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Taghaus Nachthaus

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  800 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
The English translation of the prize-winning international bestseller

Nowa Ruda is a small town in Silesia, an area that has been a part of Poland, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia in the past. When the narrator moves into the area, she and discovers everyone-and everything-has its own story. With the help of Marta, her enigmatic neighbor, the narrator accumulates the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published by DVA Press (first published 1998)
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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutLittle House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderThe House at Pooh Corner by A.A. MilneBleak House by Charles DickensLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
212th out of 218 books — 22 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 1,830)
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Robert Wechsler
One of the best works of fiction I’ve ever read. This is one of those undefinable, indescribable wonders that make most fiction look so ordinary. Most of all it a novel of place, but not in the usual sense. It’s a novel of exile, but the reasons for its characters’ exile are myriad (and the narrator’s unknown). It’s a novel consisting of stories, but in no way a story collection. It’s a novel of story-telling, but not of storytelling voices, or of stories on a theme. It’s a novel full of fantasy ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eastern-europe
Oh boy--you know how you dig into a book, not knowing what to expect, and you come across big, glorious ideas about the world, just scattered in among the holey underwear and the bus ride to work? This 1988 Polish novel is one of those books. I love a book that cannot be summarized at all--there's no "elevator pitch". And why should there be? The language is simple, the actions are simple, but the story, the conglomeration of effects, is anything but. It's almost like a short story collection, m ...more

R. ...will set up a camera on the east-facing terrace...Each day he will take one photograph [of the sky, where he saw answers to arithmetic and other puzzles as a child], even when the sky is uniformly grey. R is certain that in autumn we’ll have a set of stills showing a rational sequence of skies, which is sure to mean something. It’ll be possible to put all the pictures together like a jigsaw puzzle, or to load them one on top of another in the computer, or to make one single sky out of them
Jan 05, 2015 Daisy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daisy by: Janet
Simply put, this is a portrait of a part of Poland that was under German control at one time. The narrator (or is it?) hovers over the area like a gentle fog, curling around corners, into attics and basements and minds and hearts, during the present and the past.

Themes that recur: mushrooms; dreams; hair (wigs, wolves); changing faces; death vs. eternity/permanence; looking down from above (mountains, roofs, heavens); creation/chaos/time. I don't know what it all means but it makes me think and
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I have noticed, over the years, that many Post-War Polish writers tend to write in short chapters, even short stories, that appear (often) unrelated yet acquire a relationship as the book progresses because of the interrelationships and accidental coincidences that occur. This appears to be largely true with “House of Day, House of Night”. It becomes quite obvious, very quickly, that the book consists of a series of short stories (sometimes VERY short) that remind one of random(ish) notes one mi ...more
The Tiny Book Club, one of my reading groups, chose this. We are three women of a certain age. Two were raised Jewish, one of whom is a descendant of Polish Holocaust survivors, gay, well-read, and spends every summer returning to Poland to further the reconciliation of Jewish and non-Jewish Poles. The other is also well-read and has a deep understanding of literature. She is an intellectual. The third was raised Christian in America, the daughter of third generation German Lutheran immigrants. ...more
Kat Terek
This the first book by Olga Tokarczuk I read and I must say I am entirely enchanted. Her writing style in 'House of day, House of night' has something that blends picturesque and poetic that resembles magic of Bruno Shulz with nostalgia and past running in circles and stillness of time as in 'On the road to Babadag' by Stasiuk. Picking this book from a shelf at my parents' house I had never expected to discover such a fine piece of magical realism especially that I always imagined her as a more ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Chrissie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Agnieszka 's shelves
This book is written by a highly acclaimed and successful Polish writer, Olga Tokarczuk. She is definietely a talented author. She has a wonderful way with words. The writing clearly has a philosophical undertone. But I cannot give it more than three stars. Despite the author wonderful ability, I find the tone so sad. Yes, there is humor, but it is humor directed at you and me, at all human beings as a species. We are a pitiful group. I don't disagree, but where does this hopelessness and despon ...more
Jim Neeley
Oct 19, 2011 Jim Neeley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Olga Tokarczuk has captured a moment in time in Nowa Ruda and allowed us to share it.This was an unexpected and beautiful novel, I found by way of wandering the web, after I decided to read Polish writers. I'm not sure why I identified with it so much, but her observations, stories and dreams, as well as delicious mushroom recipes all formed a simply and solid narrative. If the novel were a season, it would be spring, the first crocus on the back hillside, with patches of snow still around.On th ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably the most beautiful book I read this year; Tokarczuk's prose reads like poetry. It was one of those strangely surreal, dreamlike works in which I didn't fully understand the author's idiom until I reached the end, and then it just made me want to go back to the beginning and read the whole thing again.

