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Nicholas Shakespeare
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3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  171 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A young Englishman visits Cold War Leipzig with a group of students and, during his brief excursion behind the Iron Curtain, falls for an East German girl who is only just beginning to wake up to the way her society is governed. Her situation touches him, but he is too frightened to help. He spends the next 17 years pretending to himself that he is not in love until one da ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 29th 2004 by Harvill Press (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-29 of 321)
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Jayne Charles
This novel visits East Germany before and after reunification, and evokes the atmosphere, the sights and sounds of the time, very successfully. In it, Peter – an English student - learns his father is not the man who brought him up but an unnamed East German political prisoner. This changes his life and he sets out to “become” German, learning the language, qualifying as a doctor in West Germany. The plot concerns his search for his father, and a fleeting relationship with a girl he meets on a t ...more
Sep 26, 2007 Anjar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a love story, actually.

Peter grew up in a typical English family, with parents and a sister. But when Peter was 17 years old, her mother told him that he was actually a half German. His real father was an East German, whom his mother met for only a very brief of time.
From then on, Peter life changed. He went to East Germany to find about his father he didn't even know anything about. There he met a girl whom he called Snowleg, fell in love, but had to leave behind.

I like this novel, becau
Feb 24, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When I first started to read this book, I thought it wasn't going to be one that I liked. But as I got deeper into the book, I find that I wanted to know more about the characters. It just had a slow start.

Peter is looking for "Snowleg", the girl he met in Leipzig and had a brief affair with. He was smitten with her and fell in love. But he did a shameful thing and denied that he knew her. As Peter grows and continues his studies to be a doctor and with all his "love" affairs, he still wants to
Al Maki
Mar 26, 2014 Al Maki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most important myths describing the adult male in Occidental society, in my opinion, is Eugene Onegin. This is a great telling of that story. This is a profound and beautiful book.
Apr 06, 2012 Moureco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Não esperava tal volume, apesar de já ter lido deste autor "A Paixão de Elena Silves" e as 769 páginas da biografia de Bruce Chatwin (escritor de excepção e ser humano execrável). Foi delicioso! Passavam as páginas e custava abandoná-lo à noite de tal forma me envolvi na vida deste rapaz que descobre aos 16 anos ser filho de uma relação fortuita da sua mãe inglesa com um preso político foragido, na Alemanha Democrática em plena guerra fria. Querem saber mais? Lê-se de um fôlego.

Isto é o que a e
Dec 16, 2014 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up in a charity book shop, it sounded interesting and I do enjoy books set in communist Europe/Russia. It was going to be a hit or a miss, and I was definitey a hit! Loved this novel, a great world to get lost in. And I loved Shakespeare as an author. I intend to read more!
Henry Jefferies
May 07, 2014 Henry Jefferies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though the central character is incredibly self-centred and very difficult to relate to, I found this book very compelling. I was hooked to the very last line. This is the most engaging book I have read in a decade. I heartily recommend it.
Jan 26, 2016 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A search for his roots leads the protagonist into a self-search. Post-war Germany provides an interesting setting.
Mike Finn
Aug 15, 2014 Mike Finn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent - the aftermath of political divide. Loose ends caused by the East West Germany split and rejoining.
Glyn Pope
Parts of this novel were good. Others were not. I don't think it captured the atmosphere of eastern Germany. Or the west for that matter. I liked the opening pages. I started to dislike it when Rodney started to speak to his father-in-law in an offensive way.
I didn't really care about any of the characters least of all Peter who was just a sexist bore/boar.
The author attempts to be funny and fails.
For it to be longlisted for the 2004 Booker prize shows there must have been a drought of books tha
Sue Hopkins
Aug 04, 2014 Sue Hopkins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story started well but the ending lacked substance.
Oct 25, 2015 Adri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book about coming to terms with who you are and the (possible) consequences of what you have done. Set at the time of East/West Germany and the Berlin wall it follows the journey of one man who, after a startling discovery on his 16th birthday, is trying to discover his roots. This takes him acroos the channel and behind the wall where his brief visit has a knock on effect which haunts him into middle age. Needing to find redemption he once again makes the journey of his yout ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group
A book group read.

Too tedious & contrived - abandoned the task!
May 21, 2007 Caroline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you got into the recent German film "The Lives of Others" ("Das Leben der Anderen"), you should definitely pick up this book to get another taste of life under the Stasi. It was cool to read it while hanging out in the Leipzig of today, though I'm not sure how great it is as a novel, independent of its subject matter.
Jun 18, 2011 Herman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I had high expectations for a book written by someone named "Shakespeare", and I was very dissapointed. There are just so many problems with this book - dull characters, poor writing, bad plot devices, a couple of historical errors, a really uninteresting story. Oh dear. It WAS easy to read though.
Dec 28, 2014 Billyf27 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story and the characters, but hoped for more from the ending. I still liked the book and the main character. 4.5 stars
Eve Carroll
Jul 21, 2013 Eve Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story line and was completely engrossed in the characters. Would definitely recommend
Jan 05, 2014 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whenever somebody asks me "what's your favourite book." I reply: "Snowleg. Snowleg is my favourite book".
There are so many annoying mistakes in this book, that I had to stop reading it.
Mar 15, 2011 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok not as good as Secrets of the Sea which was very good
Oct 15, 2012 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well Yeah glad I didn't have to pay for it
Michael rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2016
Rita added it
Jan 15, 2016
Andrea Broomfield
Andrea Broomfield rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2016
Bozkurt Yılmaz
Bozkurt Yılmaz rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2016
Scott Grentell
Scott Grentell rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2016
Michael Giaccio
Michael Giaccio marked it as to-read
Dec 20, 2015
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Nicholas William Richmond Shakespeare is a British novelist and biographer.

Born to a diplomat, Nicholas Shakespeare grew up in the Far East and in South America. He was educated at the Dragon School preparatory school in Oxford, then at Winchester College and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He worked as a journalist for BBC television and then on The Times as assistant arts and literary editor. F
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