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En busca de Klingsor by Jorge Volpi…

En busca de Klingsor (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Jorge Volpi Escalante (Author)

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312753,916 (3.36)33
Title:En busca de Klingsor
Authors:Jorge Volpi Escalante (Author)
Info:Editorial Planeta Mexicana Sa De cv (2000), 444 pages
Collections:Your library

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In Search of Klingsor by Jorge Volpi (1999)



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English (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (7)
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It's never a good thing when the best you can say about a book is that you're sure glad you managed to finish it. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's a brief resumé of the plot (with some help from the inner flap):

Francis Bacon, a brilliant young physicist, is invited in 1940 to attend the prestigious physics research facility at Princeton. The fact that other high profile scientists work there, not the least of which Einstein, convinces him that this is where he wants to advance his career. But Bacon, too shy to speak to the great genius directly, takes to stalking Einstein to his house every day by following his idol home during lunchtime. This, as well as an even greater, more spectacular indiscretion, gets him in trouble, and facing the possibility of expulsion, Bacon has no choice but to accept a secret assignment: he must go to Germany and uncover the identity of the mysterious "Klingsor", presumed to be an eminent German physicist who would have acted covertly as Hitler's top adviser on the scientific work in the Third Reich, including the race to create the first atomic bomb. We are now in the after war Germany of 1946. Bacon's initial research leads him to Gustav Links, another scientist and a survivor of the reprisals against the members of an attempted coup against Hitler. The story is told throughout by this Links, who describes his participation in the search for Klingsor, as well as Bacon's entanglement with an alluring woman, whom Links suspects of having ulterior motives. The chapters alternate between Bacon's mission and his private moments with the woman, as well as Links' recollections of his complicated marriage to the woman who was bosom buddies with the enchanting wife of his own childhood best friend.

All of this sounded great to me when I decided to reserve the book from the lending library, and the first few chapters were most promising, with plenty of intrigue and an interesting narrative approach. So what went wrong? Much too much, and I emphasize: a gross overabundance of talk about physicists and their particular areas of research, and physics in general. To be sure, this would have probably pleased anyone with a vivid interest in science who might be fascinated by a detailed explanation of the research that eventually led to the creation of the first atomic bomb. But I cannot be counted among them. There were some nights that I couldn't read more than two pages, after which my eyes refused to stay open, and I was practically crying, wondering why I was still punishing myself by reading from this book night after night. So what kept me going? One word: Sex. Lots of sex. Well, some sex. And for an old maid like me, any sex at all is a lot of sex. But there were also plenty of fascinating relationships, backstabbing, murder, and human drama to keep my interest up.

So, to briefly recapitulate: do I recommend this book? Yes and no. If you happen to be the kind of book nerd (let's face it, LT might as well have been called Book Nerds Are Us) who is also a science freak, then by all means, don't wait a second more, and GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. If you, like me, are not overly fond of physics, then you might want to approach this book for the titillating human interest component, as long as you don't mind speed-reading through the yawn-fest bits. Otherwise, I suggest you skip it, put it out of your mind, and read a book that you already know you'll love—even though you haven't read it yet—which has been inexplicably sitting on your shelf for ages, because you and the book absolutely deserve it. ( )
8 vote Smiler69 | Jun 7, 2011 |
Esta novela es tan ambiciosa como aburrida. Una pena ya que el argumento es muy prometedor: un joven fisico norteamericano se ve forzado a trabajar para el servicio de inteligencia de su pais. En el juicio de Nuremberg se hace referencia a Klingsor quien supuestamente estaba a cargo de las investigaciones alemanas sobre la bomba atomica y otros proyectos de interes belico. La busqueda de Klingsor se convierte en su mision y para ello tiene que hacer un recorrido por el pasado (y presente) de los fisicos mas importantes de la epoca. La reconstruccion de la epoca es interesante y algunos rasgos de las biografias de estos cientificos resultan muy curiosos. Sin embargo el diseno de los personajes deja mucho que desear y estos resultan maniqueos y predecibles. La relacion entre el protagonista e Irene, una 'vecina' del edificio donde este vive en Alemania es folletinesca y ridicula e ilustra bien el tono general de la novela. Los datos biograficos, cientificos e historicos resultan interesantes (todo ello proveniente de otros fuentes). Pero el resto de la novela (los personajes ficticios, sus relaciones insustanciales, el lenguage, etc... ) es anodino y muy muy aburrido. ( )
  alalba | Apr 28, 2010 |
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De wetenschap is een spel, maar een spel met de werkelijkheid, een spel met geslepen messen... Als iemand een figuur voorzichtig in duizend stukjes snijdt, kun je de puzzel oplossen door de stukjes weer op hun plaats te leggen. Bij een wetenschappelijk spel is God je rivaal. Hij heeft niet alleen het spel, maar ook de regels vastgelegd, hoewel die niet helemaal bekend zijn. Hij heeft de helft van de regels weggelaten opdat jij ze kunt ontdekken of bepalen. Een experiment is het scherpe zwaard dat je succesvol kunt opnemen tegen de geesten van de duisternis, maar dat jou ook op een beschamende wijze kan verslaan. De onzekerheid schuilt in hoeveel regels God zelf definitief heeft vastgesteld en hoeveel regels bepaald lijken te zijn door jouw geestelijke inertie; een oplossing is alleen mogelijk als je de grens overschrijdt. Misschien is het wel het boeiendste van het spel. Want zo vecht je tegen de denkbeeldige grenzen tussen God en jou, een grens die misschien niet bestaat. - Erwin Schrödinger
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Voor Adrián, Eloy, Gerardo, Nacho en Pedro Ángel, de andere samenzweerders
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Deze bewering, die op het eerste gezicht niet alleen tautologisch maar ook uitgesproken stupide lijkt, is diepzinniger dan men gewoonlijk wil toegeven.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743201183, Hardcover)

In his international bestseller In Search of Klingsor, Jorge Volpi takes us from the Institute of Advanced Study to the heart of Hitler's Germany, where the line between truth and lies is all but dissolved.Mysterious, seductive, and immediately engrossing, this startlingly accomplished thriller explores the nexus between science and human nature and how they shaped the world in the aftermath of World War II. In 1940, Francis Bacon, a brilliant young American physicist, is invited to join the prestigious institute at Princeton, the world's foremost physics research facility. But a series of personal indiscretions forces him to accept a different, more sinister, assignment: uncover "Klingsor," Hitler's top adviser on the scientific work in the Third Reich, including the race to create the first atomic bomb. Bacon's efforts to expose the truth lead him to Gustav Links, a survivor of the attempted coup against Hitler. With Link's help, he continues researching postwar Germany -- in an era when a secret was really a secret and a lie wasn't necessarily a sin -- and falls into a complicated relationship with an alluring woman. His search for Klingsor, an ominous and seemingly omnicient adversary, is part mystery, part psychological puzzle, part witty intellectual game. In Search of Klingsor places real people in speculative historical fiction, combining the ingenuity of a scientific investigation with the suspense of a great espionage novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

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Thriller. The search for Klingsor who advised Hitler on the atomic bomb. International bestseller.

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