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A Partisan's Daughter

3.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,979 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin and Birds Without Wings (“de Bernières has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt” —The Washington Post Book World) comes an intimate new novel, a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad.

He’s Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, he’s a str
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Knopf (first published 2008)
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A novella about an unusual love affair between a lonely Brit and an illegal immigrant from Yugoslavia. When? At the end of the 70s. The central theme is the complicated love affair, but also the plight of illegal immigrants and the lies we tell each other. The stories we fabricate. I never knew for certain exactly what was told to attract and what was truth.

What makes this book are the lines. Relationships are captured through the words of the two, each telling their own version of the story. T
Alex R
Apr 22, 2009 Alex R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To tell the truth, the only reason I bought this book in the first place was because I had a coupon that I was itching to spend, and this was the first book I could find that looked remotely interesting. Afterwards, it sat in my room, gathering dust, until I decided to organize my book collection in my closet into read and to-read. I made a promise to myself that before I buy another book, I must get through all my to-reads and not be wasteful. This was the first book I chose from my "to-read" s ...more
Sep 14, 2008 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Nobody does love and loss like De Bernieres. This is Scheherezade retold but in it, everyone is trying to save themselves in different ways. It's also about the power of storytelling itself.
It starts a bit slowly and initially the characters are not entirely sympathetic, but as the veils come off you are helplessly drawn in.
I don't generally read everything any one author writes but for me, DeBernieres is an exception.
Every great novel must have a great first sentence: "I am not the sort of man who goes to prostitutes," really catches the eye.

I finished this book last night. I read from 8-11:30 and finished the last half (it's a quick read). There is a surprise that is supposed to happen at the end, but it just never happens. Perhaps it means that the story is in the journey and not in the ending, but it was a bit annoying.

This book is like Birds without wings in that it is the story of yugoslavia through th
Dec 19, 2008 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A Partisan's Daughter is the latest novel by Louis de Bernieres, the first since Birds Without Wings. It is a very small novel, almost a novella. Set in the late 70s and early 80s, it is the story of a young Serbian woman, Roza, who is living illegally in Britain and Chris, a middle-aged traveling salesman who has become besotted with her. He visits her whenever he can (he's unhappily married) and they drink tea while she tells him stories of her life.

He is a milquetoast, kindly but dull, afraid
Scheherazade redivivus! We exist in the minds of others and in our own minds in the tales we tell about ourselves. Our autobiographies are always (intentionally and unintentionally) works of creative nonfiction and sometimes are entirely invented to enhance our self-esteem, to entertain our friends, or to intrigue lovers and potential lovers. This is a book about such tales, about those who need to tell them and those who need to believe what is told. It is both the narrative of an elaborate cou ...more
Apr 19, 2009 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As the star rating indicates, this book was okay. It was interesting. It definitely falls into the category of "literary fiction," as if it were more important, or better than, say, chick lit or YA or fantasy. Sometimes, these books are better than your average bear of a chick lit novel. This one wasn't. Like I said, it was okay. I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own, but my wonderful friend Aimee sent it to me for my bday. And it was interesting enough. I finished it in a few days. I ...more
Stefania Gartz
Jul 05, 2013 Stefania Gartz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αυτός είναι ο Κρις: σαραντάρης, μοναχικός, παγιδευμένος σε ένα γάμο δίχως έρωτα, ξένος μέσα στη λονδρέζικη νεανική κουλτούρα της δεκαετίας του '70, ξένος απέναντι στον ίδιο τον εαυτό του τη νύχτα που προσκαλεί μια πόρνη στο αυτοκίνητό του. Αυτή είναι η Ρόζα: Γιουγκοσλάβα, πανέμορφη, άρτι αφιχθείσα στο Λονδίνο, κόρη ενός από τους παρτιζάνους του Τίτο, με μια ζωή γεμάτη κινδύνους και τραγωδίες. Δίχως να το πολυσκεφτεί, δέχεται την πρόταση του Κρις και μπαίνει στο αυτοκίνητό του. Για τους επόμενους ...more
Jayne Charles
This isn’t so much a story as the recalling of someone telling a story – all very arm’s length. For this reason I found it hard to get into, and I was constantly reminded that as much as anything else it was a way of proving that Louis de Bernieres’ encyclopaedic knowledge of international history and culture now extends to the Balkans.

Once I reached the middle third things speeded up, and I found it more enjoyable. Books by this author are always full of intelligence with frequent humorous side
"You shouldn't think people love you. You should wait for it to be said because if you push it, it rolls over the edge and it gets broken." (Paraphrased).

Roza appears to be too trusting and she is the kind that when people treat her in a certain way and do certain things for/to her, she concludes that they love her. This leads to her being disappointed in many ways which in turn also leads to her running away...all the time.

"You can go as far as you like, but a broken heart travels with you." he
Saleh Alasfour
فجأة ينجذب كريس، الأربعيني التافه الغير مدرك وجوده في حياته الشخصية الخالية من أي اثارة، لروزا التي ظن بأنها فتاة هوى. روزا الصربية التي انجذبت لكريس أخذت تثرثر له من ذاكرتها الخيالية عن حياتها في صربيا حتى وصولها لندن، فكانت الأمور الجنسية هي ما تثير فضول كريس ليكرر الزيارة كل مرة.

الجميل تطرقها في وصف المجتمع اليوغسلافي بعهد الرئيس جوزيف تيتو، كذلك تصور البرود الجنسي عند المرأة الإنجليزية في العلاقات الإجتماعية.
الترجمة لا بأس بها
dog walking audio defining The Great White Loaf. This story of a story teller was wonderful, shocking, funny and ultimately sad. It doesn't really fit onto any of my designated genre shelves; the best I can use is 'contemporary fiction'.
A sad, sad little story. After I read this I wrote my longtime ex a heartfelt, regretful letter. It helped, a bit.

