Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Book Choice #13:

Harry Mulisch: The Discovery Of Heaven

This vast novel, by Dutch author Harry Mulisch, comes with a hefty reputation and deservedly so. Although intimidatingly learned at times, the writing style is effortless and the pace increases exponentially as the story draws to its shocking ending.

The tale is of an angel's efforts to control events on Earth for a purpose revealed at the finale. One of the novels many strengths is that the main characters are so likeable; Onno and Max - the linguist and the astronomer who strike up a unique friendship - Ada, Sophia, and of course Quinten - the mysterious savant-like child with the striking looks.

The locations switch from the Netherlands to Cuba to Italy and ultimately to Israel. Against a backdrop of politics, revolution, the Nazi's legacy, religion, dreams and the nature of reality - Mulisch's masterpiece remains gripping over the course of its 700 plus pages.


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