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Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink
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Homecoming (2006)

by Bernhard Schlink

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
That this novel looks at the sociological phenomenon of homesickness and homecoming is fairly clear from the title, less obvious is that it also looks at some aspects of political theory, particularly towards the end. The first was generally well done even if at times it veered too far away from novel towards text book. The second part, roughly the last third of the book, then took a sharp downward turn with the novel aspects (characterisation, plot) being not only weaker in themselves but also not really resolving the earlier part. The tendancy towards didacticism is also much more marked.
I generally like Schlink's novels but for me, this is one of his least successful. 10 December 2015. ( )
  alanca | Dec 10, 2015 |
this is a deeply philosophical work of fiction. i had a hard time getting through some passages, and sometimes had a hard time liking the protagonist. however, if philosophy is your cup of tea & you're looking for something similar in fiction, this would be a good pick. ( )
  cat-ballou | Apr 2, 2013 |
Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

A child of World War II, Peter Debauer grew up with his mother and scant memories of his father, a victim of war. Now an adult, Peter embarks upon a search for the truth surrounding his mother’s unwavering—but shaky—history and the possibility of finding his missing father after all these years. The search takes him across Europe, to the United States, and back: finding witnesses, falling in and out of love, chasing fragments of a story and a person who may or may not exist. Within a maze of reinvented identities, Peter pieces together a portrait of a man who uses words as one might use a change of clothing, as he assumes a new guise in any given situation simply to stay alive.The chase leads Peter to New York City, where he hopes to find the real person behind the disguises.

The Short of It:

I liked it, but I didn’t like it and if this brief statement makes absolutely no sense to you, then read on.

The Rest of It:

Homecoming is one of those novels that is a story, within a story. I usually love these types of books. A book about a book? I’m there. BUT, this one promised to be an adventure and for me, it sort of petered out halfway through. As Peter heads out on his quest to find the truth, the story starts to get a bit muddy and then I started to skim, and then I was completely lost. By the end, I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what happened, but after thinking about it for a day or two, I realize that I really have no clue.

To his credit, Schlink’s characters are lovely. I liked them very much and felt as if I really got to know them. If it weren’t for the strong characters I probably would have given up on the book because it just didn’t grab me as much as I expected it to. The ending was very strange too. Almost surreal at one point. It didn’t seem to fit the rest of the story.

Homecoming is my book club’s pick for this month so I’m hoping that the discussion on Thursday will shed some light on what exactly happened there at the end. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think of it? ( )
  tibobi | Jul 7, 2010 |
Might be good if I persevere but it is so melancholy......
  mairangiwoman | Feb 17, 2010 |
I didn't really enjoy this book. It had a strange falsity about it, as if the story were being manhandled into fitting Schlink's theme and structure.

At any given time there must be thousands of children orphaned by war. Sometimes it's the death of one or both parents; sometimes it's the exigencies of war that lead to brief or unsuitable romances or exploitative relationships. (Just last week, I read in the press about abandoned children born of liaisons between United Nations personnel and Timorese women). It's usually the woman left literally holding the baby, and so it is with Peter Debauer's mother. Peter grows up fatherless, but chance events set him off in pursuit of the father thought to be dead since the end of the war.

For more, see http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/the-homecoming-by-bernard-schlink-b... ( )
  anzlitlovers | May 15, 2009 |
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In mijn jeugd was ik elke vakantie bij mijn grootouders in Zwitserland.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375420916, Hardcover)

The first novel by Bernhard Schlink since his international best seller The Reader, Homecoming is the story of one man's odyssey and another man's pursuit.

A child of World War II, Peter Debauer grew up with his mother and scant memories of his father, a victim of war. Now an adult, Peter embarks upon a search for the truth surrounding his mother's unwavering--but shaky--history and the possibility of finding his missing father after all these years. The search takes him across Europe, to the United States, and back: finding witnesses, falling in and out of love, chasing fragments of a story and a person who may or may not exist. Within a maze of reinvented identities, Peter pieces together a portrait of a man who uses words as one might use a change of clothing, as he assumes a new guise in any given situation simply to stay alive.

The chase leads Peter to New York City, where he hopes to find the real person behind the disguises. Operating under an assumed identity of his own, Peter unravels the secrets surrounding Columbia University's celebrated political science professor and best-selling author John de Baur, who is known for his incendiary philosophy and the charismatic rapport he has with his students. Terrifying mind games challenge Peter's ability to bring to light the truth surrounding his family history while still holding on to the love of a woman who promises a new life, free of lies and deceit.

Homecoming is a story of fathers and sons, men and women, war and peace. It reveals the humanity that survives the trauma of war and the ongoing possibility for redemption.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A child of World War II, Peter Debauer grew up with his mother and scant memories of his father, a victim of war. Now an adult, Peter embarks upon a search for the truth surrounding his mother's unwavering--but shaky--history and the possibility of finding his missing father after all these years.… (more)

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