Paul Curd
Aug 10, 2011 Paul Curd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In A Partisan’s Daughter we are presented with two narrators. The first, Christian (Chris for short), seems to be writing now (i.e. in the early 21st century) about his relationship at the end of the Winter of Discontent (i.e. 1978-79) with the eponymous partisan’s daughter, Roza. ‘’I am not the sort of man who goes to prostitutes’’ he begins, and then admits that people would disbelieve it.

Chris describes the loneliness of his life at the time, married to the ‘Great White Loaf’, an insipid Engl
John Aubrey
Louis de Bernieres, in his novel A Partisan's Daughter, answers a common question. Why do men lay down five dollars cover to enter a dim lit strip club to watch women they probably couldn't take home to mom, take off their bikini tops and gyrate out of arm's reach for ten to fifteen minutes? Then pay another twenty to forty dollars for these women to take them into a even darker alcove, sit them on cheap sofas and grind on their fully clothed laps for three to five minutes with no attention what ...more
Mar 11, 2009 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Years ago, I read and fell in love with Corelli's Mandolin. So, I was interested to pick up de Bernieres's most recent novel, which has received a great deal of praise. A Partisan's Daughter takes place in London and is a sexually obsessed love story told from the alternating first-person perspectives of Chris, an unhappily married man, and Roza, a Yugoslavian immigrant who Chris initially mistakes for a prostitute. As the two spend increasing amounts of time together, Chris fancies their relati ...more
Nov 09, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contrealfic
Set in England in the 1970's with alternating chapters and viewpoints we are drawn into the life of middle-aged Chris - bored, lonely and never eager to go home to the "Great White Loaf" and Roza a young Yugoslav immigrant whose father was one of Tito's partisans. Roza is a masterful storyteller who has seized more than her share of moments in life and struggles with love. Sometimes told in the present sometimes in recollection with historical and political touch points a celebration of ordinary ...more
Jan 23, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
The variety of styles and historical contexts in de Bernieres' work is quite astonishing. This (by his standards) rather slight novel is based in London, although with strong links to the Balkans and to the wars and regions which have been one area of the author's interests. An enjoyable exploration of the nature of love, with some exploration too of the life of an illegal immigrant. A pleasant, if not memorable read: not one of his best novels like the almost equally recent Birds without Wings.
Katie Q
Jan 06, 2013 Katie Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
There are a number of 1 and 2 star reviews for this book that I feel are rather harsh. I found the book to be captivating, a little sad and interesting. Interesting from the fact that we all deal with our life situations differently.

In this case we have 2 people escaping their lives for just a few hours at a time quite innocently. The story is quite cynical yet not depressing. Somehow de Bernieres manages to keep the story light.
Aug 06, 2009 Elaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
pretentious and unsatisfying
Jan 16, 2009 Paddy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No wonder publishing houses have put a hiatus on soliciting new manuscripts.
Oct 20, 2009 Lanny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lucas Johnson
Jan 30, 2016 Lucas Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not worthwhile.
Mar 09, 2013 Tracy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Could not get into this book, I didn't finish this one.
Jan 02, 2016 Danuta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Grand disappointment!
Chris is a man in classic midlife crisis. His marriage is loveless, and his salesman job more or less meaningless. At least that's the picture the reader is presented with at the opening of A Partisan's' Daughter. When Chris meets Roza, a woman he mistakes for a prostitute, he falls into a kind of obsession that sees him returning again and again to listen to stories from her past that she uses to keep him coming back. It’s an odd kind of almost virtual love affair predicated on repression and s ...more
Oct 02, 2016 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about this book. I liked the idea but found some of the writing a bit childish. None of the subtlety and complexity found in Captain Corelli
Steve Cran
Chris a gentleman in his mid forties unhappily married in a loveless marriage meets a woman named Roza dressed up as a prostitute standing on a street corner. He picks her up but the woman tells him that she is an ex prostitute. Chris drives her home and the two share a cup of coffee. From their a platonic relationship develops. Chris is married to a woman he calls the "Great White Loaf" the marriage is sexless and loveless. He makes his living by selling medical equipment to physicians. Typical ...more
Jul 21, 2012 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
My 2010 bookcrossing review:

This was quite a bit different from a lot of his other books - not only because it's a lot shorter than his usual epics (I finished this in under 24 hours!) but also because it really focuses on just two characters rather than a whole community living through a particular period of history.

This is a simple love story, set in 70s London between a forty-something British guy, Chris, who is bored with life in general; and a twenty-something illegal immigrant, Roza, origi
Jun 18, 2010 Shane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a powerful story if written better. Two damaged people meet in the most unlikely situation - he (an unhappily married Englishman) trying to pick her up thinking she is a hooker, and she (a Yugoslav refugee and a Tito partisan's daughter) pretending to be one. They end up at her place and she tells him a series of harrowing adventures, from childhood to the present, which only results in making him fall in love with her.

The stories are a catharsis for her; they only serve to
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Allegory 1 15 Jan 10, 2010 06:12PM  
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Novelist Louis de Bernières was born in London in 1954. He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst. After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London.

Before writing full-time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motor
More about Louis de Bernières...

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“...but then the general trouble with ignorance is always that the ignorant person has no idea that that's what they are. You can be ignorant and stupid and go through your whole life without ever encountering any evidence against the hypothesis that you're a genius.” 25 likes
“the general trouble with ignorance is always that ignorant people have no idea that that’s what they are. You can be ignorant and stupid and go through your whole life without ever encountering any evidence against the hypothesis that you’re a genius. If you’re stupid you can always blame miscalculation on bad luck.” 0 likes
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