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Flights of Love: Stories

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,402 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Schlink, internationally acclaimed and bestselling author of The Reader, brings a sleek concision and moral acuity to these seven tales of modern men uneasily suspended between the desire for love and the impulse toward flight. Brooding, comic, and filled with psychological suspense, Plights of Love is nothing less than masterful.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published November 12th 2002 by Vintage Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Dec 27, 2011 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up because I wanted to get beyond the tortured obsessions of Homecoming, and Schlink is so highly thought of, I wondered whether I was being overly critical. Happily this collection of short stories is much better, although not uniformly. The first, “Girl and Lizard” is written in the same dessicated and tortured style that beset Homecoming, only this time it’s over a painting. It’s also marred by Schlink’s tendency to sink into a courtroom inquisition substitute for conversation tha ...more
Mar 31, 2012 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never really been one for short stories. Something in them doesn't suit me and they generally leave me with a feeling of dissatisfaction. This collection, by Bernhard Schlink of The Reader fame, could not have made me feel more different. With the thread running through them all, these stories examines our shared, fundamental desire to find love but the many different forms that love, that one, lasting relationship can take. The characters leading these stories are all very different peop ...more
Carole Rae
Girl with Lizard
This was a meh for me.
I really didn’t get the boy’s obsession with the painting. Why? Why choose a painting over real love? It seemed silly….it was probably symbolism for picking other things over love, but still a meh. 1 star for this.

A Little Fling
I’ll be honest….I was worried at first for this being a love story between the main guy and his friends’ daughter. Ugh, but it got worse and he had a fling with his friend’s wife. Geez. Why do people do this? I wanted to slap all thr
C’est une loi de la nature que l’amour seul peut changer ; et de l’amour, en a-t-on quand on veut ? [Lettre CXXXI des Liaisons dangereuses de Choderlos de Laclos]

Sans qu’elle soit jamais citée dans le recueil de Bernhard Schlink, cette citation d’une lettre de la marquise de Merteuil au vicomte de Valmont m’a accompagnée tout au long de ma lecture de ces nouvelles (ou novellas, tant elles sont longues et construites comme de petits romans). Toutes traitent de l’amour, de la façon dont il naît, p
Jun 12, 2009 Grady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Promises met

Bernhard Schlink created a devoted following with the translation of his first novel THE READER. Opinion was divided among critics and readers as to whether or not this author was playing on simplistic heart-string tuggings or whether he really had somthing new to say and an equal talent to say it. Being part of the camp of readers who were caught up in the story of 'The Reader' and waited eagerly to see just where this writer would/could go, I am happy to say that FLIGHTS OF LOVE i
Sep 08, 2009 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth
Shelves: short-stories
Schlink has written seven stories with male German protagonists. To me what unites the stories is a certain moodiness as the men examine the nature of love in their lives. Most deal with regret and loss. Some are compassionate and some shocking. It's difficult for me to rate the book as a single work. Of course I feel more strongly about some stories than others. I decided to go the generous route. I wasn't particularly impressed with the first three stories, though they are interesting, but I v ...more
Mar 21, 2013 Sudara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this book from my friend's fiance. When my friend delivered it to me he said "this looks like a very boring book". Honestly I had my doubts when I started reading it as the story would go on with details but then the ending was not so dramatic or stunning as you usually get in fiction. But I liked Bernhard's style of writing. It's so beautiful that it always persuaded me to read more our of curiosity even if I knew the ending would not be surprising. My friend's fiance said his ending ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Kaloyana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ох! Много ми е сложно да се сприятеля с немската литература. Не, че много имам опит, но след Херман Хесе (само "Сидхарта" ми понесе) и Томас Ман ("Смърт във Венеция" четох и аз едва не умрях, въпреки че е кратка), реших да пробвам с нещо по-съвременно и пак не се получи. Много ми е тегаво. Не, че е лошо, просто много трудно достига до мене. Тромаво и тежко и... дървено. И някак си не ми е приятно да чета. Освен това, аз наистина не харесвам разкази и новели. Просто късият жанр не е моят и това с ...more
My thoughts on "Girl with a Lizard":
One's life, emotion, and feeling may be explained; the painting may take-on more meaning then anything else. She may offer an explanation for an unhappy or cheerful life that cannot be given by simple words and actions.

