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Perlmanns Schweigen by Pascal Mercier
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Perlmanns Schweigen (1995)

by Pascal Mercier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2541445,069 (3.7)None
  1. 00
    Necropolis by Santiago Gamboa (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Two good books similar inasmuch as the main setting is an international academic conference the protagonist attends.
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Dutch (5)  English (5)  German (3)  Danish (1)  All (14)
Showing 5 of 5
to be honest I was disappointed in this novel. I loved Night Train to Lisbon, and was very excited to see a new English novel by Pascal Mercier. The main character, Perlmann, a college teacher had just lost his wife, he is in deep grief, is asked to organize a conference. He is unable to come up with paper so he decides to use a paper written by a Russian, thinking that person would never know. of course the Russian ends up at the conference. The novel is about Perlmann's angust, for far to many pages. At first I liked him, at the end not so much ( )
  michaelbartley | Sep 14, 2014 |
Its not too bad after you get past the first 300 pages. How the publishers every allowed it to get to 600 pages is beyond belief. ( )
  bergs47 | Oct 21, 2013 |
Author
Peter Bieri was born in Bern on June 23th 1944. He is better known under his pseudonym Pascal Mercier. Bieri studied philosophy, English studies and Indian studies in both London and Heidelberg. He currently lives in Berlin where he is a professor of philosophy.

Review
I finished this book. I would say finally but that does not sound nice. Still I am not sure if I want to write nice things about this book because though I finished it I kind of despised it too. It took me a few rants to people in my surrounding to understand that my experienced feeling on the book and the fact that I could not put it away where not really making sense until I realized that I actually was interested in how it would finish and what would happen to all the characters. So to start with them.

The book's main character is Phillip Perlmann. A man of whom I do not remember an age but he must be around 50. During the book you live inside his head and this man should really stop thinking for just a second and realize what is really going on. His thoughts are scary and there are to many. It does not matter what happens to him he can see it all go wrong. His thoughts take him to all the dark spots. As you see the other characters trough his eyes you get a very dark colored view on them, even though not all of them are having that effect on Perlmann, specially not the woman in the book. Still you really want to slap his face to get him back to reality, cause the actions the other characters show, even seen trough his eyes are really not all that bad. As I am a more positive personality myself I could not relate to him at all, in would probably not want to spend more than an hour with that man.

The story itself is dragging and kind of depressing still you get curious eventually if Perlmann gets away with all the evil he comes up with in his head. So I did finish the book but am now doubting between giving it 2or 3 stars. Under indifferent circumstances I would have given it two stars for sure but because there where some very beautifull written sentences in the book I will be generous and give three stars.

Favorite quotes:
"Things were obtrusively only themselves, they had not significance and no lustre." ~9

"To think of these things you have to be right inside - as I am no longer inside." ~79

“What separates me from my present is like a fine mist, an intangible veil, an invisible wall. They don't put up the slightest resistance. Nothing would shatter if I were to walk trough it. Because there is actually nothing at all between me and the world. A single step would be enough. Why didn't I take it long ago?” ~183 ( )
1 vote Ciska_vander_Lans | Mar 30, 2013 |
Philip Perlmann, prominent linguist and speaker at a gathering of renowned international academics in a picturesque seaside town near Genoa, is struggling to maintain his grip on reality. Derailed by grief and no longer confident of his professional standing, writing his keynote address seems like an insurmountable task, and, as the deadline approaches, Perlmann realizes that he will have nothing to present. Terror-stricken, he decides to plagiarize the work of Leskov, a Russian colleague. But when Leskov’s imminent arrival is announced and threatens to expose Perlmann as a fraud, Perlmann’s mounting desperation leads him to contemplate drastic measures.

I found this book tedious, much less readable than the author's previous work. At 600 pages and with Perlmann's inner doubts recounted in forensic detail, this is a long and demanding novel. Here - as in certain Hitchcock films - little of consequence happens in the exterior world. It could have been much shorter – and still made the point. ( )
  Jawin | Jun 9, 2012 |
tense, strong, descriptive. I so much hated the guy Perlmann, that I almost stopped reading - but the book was compelling enough to read through. ( )
  engel25 | Jul 16, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pascal Mercierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meijerink, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Die Anderen sind wirklich Andere. Andere.
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Philipp Perlmann war es gewohnt, dass die Dinge keine Gegenwart für ihn hatten.
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Prominent linguist and widower Philipp Perlmann contemplates drastic measures when he faces exposure after plagiarizing a colleague's work for his keynote address at an important academic gathering in Genoa.

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