Saturday 20 June 2015

Reunion - Fred Uhlman

One of the most perfect books I have ever had the pleasure to read. This was recommended to me by a customer, and I had to admit that I had never heard of it at all. Being somewhat anal about such things I dislike having such total ignorance of interesting titles, so was sure to get hold of a copy as soon as possible. This is not something that I could ever regret, and I'd like to thank the customer concerned for drawing my attention to this literary gem.
The novel is the story of a brief friendship between two teenage schoolboys in early 1930's Germany. It encapsulates the shifts in this relationship in a pure and perfectly beautiful way, while also reflecting on outside events as they impact upon the two boys. The final chapters are deeply moving, and no matter how much you have read around the subject matter or about the period in question I defy you to remain unmoved by the clear and matter-of-fact way in which the narrative moves forward. As for the final paragraph, I don't know that I can remember the last time that such a simple ending devastated me so deeply. Even now, as I write this I am finding it difficult to remain composed.
This is a very short book, less than a hundred pages, and yet it's impact far outweighs it's length. I often come across people who would baulk at spending £8 on something that is this short, but I can honestly say that it is well worth every single penny and will move all but the most heartless  reader far more deeply than a longer, less perfect book could ever do. Five stars does not even begin to do this book justice.

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