My thoughts after reading "The Other Man":
Most don't understand the burden and cold gift that vengeance can be. The weak and trying obsession with the other person. How often you wish to be close to the other person--to find their secrets so you
Jun 11, 2012 Redfox5 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
An unremarkable book of short stories, full of unremarkable and in most cases, unlikable characters. I wasn't excited about reading this to start with. I didn't think 'The Reader' was as good as everyone made it out to be. But I like to give authors a second chance. This was worst. I'm not the biggest fan of stort stories but these were just all so dull. I especially disliked 'A Little Fling' and the only story I found somewhat intresting was 'Sugar Peas' Maybe it's becuase I'm not smart enough ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Mel added it
I really liked Schlink's dry writing style in The Reader, where you had a whole book to learn about the characters and like them. It does NOT work so well in short stories. I was bored almost from page 1 and had to drag myself through this whole book. Even though almost every story was 50 pages long, I never understood the characters or their motivations to like them, let alone understand them. It shouldn't've taken me almost 3 weeks to read a 200 page book when if I really like a story I can re ...more
Heidi Liu
Oct 06, 2015 Heidi Liu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Schlink, in his unassuming, matter-of-fact way, weaves a collection of stories that involve such a non-obvious tenderness as to first surprise and then endear his reader. This collection touches often upon the (potentially) uncomfortable realm of German-Jewish love affairs with grace and realism. Beneath his straightforward and engaging plot lines, Schlink also does a remarkable job of characterizing some of my favorite European cities. These are dignified, powerful stories, quietly told.
Jo Cunningham
Jul 22, 2015 Jo Cunningham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
7 short stories, each with characters different in age and temperament, with unique perspectives and goals, problems and resolutions. The last story, "The Woman at the Gas Station" was particularly poignant to me, and left me thinking about own in particular. The rhythms of a man and woman together over decades, the early passions and intense lovemaking and exploration of each other's inner worlds; the busy-ness of life...buying a house together, engaging in careers, interacting w ...more
Abdullah Aljumah
Feb 13, 2013 Abdullah Aljumah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernard Schlink is a remarkably fine story teller. In his book, the Flights of Love, of seven short stories, while a bit uneven, he shows that he can relate tales of interest, of introspection, of intrigue, of self-deception, and generally can keep you flowing with his thoughts to the somewhat open-ended conclusions. Have you ever wondered what brought two lovers together despite their opposing cultural/religious differences? Read Schlink’s the Circumcision!
Promena Ideja
Jan 21, 2010 Promena Ideja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
U srpskom prevodu "Bekstva od ljubavi" izdavač Plato 2003. Biblioteka "Posle Orfeja". Kome se svideo oskarovac iz 2009-te "Čitač" verovatno će se pronaći i u ovoj zbirci novela Bernharda Šlinka.

Aug 03, 2015 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How can something so ponderous prove to be this lightweight and insubstantial? The characters are at best ideas and abstractions, at worst exhausted cliches. And throughout it all, Schlink's obsession with being German in the latter half of the 20th century.

One man mired in regret or making regrettable decisions can work as a book, but not a collection of men doing just that one after the other.

It's dismal and flimsy enough that I feel like I must have been taken in by The Reader. Maybe I invest
Mar 22, 2015 Skeletonized rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People who are in love should not read love stories.
Zineb Serhani
The synopsis tells you this is a bunch of short stories about love. It's correct except for the second part. these short stories are about passion, Not love. I read the first 3/4 stories . They were Okay. Different, but okay. I don't know why but this book felt mature. It wasn't only about two human beings coming together as one. It was also about what happens after the happy ending. This was the only interesting aspect that I could find. what happens after the big dramatic happy ending? I'll te ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always think I do not like short stories. But these stories are fantastic. Mr. Schlink gives us the unexpected resolution in a situation that seems to call for revenge and in which a peevish revenge is planned ("The Other Man"); the self-fertilized growth of life complications, the complexities of escape, and the creation of a community of "trigamy" ("Sugar Peas"); the modern-day German and modern-day Jew in love and facing the hard questions ("The Circumcision"); the unexpected sadness of a d ...more
Girl with Lizard; A Little Fling; The Other Man; Sugar Peas; The Circumcision; The Son; The Woman at the Gas Station.

All seven of these stories are about German men. The first is about a young man discovering his parent's past through searching the history of a painting that hung in his father's study.

Relationships between a West Berlin man and an East Berlin couple before and after the fall of the Wall are examined in A Little Fling, a story of betrayal.

