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  • It's like tgis, Salu Adler..."

    NO SPOILERS “It’s like this, Saul Adler:” is a beautiful though slightly vain historian who travels to Eastern Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall for research purposes, maybe… Narrated by Saul, within the first few pages there are incongruities, anachronisms and impossible insights which do raise suspicions and certainly pique one’s curiosity. He is clearly going to be an unreliable narrator but why? There is some depiction of life in GDR, which I had thought was going to be the point of the book, but I was not disappointed to find it was merely the setting, albeit an important one. The story is presented in two parts, 28 years apart, with the latter giving the explanation, (more or less, but which?) for Saul’s unreliability, although with still enough lack of confirmation to make this a very thought provoking read. Levy’s/Saul’s style is gentle, full of pathos, rhythmic and lulling. It is an easy, quick read which means reading it twice is not a chore and in my opinion, highly recommended. I found the second reading absolutely fascinating once I had the knowledge of the first reading. With that knowledge, the small, seemingly insignificant observations become proof of Levy’s skill. No fireworks, no action but a perfect example of how the sympathies of the reader change when we have more of the picture, when we are able to see everything. One thing though; vegans do not eat honey...just saying! Selected for the Booker Prize 2019 Long List at time of review. Thank you to NetGalley and Hamish Hamilton for the Advanced Reader Copy of the book, which I have voluntarily reviewed.

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