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The Appointment

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  1,900 Ratings  ·  309 Reviews
From the winner of the IMPAC Award and the Nobel Prize, a fierce novel about a young Romanian woman's discovery of betrayal in the most intimate reaches of her life

"I've been summoned. Thursday, ten sharp." Thus begins one day in the life of a young clothing-factory worker during Ceaucescu's totalitarian regime. She has been questioned before; this time, she believes, will
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 13th 2001 by Metropolitan Books (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lynne King
When I finally finished this remarkable work, my mind flashed back, for some obscure reason to my early twenties (such exciting years) when I loved a man, a cat and a book. Life, of course, has to develop and move on; I lost the man (our lives were taking different directions), Sylvie died in quarantine but my magnificent book was and still remains with me: the “Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell. I’ve tried many times to write an account on why this book has had, and still continues to hav ...more
Sep 25, 2015 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Appointment is about life in Nicolae Ceauşescu’s communist Romania. What a simultaneously sinister and banal place. The mind won’t absorb it. The novel is in every sense a dystopia. Only in this case it happens not to be an SF fantasy but based on 20th century events. Seemingly without effort, Herta Müller shows us the utter self-defeating nature of police states, their inefficiency, rotten core, bankrupt ideology, and doomed future.

Its narrative line is elliptical. It has been written in a
Everything happened in a twinkling, the time it takes for one person to assault another.
Müller's Nobel Prize speech is transcribed at the end of this edition, a bonus the cover did not hint at that other editions could learn from, and among other thought provoking paragraphs was her probing the susceptibility of engineers and the like to making homunculi out of their creations. I already knew a number of beautiful words having to do with lubricated hydraulic machine parts: DOVETAIL, GOOSENECK,
Sep 09, 2016 Deea rated it it was amazing
There is a shocking matter of factness in the voice addressing to the readers of this book. Belonging to the female character in the center of the story, it weaves the narration by adding together episodes full of horror from a past under communism (her grandmother's death, her father's adultery, her father-in-law's acts of violence, Lilli's sexual misbehavior and death), details regarding a present ride by tram to the police office for interrogations and random descriptions of objects.

How is it
این رمان برگرفته ازفضای خفقان جامعه کمونیستی قرن بیستم است وتاحدودی برگرفته ازسرگذشت خودهرتامولر.کارگرزنی که به اتهام جاسازی یادداشت هایی درجیب کت وشلوارهایی که به ایتالیا می رفت بااین مضمون:بامن ازدواج کنید.بااسم وآدرس.دربه دربه دنبال راهی برای رهایی وفرارازکشور،بارهاوبارهابرای بازجویی احضارمی شود.
"رابطه ی می گساروبطری بیشترشبیه رابطه ی زوج هادرعکس های مراسم عروسی است:همدیگررابدبخت می کنند امارها نمی کنند!"
"دوست ندارم ناچارشوم به رودخانه نگاه کنم.چیزهایی راکه باخودمی برددوست ندارم،چه انعکاس تصو
Feb 20, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
Apparently I'm compelled to re-read this after finishing it - both to savor the writing, and to see how the author built this story to its chilling end. Meant to just go back and leaf through the beginning, to see where she planted various seeds and follow a thread or two, but this book is meant for serious enjoyment so here I go again.

The setting is a factory town under the thumb of communist tyranny. Our heroine has been summoned (repeatedly) to an appointment with the authorities to explain h
Oct 29, 2015 Owlseyes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanian-lit

This is certainly autobiographical: at least in regard to the interrogations part. Herta was in fact interrogated while living in Romania, under Ceausescu.

This is the daily (grim and perceptive) description of a woman’s life; her apprehension facing the interrogations.

She’s a factory worker. During her first marriage (while husband was at the military service) she recalls she escaped home and went to the mountains (Carpatos mountains) with conservatory finalists; she saw frozen lakes…and cro
Dec 30, 2009 Frank rated it really liked it
Shelves: nobel-winners
A beautifully crafted book, so subtle in its manipulation of the reader, in the quiet exposition of terror. During the course of a morning tram ride to an "appointment" with her "Major"—her interogator with the secret police, presumably the Departamentul Securităţii Statului—our un-named narrator reflects on the course of her life which lead to this particular point in time. While all the specifics of time and place are unannounced, anyone familiar with Herta Müller's personal history will recog ...more
Stephanie Sun
"You don't have to be particularly bad off to think: This can't be all the life I get."

Due to Müller's own history I'd expected the big reveal to be some betrayal of Lilli's, so I'm still reeling from that ending.

