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The Empire of the Senses

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Empire of the Senses.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Alexis Landau(Author)

    Book details


***2015 National Jewish Book Award Finalist***
A sweeping, gorgeously written debut: a novel of duty to family and country, the dictates of passion, and blood ties unraveling in the charged political climate of Berlin between the world wars.
Lev Perlmutter, an assimilated, cultured German Jew, enlists to fight in World War I, leaving behind his gentile wife, Josephine, and their children, Franz and Vicki. Moving between Lev s and Josephine s points of view, the first part of the novel focuses on Lev s experiences on the Eastern Front both in war and in love which render his life at home a pale aftermath by comparison. The second part of the novel takes us to Berlin, 1927 28. Now young adults, the Perlmutter children grapple with their own questions: Franz, drawn into the Nazi brown shirt movement, struggles with his unexpressed homosexuality; Vicki, seduced by the Jazz Age and everything new, bobs her hair and falls in love with a young man who wants to take her to Palestine.
Unlike many historical novels of its kind, The Empire of the Senses is not about the Holocaust but about the juxtaposition of events that led to it, and about why it was unimaginable to ordinary people like Lev and his wife. Plotted with meticulous precision and populated with characters who feel and dream to the fullest, it holds us rapt as the tides of cultural loss and ethnic hatred come to coexist with those of love, passion, and the power of the human spirit."

""The Empire of the Senses" is lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure." --Aimee Bender"A top-notch literary saga with a gripping plotline . . . Each perfectly crafted individual is fully involved in the surrounding world. In Landau's hands, even a simple trip to the barber becomes meaningful and illustrative of the novel's themes. The characters' actions and thoughts are so three-dimensionally human that readers may forget they're reading fiction." --"Booklist," starred review" " "Landau's debut""is lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure." --Aimee Bender, author of "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"" " "A gripping, beautifully written saga of an ordinary German family's slow immersion into the simmering cauldron that is Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Like most of us, the characters in this novel make choices determined by love and desire; their personal secrets and preoccupations often loom larger than the encroaching danger. Ultimately, their fates are determined as much by their passions as by history. As the novel builds toward its riveting conclusion, Landau explores how the unimaginable can become real--and in the process offers a fresh and moving perspective on a piece of history we thought we already knew." --Christina Baker Kline, "New York Times" #1 best-selling author of "Orphan Train""Vivid . . . Landau evokes the Weimar Republic era with spellbinding detail and nuance, deftly capturing the zeitgeist in the characters' colorful pursuits . . . . Lev's struggle with his Jewish identity is also fascinating." --"Publishers Weekly" "A top-notch literary saga with a gripping plotline . . . Each perfectly crafted individual is fully involved in the surrounding world. In Landau's hands, even a simple trip to the barber becomes meaningful and illustrative of the novel's themes. The characters' actions and thoughts are so three-dimensionally human that readers may forget they're reading fiction." --"Booklist," starred review" ""Landau's debut""is lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure." --Aimee Bender, author of "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"" ""A gripping, beautifully written saga of an ordinary German family's slow immersion into the simmering cauldron that is Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Like most of us, the characters in this novel make choices determined by love and desire; their personal secrets and preoccupations often loom larger than the encroaching danger. Ultimately, their fates are determined as much by their passions as by history. As the novel builds toward its riveting conclusion, Landau explores how the unimaginable can become real--and in the process offers a fresh and moving perspective on a piece of history we thought we already knew." --Christina Baker Kline, "New York Times" #1 best-selling author of "Orphan Train"Elegantly crafted and psychologically astute...compelling ....Such stunning imagery is interwoven with pitch-perfect and often spare dialogue, creating a doubly vivid resonance. San Francisco ChronicleRichly appointed . . . functions as a kind of extended seance, conjuring up the look and feel of experiences from the glamorous a decadent party in Weimar Berlin to the arduous a field hospital on the Eastern Front . . . . In scene after scene, settings and objects and people are described in meticulous and usually attractive terms . . . . The destruction of their world makes Landau s evocation of its fleeting beauty all the more poignant. TabletVivid . . . Landau evokes the Weimar Republic era with spellbinding detail and nuance, deftly capturing the zeitgeist in the characters colorful pursuits . . . . Lev s struggle with his Jewish identity is also fascinating. Publishers WeeklyA top-notch literary saga with a gripping plotline . . . Each perfectly crafted individual is fully involved in the surrounding world. In Landau s hands, even a simple trip to the barber becomes meaningful and illustrative of the novel s themes. The characters actions and thoughts are so three-dimensionally human that readers may forget they re reading fiction. Booklist, starred review Landau s debut is lush, smart, sexy, affecting, interesting, beautifully researched, and well made. Spending time in the world of this novel is an absolute pleasure. Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake A gripping, beautifully written saga of an ordinary German family s slow immersion into the simmering cauldron that is Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Like most of us, the characters in this novel make choices determined by love and desire; their personal secrets and preoccupations often loom larger than the encroaching danger. Ultimately, their fates are determined as much by their passions as by history. As the novel builds toward its riveting conclusion, Landau explores how the unimaginable can become real and in the process offers a fresh and moving perspective on a piece of history we thought we already knew. Christina Baker Kline, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Orphan Train"

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Book details

  • PDF | 496 pages
  • Alexis Landau(Author)
  • Pantheon Books (17 Mar. 2015)
  • English
  • 10
  • Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Blomman43 on 17 February 2016

    Although the book is about "senses" (rather, about sex), the connection to events in the real world is too weak to make it interesting. For example: No mention of battles on the eastern front or the Russian revolution, nor of the hyperinflation in 1923, nor any other political events. One book review states that the book is "beautifully researched", but the author seems to have no clue about military matters. Except for the man and his friend, few other soldiers are mentioned and never any officers giving orders, and never any normal military activity. Instead the man freely roams the countryside hunting for women. And when his friend gets a sore foot they walk a long way to be treated by some quack. But there is a military hospital close by, and not going there would surely be against regulations. In Berlin, chestnuts fall in the beginning of June, but they do not ripen until september. While travelling in Brandenburg they feel the clean air if the North Sea, which is 400 km away (the Baltic is closer). In 1918 they see two pandas in Berlin Zoo. In fact, they got their first panda in 1980.


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