I also appreciated the way the author wrote about the experience of going online as being an exploratory place full of strange ideas and mysterious worlds. It was refreshing in con
Molly Lynch
Sep 13, 2007 Molly Lynch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best collection of mushroom trips, monastic eroticism, psychology of old people, tales of drunks, post-war disenfranchised, mushroom recipes and surreal dreams from the internet you'll probably ever find.
Lulu Le Nun
Feb 02, 2009 Lulu Le Nun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the lone english translation of Tokarczuk that I'm aware of--and a very lovely one at that. A multitude of transparent and cozy stories, touched with the quality of memoir, bound by a significant sense of place. The idea of crossing thresholds--between day and night, life and death, undergrowth and roots, bind the stories in suprising ways, including mouthwatering recipes for poisonous mushrooms. I recommend this novel to all my dearest friends, as well as strangers.
Eva Stachniak
Oct 13, 2011 Eva Stachniak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite Olga Tokarczuk book. I love the echoes of the Regained Territories, the result of the shifted borders of the Stalinist post war order. I love the whimsical characters, the languid poetic prose.
This is the novel I return to when i want to remember where I come from ...
Aug 01, 2010 Bookmaniac70 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Много красива, съкровена проза, която изглежда сътворена без всякакво усилие- естествена като дишането, като ежедневните неща- съдовете за готвене, картофите,гъбите в гората, светлината на зазоряване и по здрач.Още една прекрасна книга от моята любима вече авторка. Насладих й се напълно.
Feb 06, 2016 GiGi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fragmentary narrative of collected anecdotes, histories and reveries, is a marvel of contemporary literature that pays homage to the modernist oeuvre.
Beautifully written, this collage-like novel meanders through grand and meta narratives with a lyrical ease.
Punctuated by recipes for cooking wild mushrooms (beware ... These are never quite as straightforward or as delicious as one might hope) this novel captivates all of the senses and offers the reader a feast of aromatic themes to savour
Тази книга я причислявам към странните, модерни книги. От тези, в които усещаш големия потенциал, дарбата, майсторството на автора, но усещаш в същото време, че желанието му да бъде по-модерен и интересен му е попречило да разгърне напълно този потенциал. Друга такава е например "Легенда за велосипедистите" на Басара, а да не говорим че има и наши български подобни екземпляри. В тях има страхотни страници и то не малко, но в един момент натежават многото планове, многото случки, сюжети, разкарва ...more
Oct 30, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polish
Another certain-to-be favorite book of the year.

One of the most original books as well. The story is loosely based around a rural site in southern Poland and focused upon a pair of small scale farmers. There are diversions into historical events, other villagers and the lives of saints. The stories are deep in metaphor, in "magical realism" and in Milosz-esque ruminations about the spiritual relationships between humans, the environment and God. The scope of the book was pretty tremendous but I'
Apr 22, 2013 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poněkud surrealistická a jungiánská knížka o polských Sudetách. Volně tu plynou a prolínají se příběhy autorky, transsexuálního mnicha mapujícího život svaté Starosty, paní Marty, která spí zimním spánkem, vlkodlaka, jenž byl ředitelem gymnázia, muže, který nosil dřevěný klobouk, aby se vyhnul vlivu nově objevené planety měnící svět k horšímu, pohraničníků, obludy z rybníka, Agni, Němců, Poláků a mnohem nejasnějších existencí, které něco chtějí, ale nakonec toho nedosáhnou. Lehce snové, občas pr ...more
Sooooo 2014 seems pretty keen on sending an embarrassment of literary riches my way. Too bad it's not issuing an equivalent bounty of time.
Svetla Angelova
Мислих доста преди да дам три звездички. Може би, защото преди него Дом, прочетох две доста по-силни книги, които оставят отпечатък върху сърцето и душата. Домът е по-скоро магически реализъм, на места даже сюрреализъм. На почитателите на Маркес ще им хареса много. Аз не можах да я усетя по-близо тази книга. Дори не бих я препоръчала с лека ръка, вътре намерих страници, които не бих искала да са се случвали ... А може би изкуплението е точно това - 16 кофи с кръв ...
This book feels a little bit like an unfinished charcoal drawing; it's dark and strangely nebulous in a nice way, but it's frustrating because you keep waiting to see something defined emerge in the midst of the way too similar tonal values. Nothing ever really does.

