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I Still Have a Suitcase in Berlin

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The year is 1932 and Michael Renner is en route from Halifax to Berlin to oversee the affairs of his ailing grandmother. Reluctantly abandoning his unrequited adoration of the boy next door, Michael has given in to familial pressure and boarded the General von Steuben, where he meets his first Berliner, an odd little man named Tristan who instantly pronounces Michael a dea ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Random House Canada
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Feb 12, 2014 Ian rated it liked it
In 1932 Michael Renner travels from his Halifax home to Berlin on a family errand. In Berlin, in contrast to the scarcity of opportunity in the Nova Scotia he left behind, he finds a society on the upswing, in recovery economically and casting off the shame of its WW1 defeat. His assignment in Germany is to keep watch over his elderly grandmother. As Michael establishes himself in his new home, forging connections and making friends--even re-inserting the "von" in his name to become Michael von ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok
This novel was odd in the sense that while I didn't necessarily enjoy reading it, nor the outcome, at the same time I could not put it down. Malone's style of writing is absolutely wonderful, and the story truly draws you into the thick of everything that the protagonist is experiencing. The themes addressed are dark, and this is clearly not meant to be a lighthearted read. However, I can't help but wonder if we are even supposed to like the protagonist.

While I sympathized with what Michael was
Apr 11, 2009 Steven rated it really liked it
"August nodded towards the General von Steuben and Michael abandoned looking expectantly down the pier. His luggage, other than the small beige-and-tan suitcase his mother had used on her honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls, was already on board. His father's last minute instructions were to write once a week, no telegrams - we're not made of money. Did Michael have his Aunte Beate's address in Leipzig? Good. If he needed anything, Michael was to get in touch with her. And practise your German. Most ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
The end of the second world war.. Berlin is a hot spot of libertine antics, mostly undercover as the Germans are still in town. The protagonist has spent the entire book trying to figure out if he's gay or not. By sheer chance, looking for shelter, he ends up sheltering a dying french soldier, combing the city for food while wearing a German uniform. He gravitates to one particular gay and lesbian bar and is invited to attend an underground meeting which leaves him shaking in his boots. Ruled by ...more
Oct 26, 2010 Miranda rated it really liked it
Heart-wrenching, detailed and well-written, this book portrays a believeable WWii-era Berlin. Though the main character was sometimes frustratingly enigmatic, I think he had to be to survive. While Malone took some liberties with some of the events always conveniently happening to the character, I like the realism of the overall story.
May 03, 2010 Jean rated it it was amazing
La perspective de ce livre est vraiment intéressante; un jeune canadien envoyé en Allemagne pour prendre soin de sa grand-mère se retrouve au coeur des événements sans trop s'en rendre compte ni comprendre... Vraiment intéressant; surtout pour un livre dans la 'boîte des spéciaux' chez Chapters!
Jan 13, 2012 Cait rated it really liked it
Beautifully and uniquely written.
Relationships between the characters, and the protagonist, frustrated me at times.
A mature read.

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Born in Ontario, educated in Montréal, I currently live and write on Canada’s east coast. In 1994, I published my first novel, ENDLESS BAY (Mercury Press) under the pseudonym, Laura Fairburn. My second novel, MISS ELVA (Random House Canada) followed in 2005 and was short-listed for the Dartmouth Book Award. My new novel took eight years to write — I STILL HAVE A SUITCASE IN BERLIN (Random House Ca ...more
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