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Det store hus : roman by Nicole Krauss

Det store hus : roman (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Nicole Krauss

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1,3301045,839 (3.53)1 / 297
Title:Det store hus : roman
Authors:Nicole Krauss
Info:[Kbh.] : Gyldendal, 2012.
Collections:Your library

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Great House by Nicole Krauss (2010)


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English (98)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
This book has sat on my bookshelf for several years; on the shelf I reserve for immediate reading. I don't know why it took me so long to pick it up and begin as I was mesmerized by this tale of a great looming desk that seemed hovered over everyone who sat at it, and the relationships of the people who owned, borrowed, or searched for this desk. The book is in two parts with four chapters in each part. The four chapters in part I are revisited in part II, and none of the chapters are told in order. As I read I admit I was confused to how the story played out in sequence, but when I got to part II it started to become more clear, albeit, still murky. Upon finishing this wonderful book I went to the table of contents and made notes trying to link the sequence of the stories of these lives. The chapters in both parts have the same titles which helped me as I reread parts of the like named chapters to help with my sequencing of the story. Some of you may be incredulous that I would even try to put the entire story in sequence. Normally when reading a book written in this style I am not concerned with analyzing and sequencing the story as I accept the book as I originally interpreted it. But with GREAT HOUSE I needed to make that connection, I needed the right sequence, and once I found it one of the mysteries of the book came to light. I am happy.
  C.J.McBride-Stern | Feb 8, 2015 |
I thought Nicole Krauss' The History of Love was one of the best new novels in the last decade. Unfortunately, I didn't think Great House was nearly as good, but it was still a worthwhile read.

Great House is told through four alternating stories that shift back and forth over the course of five decades and four continents. The closest thing to a fixed point between the stories is a large antique wooden desk which makes it way from person to person. The other backdrop is history: the Holocaust, Israel's wars, Pinochet's coup, although we don't see any of these events, we just hear about how they have affected characters and the large desk that runs through all of them.

The disappointment was twofold: (1) the different overlapping stories don't come together in a satisfying resolution, in retrospect it clearly wasn't the author's intention that they do, but it still made it all feel less coherent and (2) there was something hollow and empty about the characters, again appears to have been the author's intention, but greatly at odds with the life-filled characters in The History of Love. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Couldn't get into this one. The plot of tracing an object's history through people's lives has been done many times over, and often better (Annie Proulx's "The Accordion Crimes" for one).
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
The semi-stream-of-conscious style really put me off. I found it tedious and made it hard for me to follow the plot. I quit after 3 chapters. I looked at the end of the book and found it was a good decision. All those words for little plot is too much for me.
  meelen | May 22, 2014 |
Really disappointed. It was really hard to get into. I loved History of Love, though, so maybe it's worth reading again later on to get the full appreciation? ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
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For Sasha and Cy
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Talk to him.
There are times when the kindness of strangers only makes matters worse because one realizes how badly one is in need of kindness and that the only source is a stranger.
It was one of those winter nights in England when the darkness that falls at three makes nine feel like midnight, reminding one of how far north one has staked one's life.
We stood in the hall of the house that had once been all of our house, a house that had been filled with life, every last room of it brimming with laughter, arguments, tears, dust, the smell of food, pain, desire, anger, and silence, too, the tightly coiled silence of people pressed up against each other in what is called a family.
As if to touch, ritually, one last time, every enduring pocket of pain. No, the powerful emotions of youth don’t mellow with time. One gets a grip on them, cracks a whip, forces them down. You build your defenses. Insist on order. The strength of feeling doesn’t lessen, it is simply contained.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393079988, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010: In each of the short stories that nest like rooms in Nicole Krauss's Great House looms a tremendous desk. It may have belonged to Federico García Lorca, the great poet and dramatist who was one of thousands executed by Fascists in 1936, when the Spanish Civil War began. We know that the desk stood in Weisz's father's study in Budapest on a night in 1944, when the first stone shattered their window. After the war, Weisz hunts furniture looted from Jewish homes by the Nazis. He scours the world for the fragments to reassemble that study's every element, but the desk eludes him, and he and his children live at the edges of its absence. Meanwhile, it spends a few decades in an attic in England, where a woman exhumes the memories she can't speak except through violent stories. She gives the desk to the young Chilean-Jewish poet Daniel Varsky, who takes it to New York and passes it on (before he returns to Chile and disappears under Pinochet) to Nadia, who writes seven novels on it before Varsky's daughter calls to claim it. Crossing decades and continents, the stories of Great House narrate feeling more than fact. Krauss's characters inhabit "a state of perpetual regret and longing for a place we only know existed because we remember a keyhole, a tile, the way the threshold was worn under an open door," and a desk whose multitude of drawers becomes a mausoleum of memory. --Mari Malcolm

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Connected solely by a desk of enormous dimension and many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or give it away, three people--a lonely American novelist clinging to the memory of a poet who has mysteriously vanished in Chile, an old man in Israel facing the imminent death of his wife of 51 years, and an esteemed antiques dealer tracking down the things stolen from his father by the Nazis--struggle to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393079988, 0393340643

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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