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The Weekendby Bernhard Schlink
Synopses & Reviews
Old friends and lovers reunite for a weekend in a secluded country home after spending decades apart.
They excavate old memories and pass clandestine judgments on the wildly divergent paths they’ve taken since their youth. But this isn’t just any reunion, and their conversations about the old days aren’t your typical reminiscences: After twenty-four years, Jörg, a convicted murderer and terrorist, has been released from prison. The announcement of his pardon will send shock waves through the country, but before the announcement, his friends—some of whom were Baader-Meinhof sympathizers or those who clung to them—gather for his first weekend of freedom. They have been summoned by Jörg’s devoted sister, Christiane, whose concern for her brother’s safety is matched only by the unrelenting zeal of Marko, a young man intent on having Jörg continue to fight for the cause.
Bernhard Schlink is at his finest as The Weekend unfolds. Passions are pitted against pragmatism, ideas against actions, and hopes against heartbreaking realities.
"Old friends cautiously reunite at an isolated German estate after one of them is released from prison in Schlink's (The Reader) meditative novel on the past's grip on the present and the possibility--or impossibility--of redemption. Convicted of quadruple murder and numerous acts of terrorism on behalf of the radical left, JÃ¶rg spent 24 years in prison before being unexpectedly pardoned. His sister, Christiane--whose obsessive concern for her brother's welfare has turned her into a borderline recluse--arranges a gathering to welcome JÃ¶rg back into society. Among those assembled are journalist Henner, whom JÃ¶rg believes betrayed him to the police; quiet Ilse, using the weekend to begin a novel about a common friend's alleged suicide; and Marko, a young revolutionary keen on convincing JÃ¶rg to use his newly earned freedom to speak out against the current government. Schlink avoids the easy route of condemnation and salvation, never lingering too long on JÃ¶rg's crimes--though the ties to the RAF aren't cloaked--and though the past is admirably handled (sketched in, but not overbearing), the book's real strength is the finely wrought dynamics among the characters, whose relationships and histories are fraught with a powerful sense of tension and possibly untoward potential. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
After 24 years, Jorg, a convicted murderer and terrorist, has been released from prison. The announcement of his pardon sends shock waves throughout the country, but before the announcement, his friends gather for his first weekend of freedom.
About the Author
Bernhard Schlink is the author of the internationally best-selling novel The Reader, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. He divides his time between Berlin and New York.
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