The Other Man and Sugar Peas bot
Mar 23, 2011 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2013 Katia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'ai du mal à trouver les mots, cette nouvelle est excellente. L'écriture est sublime, très agréable. On prend un réel plaisir aux côtés de ce texte. Le style m'a évoqué marguerite Duras, dans la découpe des phrases. Au delà des mots le problème soulevé, concernant la cohabitation entre les juifs et les allemands contemporains, qui n'ont pas connu la guerre, est très bien abordé. Ce jeune couple mixte permet de soulever des problèmes de tolérance. Notamment les idées reçues sur les allemands, en ...more
Alice Radwell
In ‘The Reader’ Bernard Schlink utilized an affair between a teenage boy and an SS solder to explore the relationship between Germany’s past and present. Through his unsympathetic, blunt and distinctive prose he investigates the wider effects of concentration camps beyond terrified Jews huddled in gas chambers. The result is astounding; an erotic, tragic, and beautiful narrative demonstrating how morals blur, and love changes.

In ‘Flights of Love’ Schlink is just as unforgiving in his style and s
I just finished reading Flights of Love by German lawyer and writer Bernhard Schlink, famed for his novel The Reader, and I must say that it was a simple collection of short stories but nobody can deny the fact that each story brings out strong message. All stories were long to cover the deeper meaning of love but short enough to keep it interesting as the author gave additional historical perspective of not only the Holocaust but also the typical lives of the people living in the Eastern and We ...more
Juan de Dios Reyes
No pude entusiasmarme con el libro a pesar que un par de libros anteriores de Schlink sí me habían gustado bastante (es imposible, para mi, no hacer comparaciones). Cuentos algo interesantes de parejas o amores que escapan de lo común, pero que no me pareció más allá de un relato; no sentí que me transmitiera la fuerza, ansiedad, goce... de/los protaganistas. Tampoco que hubiera un análisi que aportara a la discusión o una perspectiva particular y original. Seguro olvidaré rapidito este libro au ...more
Ekaterina Lorye
Apr 12, 2016 Ekaterina Lorye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Je suis tellement d'accord avec la phrase suivante: ''Est-ce que finalement l’on ne supporte que ses semblables ? Naturellement, on se fait aux différences, et sans doute ne pourrait-on vivre sans elles. Mais ne doivent-elles pas rester dans certaines limites''.

Ou celle la: ''À quel moment est-on obliger de s'avouer qu'une dispute n'est pas une simple dispute? Qu'elle n'est pas un orage après lequel le soleil brille à nouveau, ni une saison pluvieuse à laquelle succédera le beau temps''.
Sep 13, 2014 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Kurzgeschichten sind nie ganz mein Fall. Aber "Sommerlügen" von Bernhard Schlink mochte ich so gerne, dass ich es sogar zweimal gelesen haben. Im Gegensatz dazu hat mich "Liebesfluchten" leider nicht so angesprochen. Zwar mag ich den Schreibstil von Schlink wieder sehr, aber keine der 7 Erzählungen war wirklich meins - deeshalb vergebe ich hier zwei Sterne für die Geschichten und einen dritten Stern für den sehr angenehmen Erzählstil.
There are times when I find the deliberateness of Bernhard Schlink perfect for the pace of my mind, and other times we are just out of sync. He continues in his thoughtful,steady manner, but I crave the quirky humor of Douglas Adams or Chris Moore, or even (shudder) something cotton candy light, to fluff out the creases in my brain. I think that may be why it took me so long to work through these stories-- my intellect wouldn't cooperate. I was never emotionally swept away by anything in the boo ...more
Jul 11, 2016 Carlakings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
" Quando é que devemos admitir para nós mesmos que uma discussão não é apenas uma discussão? Que não é uma trovoada depois da qual o sol brilha, e que também não é uma época chuvosa do ano, que sucede a uma mais amena, mas sim um estado do tempo que se mantém normalmente mau. Que a reconciliação não soluciona nada, não resolve nada, apenas revela a existência do esgotamento e inicia um intervalo maior ou menor, após o qual a discussão continua."
Norbert Lochmann
La scrittura di Schlink mi nutre di sensazioni di bellezza. Ciascuna dei brevi racconti è un gioiellino che come un regalo resta con te e ti arricchisce. Come in gioiello sono rifiniti, lavorati e ridotti all'essenziale. Ma detto questo, non riesco a dargli più di 3 stelle. Ho trovato altri suoi libri migliori. Troppi cerebrali alcuni personaggi, empi di sangue, e non parlano (è uno dei messaggi dell'autore che la gente non comunica o che non è in realtà possibile veramente? Non so ma mi lascia ...more
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Bernhard Schlink is a German jurist and writer. He became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and has been a professor of public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany since January 2006.

His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb--a play on the German word for "sel
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“The past has to be remembered, so that it's never repeated.” 3 likes
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