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History, by Elsa Morante

This is one of the 100 greatest books ever according to the Norwegian Book Clubs, but I note that none of my friends on LibraryThing and nobody who I actually know on Goodreads has read it, so it's likely that you haven't read it either. (Unless you are peadarog or mojosmom, the atter of whom put in a strong recommendation.)

You've missed a treat. I think this is one of the best novels I've read about the second world war and its aftermath - the life of a child in Rome in the 1940s, conceived in violence, his (secretly Jewish) mother and brother doing their best to survive in awful circumstances. While others spout political certainties (whether of ideology or geopolitical alliance), the harsh reality for those whose lives are wrecked by conflict remains the same. Each chapter, covering a year, is prefaced by a headline summary of the major political developments of that year as a sort of political canvas against which the domestic drama plays out. It is not fast-paced, but I found it intensely absorbing, and it deserves to be much better known in the English-speaking world.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
peadarog
Aug. 23rd, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
I'd also recommend "L'Isola D'Arturo". I presume, if a translation exists, it'll be "Arthur's Island". Lovely book.
coth
Aug. 24th, 2015 08:21 am (UTC)

Recommendation accepted. Going on the list to read.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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