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Das Glück der Anderen
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Das Glück der Anderen

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,998 Ratings  ·  305 Reviews
«Absolut unvergesslich.» (Brigitte) In einer amerikanischen Kleinstadt bricht eine Seuche aus. Jacob Hansen, Sheriff, Leichenbestatter und Pastor, muss hilflos zusehen, wie die Bewohner seine Warnungen vor der Krankheit in den Wind schlagern und alle Quarantänemassnahmen missachten. Die Zahl der Toten wächst dramatisch, von der friedlichen Dorfidylle ist nichts mehr zu spü ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 11th 2001 by Rowohlt (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 16, 2012 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: icky-sex

this book is like boiling milk. at first, everything is nice and serene - a calm pool of pure silken whiteness. and then it starts to shimmer a little bit and you know things are happening, and you start to notice little bloopy bits of activity, but you don't want to stir it just yet. steam starts to rise from it, and it is almost magical, like tiny milk-ghosts. and then - bubbles! one or two at first, and then so many, too many to even play milk whack-a-mole with. and then - rolling boil! look
Mar 16, 2012 Lawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: Jeffrey Keeten
Stewart O'Nan's A Prayer for the Dying, A Reminiscence for the Living

It is slightly after 12:30 a.m. But I am not sleeping. I have just completed A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O'Nan. Rarely have I read a novel that I am compelled to review immediately upon completing it. But this is one.

Much has gone on in my personal life since a killer tornado passed through our town, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27th. Shortly afterward, my mother developed a serious case of pneumonia. Although the pneumo
Mike Puma
Jan 19, 2012 Mike Puma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

The paperback cover carries a blurb: “A cross between Stephen Crane and Stephen King.” Maybe. It is a post-Civil War tale in that the protagonist is haunted by his memories of the war, memories that are revealed slowly, then differently. (It’s challenging to write about this one without revealing spoilers—and there’s no good reason to spoil a really good story). But I’ll come back to that quote.

It’s told in the second–person, a perspective that requires some accommodation. (Did you know you surv

It is short. It will grab you by the neck and pull you under. Readitreaditreadit. I want that to be my whole review but I'm a wordy bitch, so here goes:

When things go bad, how do you know they don't go bad because of you and not just in spite of you (or your efforts)? And when things go bad, so bad that you aren't sure any more what goodness is or was, does that first question even matter? And if it doesn't matter, why make an effort?

If questions like these make you want to steer the kayak of yo
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
There are times you don’t like something, but can’t really put your finger on the reason. Take Mexican food. No matter how well it is prepared, how fresh the ingredients, or how wonderful the recipe, it’s all pretty average to me. You can place before me the finest Mexican feast in all the land, and I will respond with a resounding meh. And to the consternation of my wife, who loves Mexican food, I can’t explain the reason why. The other night, I went with some friends to a popular new Mexican p ...more
Jacob Hansen is a civil war veteran and the sheriff, pastor and undertaker of the small town of Friendship. On an ordinary summer day people begin to fall ill, first one, then more. Jacob watches his beloved town unravel as diphtheria takes hold while a fire simultaneously bears down on Friendship. He struggles to balance his various roles in the town, as well as that of husband and father, as he faces these twin challenges. There is a very calm, subtle, matter-of-fact tone to this book which so ...more
My first experience with Stewart O'Nan and not entirely sure what to expect. My knowledge of him is sparse: He grew up here in Pittsburgh and went on to write about the Red Sox with Stephen King and is often compared to Flannery O'Connor, Edgar Allan Poe and Shirley Jackson, all of which piqued my interest and helped convince me to pick up a book of his.

Postbellum Friendship, Wisconsin - Jacob Hansen is the town's constable, undertaker and pastor as his town is threatened by two simultaneous dan
Jun 16, 2007 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is mind-blowingly awesome. Written in the disconcerting second-person voice, the book finds its spiritually-conflicted preacher/sheriff/mortician facing the apocalypse of his world. Weaving together scraps of the protagonist's Civil war memories with his current situation of disease and raging fire, the book grabs the reader for a terrifying ride and does not let go, not even after the story has ended.
Diane Barnes
Dec 19, 2013 Diane Barnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book last night, but tired as I was, could not sleep for thinking about it. There are several lifetimes packed into these 195 pages. Jacob is the sherriff, undertaker and minister to the small town of Friendship, Wisconsin. The Civil War has been over for 6 years, but his memories of the dead and dying persist. His life is a good one, with a loving wife and 6 month old daughter, the respect of his townspeople, and a sense of responsibility for their care and protection.

