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The Hunger Angel Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846273323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846273322
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 899,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Wry and poetic, and Muller's evocative language makes the abstract concrete as her narrator's sanity is stretched...Boehm's translation preserves the integrity of Muller's gorgeous prose, and Leo's despondent reveries are at once tragic and engrossing." --"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review) "The stunning, exhilarating, heartbreaking culmination of Muller's work as a novelist...A 300-page prose poem of resistance to totalitarian repression, the book is a haunting paean to "the human angel"--the inventive, imaginative, invincible force that transcends suffering and absement, that defies depersonalization and deprivation to survive, and even thrive." --"The Wichita Eagle" "A work of rare force, a feat of sustained and overpowering poetry...Muller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects on to the reader's mind."--"Times Literary Supplement" "A phenomenal, moving and humbling novel."--"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" Praise for "The Appointment"
"A taut and brilliant book."--"Chicago Tribune" "A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu."--"The New York Times" "Muller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams.""--San Francisco Chronicle" Praise for" The Land of Green Plums " "Unflinching. . .Ms. Muller's vision of a police state manned by plum thieves reads like a kind of fairy tale on the mingled evils of gluttony, stupidity, and brutality.""--The New York Times" "Muller has triumphed in her honesty. . . . Describes in precisely hewn detail what it was like to live in Romania under communism.""--The Washington Post" "This heartbreaking tale is bitter and dark, yet beautiful... stark and telling.""--The San Diego Union-Tribune" "Ms. Muller's rich, harsh, obsessive imagery captures the surreal beauty and the difficulty of Ceausescu-era Romania.""--The Boston Book Review" "Impressive, wholly authentic . . .a bleak fable with the

PRAISE FOR "THE HUNGER ANGEL"

"A wonderful, passionate, poetic work of literature...Herta Muller is a writer who releases great emotional power through a highly sophisticated, image studded, and often expressionistic prose." -Neal Ascherson, "The New York Review of Books"

"This is not just a good novel, it is a great one... Muller is through and through a stylist. Her novel is written in a taut idiomatic German, which breaks into paragraphs of wrenching, Rilkean lyricism...A masterpiece." -"Financial Times"

"Written in terse, hypnotic prose...exquisite." "--New Yorker""Wry and poetic, and Muller's evocative language makes the abstract concrete as her narrator's sanity is stretched...Boehm's translation preserves the integrity of Muller's gorgeous prose, and Leo's despondent reveries are at once tragic and engrossing." --"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review) "The stunning, exhilarating, heartbreaking culmination of Muller's work as a novelist...A 300-page prose poem of resistance to totalitarian repression, the book is a haunting paean to "the human angel"--the inventive, imaginative, invincible force that transcends suffering and absement, that defies depersonalization and deprivation to survive, and even thrive." --"The Wichita Eagle" "A work of rare force, a feat of sustained and overpowering poetry...Muller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects on to the reader's mind."--"Times Literary Supplement" "A phenomenal, moving and humbling novel."--"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" PRAISE FOR "THE APPOINTMENT"
"A taut and brilliant book."--"Chicago Tribune" "A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu."--"The New York Times" "Muller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams.""--San Francisco Chronicle" PRAISE FOR "THE LAND OF GREEN PLUMS" "Unflinching. . .Ms. Muller's vision of a police state manned by plum thieves reads like a kind of fairy tale on the mingled evils of gluttony, stupidity, and brutality.""--The New York Times" "Muller has triumphed in her honesty. . . . Describes in precisely hewn detail what it was like to live in Romania under communism.""--The Washington Post" "This heartbreaking tale is bitter and dark, yet beautiful... stark and telling.""--The San Diego Union-Tribune" "Ms. Muller's rich, harsh, obsessive imagery captures the surreal beauty and the difficulty of Ceausescu-era Romania.""--The Boston Book Review" "Impressive, wholly authentic . . .a bleak fable with the flickering intensity of a nightmare.""--International Herald Tribune"

"A wonderful, passionate, poetic work of literature...Herta Muller is a writer who releases great emotional power through a highly sophisticated, image studded, and often expressionistic prose." --"Neal Ascherson, The New York Review of Books"

"This is not just a good novel, it is a great one Muller is through and through a stylist. Her novel is written in a taut idiomatic German, which breaks into paragraphs of wrenching, Rilkean lyricism...A masterpiece." --"Financial Times"

"Written in terse, hypnotic prose...exquisite." --"New Yorker"

"Wry and poetic, and Muller's evocative language makes the abstract concrete as her narrator's sanity is stretched...Boehm's translation preserves the integrity of Muller's gorgeous prose, and Leo's despondent reveries are at once tragic and engrossing." --"Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)"

"The stunning, exhilarating, heartbreaking culmination of Muller's work as a novelist...A 300-page prose poem of resistance to totalitarian repression, the book is a haunting paean to "the human angel"--the inventive, imaginative, invincible force that transcends suffering and absement, that defies depersonalization and deprivation to survive, and even thrive." --"The Wichita Eagle"