The Appointment is two hundred fourteen pages of 100 proof claustrophobic terror, in which even the consolations of poetry, sex, love, and nature are laced through with a melancholy so total that if you have any unquestioned assumptions about the basis of your own consolations, expect t
Oct 09, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated
A strange novel of romanian oppression at the time of Ceaucescu. It is a very unsettling read, you can't really settle down in to normal expectations and maybe that is Muller's intention. You struggle with the heroine as she suffers continual persecution by the police authorities but it is written cleverly. She journeys towards her next appointment and this journey is punctuated by flashbacks building up a clearer and clearer picture of her past and its implications. I was confused by the ending ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
From My Blog...[return][return]The Appointment by Herta Müller is an absolute masterpiece of literature. The narrator is on a tram, once again heading to face another interrogation by Ceausescu’s secret police, and while she heads to this appointment she recounts various moments in her life, allowing the reader an inside look into another world, one that is difficult to imagine, yet Müller’s descriptions are spot on. With breath-taking beauty, Müller details with precision the simple, the mundan ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Roya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
بیش تر به خاطر ترجمه ی مهرداد وثوقی
که عجیب است، چون ترجمه ی خوبی به نظر می رسید، و پاورقی هایی بسیار عالی و آموزنده داشت
اما ببینید، تو را به خدا، ببینید این جمله ی آخر را که مهم ترین، جذاب ترین و اثرگذارترین جمله ی کتاب است چه جوری ترجمه کرده! مقایسه کنید
هرتا مولر می گوید:
The trick is not to go mad ...
مهرداد وثوقی ترجمه می کند:
این حقه به دیوانگی ختم نمی شود

Aug 01, 2016 أميرة rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
نوبل -القراءة الخامسة: مولر
الموعد هي قصة عاملة مصنع ملابس تحاول الهرب خارج رومانيا أثناء فترة حكم تشاوتشيسكو الذي حكم البلاد بقبضة من حديد ما بين 1974 و 1989. عاملة المصنع لديها خطة مُحكمة للهرب؛ تخيط رسائل في ملابس الرجال الفاخرة التي يتم تصديرها إلى إيطاليا من كلمة واحدة: "تزوجني". حين تُكتَشف رسائلها، بالإضافة إلى رسائل أخرى تقول: "مع أطيب التمنيات، من الدكتاتورية"، يتم طردها والتحقيق معها من قبل البوليس السري يوميا في نفس الموعد: العاشرة صباحا. في الطريق من وإلى الاستدعاءات اليومية، نتابع ال
I’ve been summoned. Thursday, ten sharp.

So begins Herta Mueller’s novel of one woman’s life in Romania under the reign of Nicolae Ceauşescu, and we soon learn that this is not the first time our unnamed narrator has been summoned to the office of a man known only as Major Albu for the purpose of interrogation. This isn’t the first time, but for some reason, our narrator believes this interrogation will be worse than any of the interrogations that have gone before.

And what is our narrator’s crime
Jul 20, 2011 Anda rated it really liked it
Though this is not one of my favourite books by Herta Müller, I still recommend it. It is representative for her style, which I personally find breathtaking. It is strong and sharp, expressing sadness, frustration and even a kind of guilt of living within an oppressive regime, like that one of Ceausescu. A regime that forced people to become cowards and to renounce their humanity; and those who cared about their conscience remained alone, very alone, isolated, unable to rely on somebody or somet ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Simona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ho deciso di leggere questo libro perché mi ha colpito il titolo e perché molte volte, troppe nella mia vita avrei preferito non incontrarmi, non esistere, sfuggire a me stessa, proprio come accade alla protagonista.
Dopo un approccio alquanto difficile, in quanto dovevo abituarmi al suo stile, mi sono pian piano innamorata di questo libro e di questa scrittrice. Durante la lettura, ho dovuto prendere lunghi sospiri e respiri, perché le parole di Herta Muller mi sono entrate dentro facendomi male
Jan 21, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really pretty amazing book, and one that is sort of different than it's description-- there's none of the rompiness you'd expect from a book about a woman who randomly solicits italian men to marry her and save her from Communist Romania. I'm not saying that doesn't happen, though I think that's misrepresented, just that it's not at the core of the book.

