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The Weekend: A Novel by Bernhard Schlink

The Weekend: A Novel (2008)

by Bernhard Schlink

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English (8)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (14)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Early on I thought this wasn't going to work - some of the initial exposition was a little awkward, and there seemed too many characters for a fairly short book. But about a third of the way through it really took off, the diverse voices and reactions of his old friends and their children came to life very well. The ideological and historical aspects of the story are nicely balanced with the impact that what happened, and the time since, has had on the characters connected with it. I'm interested in the topic so came to this wanting to like it, but it didn't disappoint. ( )
  roblong | Jan 8, 2012 |
not as good as The Reader , ie, disappointing ( )
  maxim.wilson | Oct 22, 2011 |
How does a terrorist deal with being released from prison back into the very society that he tried to destroy? How do his friends and relatives respond to him as a convicted murderer? This is the scenario that Bernhard Schlink posits in his new novel, The Weekend. Jorg has spent the last two decades in prison, convicted for acts of terror that cost four people their lives. He has petitioned the state for early release and has been pardoned. His sister Christiane meets him upon his release and takes him to the rural retreat that she shares with her companion Margarete. Invited to share Jorg's first weekend of freedom are friends who had shared Jorg's zeal for revolution back in the day, but whose passion never translated into action and who have since made lives for themselves within the bougeois, capitalist society that as young people they had deplored. Schlink has created a brittle drama in which many questions remain unanswered and little is resolved. Questions and recriminations fly back and forth, but it turns out that the motives behind people's actions are often selfishly human and, thus, deeply flawed. The Weekend is a potent and eloquent exploration of guilt and moral responsibility. Jorg's acceptance of a small role for himself within society is in many ways a triumph. But we can only wonder if he is trying to prove to people that he is worthy of the faith they have placed in him, or if he is hiding from his past crimes. ( )
  icolford | Aug 1, 2011 |
I think this book was a discussion about how life doesn't turn out the way you dream about when you are young. Jorg, the recently released (after 20+ years) from jail terrorist has not revised his revolutionary views and they are held in contrast to contemporary thinking of his former comrades. The surprise arrival further challenges them against the times and with the new generations response. The point for me was not the right/wrong of the actions but the datedness of the thinking, as perhaps is all our un-evolved hopes for our future - and the reasons we find we do not achieve our youthful goals.

Schlink gives time for most of the older characters to contrast their contemporary lives against their younger beliefs - again, at times using younger characters as a reference point.

I really enjoyed this book, it's slim but packed and I imagine will be re-read. ( )
  tandah | Jul 21, 2011 |
Was passiert mit einem Terroristenleben nach etwa zwanzig Jahre Knast? Kann man aufhören ein Terrorist zu sein? Welche Strafe ist angemessen, und - kannst so einer noch Freunde haben? Worüber kann man reden, und was geht gar nicht? Berechtigt politische Aktion zum töten? War das die Absicht, oder ist alles - eskaliert? Viele ethische, und noch einige praktische Fragen kann man sich da stellen. Die Antworten rollen allerdings nicht unbedingt leicht von der Zunge. ( )
  flydodofly | Jun 13, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernhard Schlinkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meijerink, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Reuniting in a secluded country home after decades apart, a group of old friends and lovers exchange clandestine judgments on their divergent paths and celebrate the pardon of one of their number, a convicted murderer and terrorist.

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