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Midsummer Night: Novel

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3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
If this, Uwe Timm's enchanting novel, were a cautionary tale, the tag line would go something like this: Should you plan to be in Berlin on Midsummer Night, the time of the summer solstice – Watch Out! The narrator of Timm's story is a writer who simply can't get started on his next book. So he accepts a commission to write an article about potatoes. He has some interest i ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 17th 2000 by New Directions (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dorothea
Feb 20, 2017 Dorothea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to really like this book, and while Timm does a great job of taking the reader on a journey through unified Berlin and one has a sort of Midsummer Night's Dream experience that is fun and thought-provoking, with a lot of moments worth exploring for deeper meaning, I found it a little too obvious. The circularity of the plot and the symbols used throughout are done well and neat to see played out, but they end up a little bit too "in your face." Still, I enjoyed reading this and learned ...more
Julie Whelan
Jun 02, 2007 Julie Whelan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksread
Translation of a German novel about the joining of East and West Berlin and the disconnect in the way people think in those two cultures. Wonderfully imaginative and innovative in its writing. Some scenes are so funny you laugh out loud. Great discussion of the varieties of potatoes eaten by Germans, the leather coat sold in the black market that disintegrates as the narrator walks in the rain, the taxi driver that stops and throws all the author's papers out of the cab when he disagrees with hi ...more
Jim
Sep 20, 2010 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: deutschland, fiction
I enjoyed this, but I'm not sure why exactly. This book, set shortly after German reunification, is ostensibly about a West German writer commissioned to write about potatoes. He goes to Berlin (the erstwhile east) in search of a potato archive compiled by a recently deceased East German researcher.

What the book is really about is the wall that still existed in Germans' heads, in spite of the tearing down of the actual Wall dividing Berlin. Wessis (Westerners) viewed the Ossis (Easterners) with
...more
Daniela Iñigo
Sep 13, 2014 Daniela Iñigo rated it did not like it
Una historia bastante aburrida a mi parecer, todo momento estuve esperando el momento en donde la emoción no te permite bajar el libro...pero nunca sucedió. De por sí una investigación de la patata ya es algo nada atractivo, la forma en que se desenvuelve está fuera de sí, no sé si por la traducción del alemán al inglés y luego de este al español pero había momentos en que no sonaba coherente. Siento como si la aparición de Tina hubiese sido sólo de relleno para darle un ligero aire de emoción, ...more
Ritja
Mar 18, 2012 Ritja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deutschland
Kartoffelsex? Sexkartoffel? Wie passt das zusammen? Diese Frage ist ein kleiner Teil der Geschichte, die sich um einen Autoren dreht, der eine Geschichte über die Kartoffel schreiben soll. Er reist dafür von München nach Berlin und erlebt einiges, was über seine Vorstellungen geht. Er sucht einen Katalog, der die Geschmacksrichtungen der Kartoffel beinhaltet und trifft dabei auf viele skurrile Personen, die ihn ein Stück begleiten und zum Teil auch beeinflussen. Das Buch ist ironisch und mit vie ...more
Kevin
Dec 05, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
My friend Evan recommended me Uwe Timm's book, and it certainly lived up to that recommendation. There are a rich variety of characters poking about in these 250 pages. Quite a slow start, but Timm really builds this story into a certain kind of comedy of errors that is both entertaining and manages to fit in a few seamless moments of reflection.
syrin
Nov 23, 2012 syrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Johannisnacht" oder "Die Geschichte der Kartoffel", fand ich leider nicht so entspannend. Wie in "Die Entdeckung der Currywurst", Berlin nach der Wende ist das Hauptthema des Buches, aber diesmal fand ich die Figuren nicht so interessant, und die unterschiedlichen Akzente waren manchmal schwer zu verstehen.
Andrés
I'm really disappointed in this book. It was really funny and had lots of ironic moments, but the story is really lackluster and it's format becomes repetitive in just a few chapters.
Samy
Samy rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2014
Betsy
Oct 29, 2009 Betsy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-books
The Goodreads summary is not for this book, but rather for Umbrella by Ferdinand Mount!
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Collinjennings
Jan 27, 2016 Collinjennings rated it it was ok
meh.
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163604
Uwe Timm was the youngest son in his family. His brother, 16 years his senior, was a soldier in the Waffen SS and died in Ukraine in 1943. Decades later, Uwe Timm approached his relationship with his father and brother in the critically acclaimed novel In my brother's shadow.

After working as a furrier, Timm studied Philosophy and German in Munich and Paris, achieving a PhD in German literature in
...more
More about Uwe Timm...

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