Then a dip
Colin McKay Miller
Mar 29, 2011 Colin McKay Miller rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Southern Gothic fans (like Vincent Louis Carrella's Serpent Box)
Shelves: novels
Stewart O’Nan’s A Prayer for the Dying may be praised by the literary community, but it’s nothing but dead pages full of dead words to me.

Jacob Hansen has recently stepped out of the Civil War and into juggling several roles (that of preacher, sheriff and undertaker) in the small town of Friendship, Wisconsin. However, Friendship soon finds itself trapped in a Catch-22, where they should stay quarantined due to a diphtheria epidemic, yet should be fleeing from the great incoming fire. Jacob str
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Mar 24, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List; Gerri
This is the kind of novel you end a little stunned. I have a friend whose literary tastes I greatly respect, a gifted writer herself, who raved about O'Nan to me--this is the first novel of his I've ever read, but won't be the last. She actually gave me her copy of this book when I mentioned I couldn't find it in stores. It was recommended in a horror recommendation list, and my friend expressed surprise it would be thought of that way.

Having now read it I understand what she means. Inside a blu
Jun 06, 2010 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-changers
This is likely my favorite novel of all time. I'm currently on my fourth time through, and it gets better every time.
I've seen a lot of reviews that address the second person narrative in this text. Apparently, some find it difficult to follow. However, I did not. In fact, I found it to be one of the strengths of O'Nan's writing. It is not truly second person - rather, first person perspective using second person pronouns. (Instead of "I", he uses "you")
I think this is particularly effective as
May 25, 2012 Lizzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anti vaccination nuts
Recommended to Lizzie by: karen
You know it's not going to be a feel-good book of the year when the credit page says "The author would like to acknowledge his great dept to Michael Levy, whose Wisconsin Death Trip inspired this book." That happens to be one of my favorite books, and there has been an armed tramp and suicide by Paris green, but now it's feeling so real it's scary. I like the characters and I fear for them.

I'm thinking about what else to say about why I liked this so much. It starts out slow and builds fast, lik
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eschatology, horror
I'm very glad that I read Wisconsin Death Trip before reading this novel. It's like a macabre vignette from the earlier book. O'Nan has a spare style that lends itself well to the isolation and simple lifestyle in Friendship. As people start to fall sick from diptheria, you get the impression that the world really IS ending. Even though there were other towns close by, the community of Friendship (or any community from the time period) was so close-knit that nothing will remain when everything d ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, fiction, 2016
Although under 200 pages, this novel is packed with enough horrific material for two or three longer novels. O'Nan's writing is very good, examining the multifaceted Jacob, a man in post-Civil War Wisconsin who has to make some hard decisions and wishes he'd made other, different decisions before it was too late. A devastating novel, but an excellent read.
Bryan Mulholland
I can't write too much without giving spoilers; so, I will have to be vague.

