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The Distant Lover

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3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  273 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
»Ich bin unverletzlich geworden. Ich habe in Drachenblut gebadet, und kein Lindenblatt ließ mich irgendwo schutzlos. Aus dieser Haut komme ich nicht mehr heraus.« Das ist das Fazit der Ich-Erzählerin, Ärztin an einem Ostberliner Krankenhaus, kinderlos, geschieden. Von einem scheinbar ganz normalen Frauenleben berichtet sie, und doch werden hinter der kühlen, spröden Fassad ...more
Hardcover, 178 pages
Published March 25th 1989 by Pantheon (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 444)
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Angelin
Ouch, that woman had problems with feelings...

Quite an unsettling, dark and not-so-easy-to-understand story of a woman, who decided that it usually brings too much trouble to get to know other people and have any kind of feelings towards them.
Set in the Eastern Germany (DDR), this short story is extremely critical to the system and people of that time Germany but this criticism is made masterly unobvious (I guess that's why it managed to avoid censorship and to be published in 1982).

Claudia's vi
...more
Wilbert Herzog
Achtung: kein Fantasy-Roman (wie mancher schnell glauben könnte), nein, eine Novelle noch aus den (End)Zeiten der DDR. Die Herkunft des Buches spielte bei mir als Lesegrund zwar keine übergeordnete Rolle, hat aber (sofern man das geteilte Deutschland noch erlebt hat, war auf Kurztrip mal dort) irgendwie doch eine besondere Note, einen eigenen Hauch von dieser Zeit an sich.
Die Novelle fesselte mich bis zur letzten Seite, obwohl die Handlung keinesfalls eine Struktur aufweist, die dies zwingend n
...more
Eugenia
Personajul principal din Prietenul strain, Claudia, am caracterizat-o ca find o sociopata. Nu iubeste oamenii, nu ii doreste langa ea, isi simte parintii ca pe niste straini cu care nu are nimic in comun. Cu toate astea isi viziteaza prietenii, parintii si il accepta ca iubit pe Henry. S-a imbracat cu o armura a indiferentei, ca sa se protejeze impotriva suferintei. Se simte in largul ei doar in mijlocul naturii, a obiectelor moarte, de aceea isi petrece o mare parte din timpul liber facand foto ...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 05, 2013 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
This German translation gives us an aloof, disconnected East German female physician, living in East Berlin under Communism. (The book was originally published in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down.) She goes through life so fearful of hurt that she encapsulates herself in a protective shell, hardly taking an interest in other people. Some of the writing that illustrates this: "It's not worth getting to know anyone....I prefer the more neutral relationship I have with the pieces of furnitu ...more
Marion
Jan 03, 2010 Marion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unglaublich gut geschrieben; sehr melancholisch, aber nur im Nachhinein; sehr depressiv, aber nicht aufdringlich. Würd ich sofort nochmal lesen.
Mila
May 04, 2016 Mila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Ich-Erzählerin, eine 39 jährige Ärztin aus Ost-Berlin, hat entschieden sich auf niemandem emotional einzulassen: keine Kinder, keine tröstliche Beziehung zu ihrer Familie, keine selbstlose Freundschaft. Kurz gesagt, keine Hoffnung und auch keine Transzendenz.
Die eintönige fast hypnotische Prosa versetzt den Leser in eine depressive Seele voller Gleichgültigkeit. In dieser nüchternen Stimme ohne keinerlei Pathos, lässt sich der verdrängte Schmerz eines hoffnungsloses Leben um so heftig spüren
...more
Meter
Dec 03, 2011 Meter added it
Like Ward Just at his best, sketches character in her deep acute psychological crucible.

The main character, female, admits to not liking/having much in common with her mother or father, not caring about her ex-husband, not being interested in strident professionalism, and vacations at the same place every year. All of this she does little to conceal, just ask her and she'll plainly tell you she's never heard of the conventions of which you speak. At the center is a love story and a story about w
...more
Ivetka306
Mar 25, 2014 Ivetka306 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On of my fav books. I simply love it!!!
Christian Krüger
Aug 10, 2011 Christian Krüger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Im Westteil erschien die Novelle unter dem Titel "Drachenblut". Der Titel symbolisiert besser den Lebensweg der Frau in der Geschichte. Siegfried, der Drachentöter aus dem Nibelungenlied, badet im Blut seines Opfers. Die Hornhaut, die ihn fortan überzieht, macht ihn unangreifbar. Vermeintlich. Doch während des Bades hat sich ein Lindenblatt zwischen Siegfrieds mächtige Schultern gelegt. Der wunde Punkt: sein Geheimnis. Auch die Hauptdarstellerin in der wunderbaren Geschichte trägt ihr Geheimnis, ...more
Nancy Schumann
Jun 22, 2016 Nancy Schumann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Merkwürdig wie sich ein Buch verändert, wenn man es nach 20 Jahren das zweite mal liest.
Alan
Dec 21, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
another book I came across in my 1994 diary/notebooks. My notes read: liked it; set in East Berlin, unsettling because of its lack of a centre, everything - family, God, civil achievement - is seen as meaningless.
I don't know how I extrapolated 4 stars from these comments, but I reckon I'll look this book up again (must have got it from the library).
Fred
Dec 27, 2008 Fred rated it it was amazing
this novella was sheathed in an amazing coldness, a kind of comforting depression inhabiting the central characters. Very dark, very (sorry) German. There's little description of place or scene, just the actions and reactions of the characters. It's a book you can fill up on your own.
Courtney Marie
Jan 17, 2011 Courtney Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Fantastic attention to the details of a woman's inner thoughts as she approaches midlife. Especially impressive as it is written by a man. This book was a great literary adventure.
Larissa
Aug 22, 2008 Larissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't vouch for the english version, but I strongly suggest somebody check it out: "The distant lover"
Dirk Nachbar
Feb 24, 2014 Dirk Nachbar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
3.5 stars. excellently written by man as a woman. a bit unclear what it all means though
Sopo Chkoidze
Sep 25, 2011 Sopo Chkoidze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was kind of hard to understand for me, but it was worth it.
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