What is at the heart of the book, I think, is the relationship between our narrator, the woman who has in the past sent these notes abroad, an
one of the most powerful books I've read in a long time - I actually started this book a while ago when the Nobel prize for the author was recent but the English language edition did not quite work for me; however I just got the Romanian translation and the book came to life from the first page and I couldn't stop reading it after - short but very dense as it's a continual interior monologue that goes back and forth through times and events; the only thing (to the blurb and many reviews from the ...more
Müller remains very unruly to me, even in this second work I've read by her, and that is a bit more accessible than ‘Herztier’. Again there is that same threatening atmosphere that hangs over all sentences, starting with the opening sentence "I am summoned, Thursday at 10 am exactly", it is difficult to be more kafkaesque. What follows is the story of a woman (without name) traveling by tramway to the place where she will be questioned for the umpteenth time. En route she muses in a chaotic jumb ...more
3,5 tähteä. Todella ahdistava kirja naisesta, jonka piti käydä melkein joka päivä kuulusteluissa. Kuulusteluista ei paljon kerrottu, mutta sen verran, että lukijana olin todella peloissani. Pelko oli psykologista ja se vaikutti ajatteluun, jopa niin, että nainen tunsi kuinka kaikki muuttui sekavaksi, pelottavaksi, omituiseksi, ja kaikenlaiset pakkomielteet valtasivat ajatukset.
Apr 19, 2014 Netts rated it it was ok
The fact that I grew up in communist Romania has a lot to do with how much I disliked this book. I don't think I would have loved the stilted style in any case, because I generally tend to find internal monologue narratives irritating. It's pretty hard to get that kind of voice to sound both plausible and engaging. But she won the Nobel Prize so I was cautiously optimistic, even though the year was 2009 and Obama got one just for showing up. (As an aside, the Swedish Academy rejected the likes o ...more
Janet Leszl
Jun 15, 2011 Janet Leszl rated it did not like it
I had to force myself to keep reading this one. I’m sorry to say this was one of my least favorite books. The lack of separation into chapters or very clear breaks as the author continually jumped all over the place was frustrating. There were so many endless side tangents that had tangents running away from them as well. Often I had to question what the point behind them was. At times she revealed elements of living under the repressive authorities, but it took a long and jumpy ride to get ther ...more
Nov 19, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will haunt me. I picked it shortly after HM won the Nobel, because I’d never even heard of her, let alone read anything by her. The Appointment starts out with a young woman summoned to an appointment with the Romanian secret police. We soon learn this is the latest in a long series of these appointments, and this time she’s packed her toothbrush and towel. She leaves so early there is no possibility of her being late, and as we follow her on her way she muses about the past— ...more
Aug 27, 2014 ايمان rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
لم أكملها..قد يكون السبب الترجمة أو الكاتبة
لكن العمر القصير
Sep 04, 2013 Ava rated it liked it
خوندن این کتاب طول کشید اما خلاصه تموم شد و چه حیف که تموم شد. اگه بخوایم مقایسه کنیم باید بگم که سرزمین گوجه های سبز کار بهتری بوده نسبت به این یکی. طرح اش محکم تر و جذاب تر بود. این یکی جالب و عحیب. من با سرزمین گوجه های سبز همذات پنداری بیشتری می کردم. اشک به چشم آدم میاره اون کتاب. این قدر که احساس می کنی خودت هم توو یه برهه ای هستی که داری همچون زندگی ای رو تجربه می کنی. این یکی هم همین طوره البته اما کمتر. این که دوستات رو از دست می دی. این که همه رویای این رو دارن که از جایی که هستند دور ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I don't find this as absorbing a book as the Land of Green Plums, the first HM book I'd read, ten or more years ago... as an icy plunge into life under one of the worst of the Eastern Bloc regimes, Ceausescu's Romania... this one is emotionally drier, the flatness of life where you're the only one who cares about your own life and sometimes not even that. Where great loves and friendships must be kept at arm's length in the the heart so not to rip you to shreds when they are endangered or ...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 06, 2013 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
The heroine of this novel lives her life waiting. She is a seamstress in a Romanian factory making fine men's overcoats for export to Italy. She is so desperate for escape from her pointless life that she inserts notes saying "Marry Me," with her name and address, into the linings of the coats. She has a live-in male friend who spends all of his time and most of her money drinking the day away. There is no future here - it's more like maintaining a big dog and having the expense that goes with i ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
The appointment is the story of a woman who is riding the bus to get to a place where she has an appointment. The appointment is a set up to be interrogated by a policeman on suspected treason charges. She is accused of treason because she has been dropping "marry me" notes in a few tuxedos with the intention to send them to Italy; trying to find an Italian man that helped her escape the dictatorship regime in her country.

While riding the bus, she remembers all the events that leaded her to thi
Oct 29, 2009 John rated it it was ok
"The Appointment" is a first-person novel set in Romania during the reign of the communist dictator Nicolai Ceausescu, a time and a place the author knows firsthand.
The appointment is at 10 a.m. The narrator -- whose name we are never told -- has been summoned by a major in the secret police. He can require her presence whenever he wants, because she has been fired from her job at a clothing factory for placing notes in 10 pairs of pants being shipped to Italy asking the men who receive the note
Feb 10, 2010 Aly rated it liked it
Herta Muller is the most recent author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature-- since I generally enjoy works by Nobel Prize winners, I bought this book.

I must say, I was somewhat disappointed. The book's style is somewhat stream-of-consciousness-- we follow the main character, who is a resident of communist Romania and is periodically interrogated regarding an incident from years ago in which she slipped notes into the pockets of the jackets she manufactured reading "Please marry me". In the boo
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Did I miss the ending? 1 46 Aug 31, 2010 09:04PM  
  • Visitation
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Herta Müller was born in Niţchidorf, Timiş County, Romania, the daughter of Swabian farmers. Her family was part of Romania's German minority and her mother was deported to a labour camp in the Soviet Union after World War II.

She read German studies and Romanian literature at Timişoara University. In 1976, Müller began working as a translator for an engineering company, but in 1979 was dismissed
More about Herta Müller...

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“Everyday brought me further away from other people, I had been placed out of the world's sight, as if in a cupboard, and I hoped it would stay that way. I developed a yearning for being alone, unkempt, untended.” 16 likes
“Hey, not while I'm at my devotions, no so fast, the fat man said, inside the shithouse you're communing with God, and outside you find that all hell's broken loose.” 5 likes
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