This is a book that explores where the decision a person makes between good and evil becomes murky. Written entirely in the second person, through the experience of a pastor/undertaker in post-Civil War rural Wisconsin, it tells the story of how one town deals with an unexpected event that has the potential to wipe the town off the map entirely. This is a disturbing, but beautifully crafted short book; it's essentially
Dec 15, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pastoral gothic that I couldn’t quite step into with that mindless participation that’s needed for the full horror to absorb one’s disbelief. I think it was because it was written in the second person. There’s a reason the second person is seldom used. It’s tricky. I suppose O’Nan used it to make it seem as if the reader, the you, was a full participant in the events. The effect it had on me was to distance me. I knew I wasn’t the mortician of that town, therefore how could the book be speakin ...more
Sarah Honenberger
A powerful little book along the lines of The Road, but set back in history, a diptheria epidemic in the mid-West. First person, almost conversational to himself as the events unfold. Understated, resonates with graphic images and emotions.
Aug 06, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, very interesting, extremely depressing. It is still haunting me a few days later. I give it a good rating, but it was so upsetting that I'm not sure I should recommend reading it.
Timothy Juhl
This is the book that made me want to read more of Stewart O'Nan. Told in second person, the story takes place in a small, isolated town sometime in the late 1880's. Without giving too much away, something is killing everyone in town, leaving the doctor and the undertaker as overwhelmed witnesses hoping to find an answer before whatever it is kills them. Again, O'Nan keeps the story quiet, small, allowing the reader to simply be with the story. This technique is effective without question when o ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Incredibly moving and thought provoking!
Nov 05, 2013 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This very bleak but beautifully written novel (novella really) by Stewart O'Nan takes place in the time period following the end of the Civil War in Friendship, Wisconsin. Jacob Hansen has just returned from the war and is struggling to fit back into the town that he loves. Jacob is Friendship's sheriff, undertaker and pastor; and he takes all of those roles very seriously. He is married to Marta and they have a baby girl, Amelia; the two are the anchor in Jacob's life. The story is told throug ...more
Gerri Leen
Sep 27, 2010 Gerri Leen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have fallen in love with O'Nan. Or at least his writing. I've tried four of his books so far and while one didn't work for me, it was the subject matter, not the writing. The other three, I've adored. And every single one of the four has been astoundingly different in tone, in setting, in situation. The common thread: an uncanny ability to chronicle everyday life in the face of catastrophes both small (the restaurant closing in Last Night at the Lobster) to large (a daughter goes missing in So ...more
May 11, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Utterly odd and intricately strange, Stewart O'Nan takes his reader on a twisted journey in A Prayer for the Dying. The themes are dark, but the writing is light and airy.
The book begins in Friendship, Wis. shortly after the Civil War, where a deadly epidemic ravages the city, leaving few survivors. Jacob Hanson is the small town's undertaker, deacon and sheriff, each position tying him more closely to the town. So when the town starts to die away, he finds himself struggling to keep it together
May 18, 2013 Gabby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not an easy book to review. On the one hand, I have so much to say about it because it made such a huge impression on me. On the other hand, I don't want to spoil any of the story by saying too much. The book is written in the second person which is not often used in novels, at least none I've read. In this case, Jacob Hansen, survivor of the Civil War before coming to the town of Friendship as sheriff, undertaker, and pastor, is reviewing the events of his life to himself. He feels a tr ...more
Aug 20, 2009 Laurie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friendship is tested in A Prayer for the Dying.

Friendship is a town in Wisconsin, it is just after the civil war and diphtheria has the town in quarantine. Jacob Hansen is the town’s sheriff, undertaker, and pastor; if that sounds hard, tough, because you are Jacob in this second-person novel.

Jacob, a civil war vet, wants to be a good man. He wants to do what is right and that isn’t easy. On top of the quarantine, there is the fire heading towards Friendship. People are panicking, people are dy
Sep 25, 2014 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an astounding book. It's a genuine horror book but with no monsters or ghosts or goblins. The monster is a disease which creeps up on the little town of friendship Wisconsin at the end of the Civil War.
Jacob Hansen, Sheriff, Undertaker and Pastor is the witness to the
unfolding drama. A man of conscience, compassion and integrity......
a true hero and a victim....because unwittingly he brings the disease
to the town himself.

Wonderful writing..........once you pick it up you can't put it
John Struloeff
Jan 04, 2009 John Struloeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, intense novel written in the 2nd person. You might describe it as Cormac McCarthy re-writing Camus's The Plague. The 2nd person threw me for a while -- I tend to resist that narrative perspective, especially in a novel -- but you (no pun intended) get used to it.

The writing is terse, vivid, and active. The narrative follows the sheriff/undertaker/pastor who first notices a few deaths, which then bloom into an entire epidemic that decimates their small town. Set in Wisconsin shortly afte
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Stewart O'Nan is the author of eleven novels, including Snow Angels and A Prayer for the Dying, a story collection, and two works of nonfiction. His previous novel, Last Night at the Lobster, was a national bestseller, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named one of the New York Public Library Books to Remember. Additionally, Granta named him one of the 20 Best Young Ameri ...more
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