"A work of rare force, a feat of sustained and overpowering poetry Muller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects on to the reader's mind." --"Times Literary Supplement"

"A phenomenal, moving and humbling novel." --"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"

"A taut and brilliant book." --"Chicago Tribune on The Appointment"

"A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu." --"The New York Times on The Appointment"

"Muller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams." --"San Francisco Chronicle on The Appointment""

A wonderful, passionate, poetic work of literature...Herta Muller is a writer who releases great emotional power through a highly sophisticated, image studded, and often expressionistic prose. "Neal Ascherson, The New York Review of Books"

This is not just a good novel, it is a great one Muller is through and through a stylist. Her novel is written in a taut idiomatic German, which breaks into paragraphs of wrenching, Rilkean lyricism...A masterpiece. "Financial Times"

Written in terse, hypnotic prose...exquisite. "New Yorker"

Wry and poetic, and Muller's evocative language makes the abstract concrete as her narrator's sanity is stretched...Boehm's translation preserves the integrity of Muller's gorgeous prose, and Leo's despondent reveries are at once tragic and engrossing. "Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)"

The stunning, exhilarating, heartbreaking culmination of Muller's work as a novelist...A 300-page prose poem of resistance to totalitarian repression, the book is a haunting paean to "the human angel"--the inventive, imaginative, invincible force that transcends suffering and absement, that defies depersonalization and deprivation to survive, and even thrive. "The Wichita Eagle"

A work of rare force, a feat of sustained and overpowering poetry Muller has the ability to distil concrete objects into language of the greatest intensity and to sear these objects on to the reader's mind. "Times Literary Supplement"

A phenomenal, moving and humbling novel. "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"

A taut and brilliant book. "Chicago Tribune on The Appointment"

A brooding, fog-shrouded allegory of life under the long oppression of the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. "The New York Times on The Appointment"

Muller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams. "San Francisco Chronicle on The Appointment"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in Romania in 1953, HERTA MULLER lost her job as a teacher and suffered repeated threats after refusing to cooperate with Ceausescu's Secret Police. She succeeded in emigrating in 1987 and now lives in Berlin. The recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the European Literature Prize, she also won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for her novel, The Land of Green Plums. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.

Customer Reviews

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Started well but I slowly lost interest
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'The Appointment' is a true masterpiece and I looked forward to this greatly. Sadly I finally gave up on it half way. A Rumanian German is sent to the camps by the Russians after the war. There are many deeply moving heartbreaking books about the camps but this is neither; the world she creates is two dimentional and in the end simply doesn't deliver. Pity.
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Herta Müller, has written a stunning, haunting novel about suffering and survival in the Soviet work camps following World War II. In The Hunger Angel, Müller presents us with Leo Auberg, a young, closeted gay man in German controlled Europe. One day, late in the war, he is picked up suddenly and shipped off to a labor camp in Russia where he suffers with fellow inmates through cold, harsh working conditions and, most acutely, hunger.

In spare prose, Müller dramatizes the constant struggle that Leo and the others face when they are tempted and taunted by their individual hunger angel. The angels, however, are closer to demons, and they are alternately real and imagined. In any case, they are constant reminders of the deprivation that these men and women suffer as they perform hard labor in the cruel Siberian landscape.

s the war ends, there is hope among the inmates that they will get to return home. With this hope, though, comes the dread of realizing how permanently scarred they have been by the camp. Though Leo returns home, he never finds his place among his family and friends again. Though he eventually escapes hunger, he never escapes his hunger angel
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In January 1945 the 17 year-old Leo, from an ethnic German family in a Romania that's been overrun by the Red Army in its westward gallop, is led off to internal exile in a Soviet forced labour camp. Here, if the cold, the working conditions or disease don't kill you, then the hunger angel just might.

The angel personifies hunger: hunger that assails you day and night from outside, but also burrows into your body, penetrating the very core of your being and all your waking thoughts and dreams:

"Hunger is an object. The angel has climbed into my brain... He knows where I come from and he knows what he does to me... He lingers in every capillary like quicksilver. First a sweetness in my throat. Then pressure on my stomach and chest... He whispers to himself and to me... When he comes, he comes with force. It's utterly clear: one shovel load = one gram bread."

The angel, then, is the second principal player in Hertha Mueller's remarkable book. It unfolds in short chapters, a number of them devoted to inanimate objects such as the building materials Leo works with, investing them with personality. If the novel reads like first-hand testimony, that's because the author acknowledges the contribution of the poet Oskar Pastior, who was able to pass on his personal experiences in detail before he died.

Vividly imagined and expertly conveyed, `The Hunger Angel' is not however a grim read. Not a comedy either, it's true; still, we know that Leo will survive his five-year ordeal. But he returns home uncertain of his place in the world and unsure of relationships with his family, who had presumed him dead.

If such things interest you, I didn't come across a single proof-reading error. And the translation by Philip Boehm is a wonder in itself; you may also enjoy his translation of `Death in Danzig' by Stefan Chwin.
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