambition, but the modest means through which The Breaking of Eggs covers that vast range of human experience that defines the world we live in today. It's through the simple yet contradictory character of Feliks Zhukovski that Powell finds the perfect perspective to view the modern world, consider how we have arrived there and contemplate where we are likely to go. A 61 year-old man of Polish origin living in Paris in 1991, Feliks has witnessed the seismic changes that have come about after the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the fall of Soviet bloc Communism, but while the world moves on and takes it all in its stride, Feliks finds it much harder to redefine himself and his place within this new world.

Having made a modest living as a travel writer and publisher of a guide to eastern bloc countries, the changes are difficult enough to accept for a man with leftist leanings who was once a member of the Communist party, but with the sudden new interest that there now is in his guides, Feliks also has to consider an offer for them made by an imperialist capitalist business from America. Feliks however takes the opportunity of a meeting to discuss the sale in New York to look for his older half-brother Woodrow, from whom he was separated from during the war. Confronting issues that are antithetical to everything he believes in comes as something of a shock to the system, but the organisation of the trip to America brings to light several revelations about his past that force Feliks, at this late stage in his life, to re-evaluate those former fundamental certainties and ideals that have defined his existence.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Breaking of Eggs is one of the best novels I've read, ever! In time I'm sure it will be regarded as a classic and go on to be among those which feature on every prescribed pre Uni reading list.
Jim Powell's an historian but was previously an advertising exec; he combines the skills and traits of both in a sensitive understanding of the fall of the iron curtain and some peoples' fear of change. He has a superb ability to describe both male AND female responses and emotions to forced change. He develops the personality of each of his characters with much insight and he builds the chronolgy of their revelations in a structured way, which however hit at the core of the principal narrator in a rich catharsis.
Its not just a flowing modern historical novel, nor a thriller, nor a love story, nor a psychological study BUT a wonderful combination of all four.
I've recommended it to loads of family and friends - they all have the same appraisal!
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