Settlement: A Novel
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Settlement: A Novel

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  10 reviews

In “one of the most important German novels of recent years,”* a man, a town, and a country wrestle with fifty years of displacement and political upheaval

Provincial Guldenberg is still reeling from World War II when a flood of German refugees arrives from the east, Bernhard Haber’s family among them. Life is hard enough—Bernhard’s father has lost an arm and his carpe

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by Metropolitan Books (first published January 31st 2004)
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Christoph Hein became one of my favorite writers before I had finished even 20 pages of this book. His intense ability to see people through the eyes of each other, of history, and of politics is incredibly unique and beautiful. In Settlement we see the main character through many people's perspective, though never his own, and through these people we see a story unfold of a child who becomes a refugee- an outcast, and takes great effort to become a part of the same town, the same community that...more
The very best stories are simple and while the premise of this book - the rise of one boy/man from post-WWII to post-Wall in East Germany - seems ambitious, the novel initially doesn't present itself as such. The beauty of this book is in its simplicity.

Bernhard Huber's life really isn't the central focus, though he is the central presence in the five narrators' stories and these stories each provide the opportunity to explore East Germany from multiple perspectives from its transition to Commu...more
Eastern Europe after the war. Good book, some twists I expected never occured. Enjoyed the storytelling of various character's views on the main character.
What I enjoyed most about the book is that you get to read about the main character Bernhard from other people's perspectives. You don't learn and understand who Bernhard is from his own narration but from what other people think about him. There is mystery to the character of Bernhard and the reader is able to come up with their own conclusions for this character.

What I did not like about the story was the inclusion of the character of Katharina. I would have perferred if another character woul...more
a left-liberal german newspaper wrote: at last: the great novel on Germany. - thank god, it is wrong ;D.

i have had a good hand with books recently. this one amazed me by telling an interesting, yet critical story on the GDR and the fate of people having been pushed out of the areas east of the Oder/ Neiße. It's not one of those "that was a crime and a big human tragedy for us Germans" accounts but undercuts it by concentrating on how those people were regarded as outcasts and competitors for res...more
This is the story of Bernhard, a refugee whose family was "settled" in East Germany following WWII. The refugees were treated harshly by the townspeople with everything from verbal harassment to destruction of their meager property. Five people from Bernhard's life give accounts of their relationship with him & the reader sees him rise above the pettiness and make a life for himself, rising to a comfortable life as an adult. Sadly, his own son shows signs of prejudice to foreigners as the no...more
Once you get past the uninspiring title and cover design - the book is terrific. On the IMPAC Dublin 2010 short list.
Mary Lou
Better at the beginning than later in the book, still a good portrait of village life in East Germany after WWII.
Dec 01, 2008 Jennifer marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I actually want the english translation, Settlement, translated by Philip Boehm
well written may read addition works
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