- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1531 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: eBook Berlin Verlag (17 Nov. 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: German
- ASIN: B01MRGSFKB
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Simple Stories: Ein Roman aus der ostdeutschen Provinz (German Edition) Kindle Edition
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There is no central narrator, but the characters all recount their stories in a similar, matter-of-fact style, sometimes sharing the mundane details of everyday life, and sometimes leaving significant events untold. Readers should take note that some of the episodes contain violent or disturbing images, but Schulze tactfully leaves out graphic descriptions in favour of more implied horrors. What is interesting is how he emphasises the different attitudes of his townspeople towards the Wende, while still using his sparse and unsentimental style: some are romantic and - seemingly naïvely - optimistic, whereas others are resigned or confused, as world politics wreaks havoc on their lives. Readers will doubtless enjoy the surreal and often comically exaggerated situations Schulze's characters find themselves in, such as the ridiculous crisis surrounding a run-over badger and a tired taxidermist, made all the more humorous in his dead-pan delivery.
Despite the novel being divided into separate tableaux, readers will see common themes emerging and connecting many of the characters' lives, such as unemployment, uncertainty under the new government, Ostalgie, and above all, money. The various narrators nearly all mention financial hardships, or inherited land in the East suddenly being bought off by rich Westerners for development, leading to a new breed of nouveaux riches. This recent imbalance of rich and poor among former equals creates jealous tensions and distrust, just as the now-no-longer-concealed Stasi files created suspicions.
Read as a novel, these stories conjure up a grim picture of a post-Wende Germany which remains deeply socially divided. Schulze plays with typical reunification issues and ideas, giving readers a valuable and interesting insight into the real-life issues facing East Germans during this time of upheaval.