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On a Day Like This by Peter Stamm
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On a Day Like This (2006)

by Peter Stamm

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English (7)  German (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was unable to finish this early review after losing interest in the characters and story about 1/4 the way through. It may be because it was the translation, but the development was rather flat and I found myself turned off by some of the lifestyle choices. ( )
  amarie | Jul 27, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The strength of this book that makes it a compelling read is its ability to believe the situations in which the main character Andreas finds himself. I found myself seeing the unfolding of the scenes to be filled with details that seem to be so real it was a bit frightening, as if it was so true "one couldn't make this up." And that is where _On a Day Like This_ excels.

The book feels mundane because Andreas leads a life whose mundanity only reflects his meaningless world around him. The only thing that gives him any meaning is his unrequited love for Fabienne. The only real details worth remembering in Andreas' life surround her; it is as if the color of the world is desaturated except for when he thinks about Fabienne and his limited encounters with her--only these times possess color. While some might find the narrative a bit bleak, or dare I say, 'immoral', Andreas' story is ultimately a hopeful one. It's not so much about Andreas' idealistic "story" as much as the reality of choosing that person who continues to be the one who chooses you in return. Mutuality and reciprocation may ultimately find a home in a story full of unilateral selfishness. ( )
  ericaustinlee | Oct 1, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There are some people who find beauty in the mundane. Andreas is one of those people. Every day he gets up, follows the same routine, has the same, empty relationships. And he's happy. At least, he thinks he's happy. But then the unknown rears its head. He might have lung cancer. Then again, it might be nothing, as he decides to not see the results. But the doubt throws his whole world into question. It's a slow build, mostly filled with introspective questioning and unemotional details. What will make him feel free? What is he missing from his life to keep him from living? There never is an easy answer, or a climatic event, but life usually doesn't wrap itself up that nicely either. There's a bit of hope, and a sliver of resolve, and that's the end. Yes, it's a bit hard to get into, and it's a bit of a slow read, but in the end, it's a satisfying book. ( )
  skyekat | Aug 31, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What would you do if you found out you might have terminal cancer? Would you clean out your possessions? Sever your relationships with your friends? Start new ones? Confess an unrequited love? Visit your hometown? This is the situation that the main character, Andreas, finds himself in. A Swiss man teaching German in Paris, he explains that he feels like his life has been the same day in and day out since he first arrived there eighteen years ago - until the day he has a biopsy done on a mass in his lungs.

This isn’t a happy feel-good book, but it isn’t necessarily a depressing book either. There is no earth-shattering climax at the end, but instead a slow build-up to what ultimately felt, to me, like the correct choice. The author never tries to explain the character or his motivations; he just lays out what Andreas thinks or says, which was refreshing, but occasionally confusing and distancing at times.

Overall, a thought-provoking read, and definitely recommended ( )
  lalawe | Jun 24, 2008 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
After visiting the doctor and being sent for a lung biopsy, Andreas questions his life and wonders how different it may have been if he made different choices. He quits his job, sells his apartment and returns to his hometown to find a woman he was obsessed with in his youth. Hoping to reunite with her and change the monotony of his life, they meet and spend some time with each other sharing the events of theirs lives. Realizing that the relationship would never work, Andreas returns to Delphine to make the most of his life with her.

Overall, the book was well written, but it was somewhat depressing to realize that many people probably go through life regretting choices they have made and lose out on what they do have in their lives. In the end, he does finally realize how special his relationship is with Delphine and begins to live in the present rather than the past. ( )
  smartell | Jun 23, 2008 |
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"On a day like any other, Andreas changes his life. When a routine doctor's visit leads to an unexpected prognosis, a great yearning takes hold of him - but who can tell if it is homesickness or wanderlust, a death wish or a fresh lease on life? Andreas leaves everything behind - sells his Paris apartment, cuts off all social ties, quits his teaching job, and waves good-bye to his days spent sitting idly in cafes - to look for a woman he loved half a lifetime ago. The monotony of days had been keeping him in check; now he hopes for a miracle and for a new beginning.""Andreas's travels lead him back to his hometown in Switzerland where he returns to familiar streets, where his brother still lives in their childhood home, and where Fabienne, a woman he was obsessed with in his youth, continues to visit the same lake they once swam in together. Andreas, consumed with longing for his lost love and blinded by the uncertainty of his future, is tormented by the question of what might have been if things had happened differently." "In On a Day Like This, Peter Stamm's unobtrusive observational style allows us to journey with our antihero through his crises of banality, of living in his empty world, to the realization that life is finite - that one must live it, as long as that is possible."--BOOK JACKET.General Adult. In the quiet but evocative latest from Swiss writer Stamm (Unformed Landscape ), Andreas, a 40-something Swiss expatriate, teaches German in Paris and spends much of his time musing over Fabienne, the lost love of his youth, while sleeping with women he doesnt much like. Andreas thinks of himself as quiet and passive, and is thus surprised by the intensity of his reaction when told he may have a serious lung disorder. He reacts by allowing a casual affair with 24-year-old Delphine (a teaching colleague who had briefly been involved with Andreass best friend, Jean-Marc), to intensify. He tells Delphine about his illness; she reciprocates by taking care of him as he recovers from surgery. The two seem poised to take a chance on one another, but Andreass fidelity to Fabienne is still to be reckoned with. Andreass sorrows and changing perspectives are surprisingly powerful in this muted, thoughtful novel of second chances.… (more)

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