And that doesn't make it an unpleasant reading experience-- for the most part I genuinely enjoyed it. While I generally think it's pretty cool to have a larger story (used in the loosest sense of the word)told through vignettes and
Aug 12, 2009 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Random pick from Yale L&B room. Intimate and engaging meditation on people and land at the intersection of Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic...a biographical novel with multiple vingnettes and stories woven in... because I have a Polish friend, I can hear her reading these scenes very easily...
Jul 30, 2007 Elisabeth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in a wandering narrative and little plot?
the best part was the post script:

Your house is your larger body.
It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night;
and it is not dreamless.
Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the
city for grove or hilltop?
Kris McCracken
Oct 18, 2015 Kris McCracken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not so much a novel as a collection of intertwined short narratives, found stories, incidental observations, recipes and even the retelling of the tale of an obscure saint! Best of all, it is a real delight to read.

The setting - a small mountain town on the Poland-Czech border - inevitably means that history hangs heavy throughout. Founded by Germans, the fortunes of war see the inhabitants shift over time. This is explored very much in the book.

The translation is a good one, and the prose is si
Steven Felicelli
reminded of Herta Muller's 'Land of Green Plums' - quirky, serialized, quasi-experimental
Jul 02, 2012 Agnieszka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hypnotizing book. The one you think and dream about. Tha one that stays within.
Kristi Lamont
Jun 30, 2015 Kristi Lamont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel as if I've just woken up from someone else's dream. A dream in which the mysteries of life and death were solved, and the ultimate peace was to be found in lying and watching the sky while feeling the dirt do its work below and around the body. How does one explain magical realism, the story of both a place and peoples tortured and forever bearing the scars of war, one long mushroom trip? That there is the greatest beauty to be found in the ultimate bleakness? I do not think one reads thi ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una città di sere che arrivano all'improvviso da dietro le montagne e piombano sulle case come una mostruosa reticella per farfalle.

Nowa Ruda è una cittadina polacca vicinissima al confine con la Repubblica Ceca. Un paese che sembra quasi sospeso tra due realtà, dove si intrecciano storie, personaggi e ricordi che pagina dopo pagina la riempiono di vita, raccontandola e facendola conoscere a chi come me si imbatte in questo libro.
Non è stata una lettura facile. Ho iniziato il libro probabilmente
House of Day, House of Night begins with imaginatively named characters (a storytelling device that I, quite accidentally, experienced in the two previous books I read). We are introduced to Whatshisname, R., and Marek Marek. Though none of these figures become major characters in the novel, their names set a tone that is consistent throughout the story. Marginally named characters appear throughout in Tokarczuk's tales of the region, He and She, The Man With The Chainsaw, A young man and a youn ...more
Кремена Михайлова
Има хляб в тази книга, който обаче струва ми се ще мога да изям след 10 или 20 години (ако тогава меланхолията не ми действа още по-зле). Сега ме караше да се чувствам като забутана в дупка и не можах да се насладя на скритите в нея богатства. Едвам я „избутах“ с едно голямо прекъсване, а 50 стр. преди края хем се радвах, че се измъквам от тъгата, хем съжалих, че ще изляза от тази магия, че не я преживях изцяло…

Не е „изкуствен“ автор Токарчук, от натуралните и магичните е ("Правек и други времен
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Olga Tokarczuk (born 29 January 1962 in Sulechów near Zielona Góra, Poland) is one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful Polish writers of her generation, particularly noted for the hallmark mythical tone of her writing.
More about Olga Tokarczuk...

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“Какъв разкош, каква сладост на живота - да седиш в хладната къща, да пиеш чай, да си похапваш сладкиш и да четеш. Да предъвкваш дългите изречения, да вкусваш смисъла им, да откриваш неочаквано, в един миг, по-дълбок смисъл, да се изумяваш над него и да си позволяваш да застинеш с очи, влепени в правоъгълника на стъклото. Чаят изстива в изисканата чашка; над повърхността и се носи дантелена пара, която изчезва във въздуха, оставяйки едва доловим аромат. Въженцата на буквите върху бялата страница на книгата дават убежище на очите, на разума, на целия човек. Това прави света открит и безопасен. Трохите сладкиш се посипват по салфетката, зъбите лекичко звънят о порцелана. В устата се събира слюнка, защото мъдростта е апетитна като козуначения сладкиш, живителна като чая.” 3 likes
“Speaking does harm, sows confusion and weakens things that are obvious. Speaking makes me tremble inside. I don't think I have ever said anything really important in my entire life -- there's a lack of words for the most important things anyway. (I must make a list of missing words -- top of it I'll put a verb that means something in between "I sense" and "I see.")” 2 likes
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